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Stakeholders to Discuss Higher & Tertiary Education Policy this Week-end

Ongoing debate on education in general and the significant changes taking place in tertiary and higher education in particular are the two issues which make this week-end’s (August 27-29) Mona Academic Conference to be held at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus a timely and important event on the education calendar. The conference’s opening ceremony takes place this Friday, August 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Undercroft, the Senate Building at Mona. The keynote address will be by UWI Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne.

Organised by the Alister McIntyre Research and Policy Group, Mona School of Business under the theme, Revisiting Tertiary and Higher Education Policy in Jamaica: Towards Personal Gain or Public Good, the conference to be held in the Social Sciences Lecture Theatre, will bring together educators and policymakers to discuss various issues relating to tertiary and higher education in Jamaica. The event follows a recent study prepared by the Research and Policy Group titled a Proposal for a National Tertiary Education System for Jamaica and presentations and discussions at the conference will serve to further inform the recommendations made in the study.

Minister of Education, Youth and Culture the Hon. Maxine Henry Wilson will, on Saturday morning (August 28), give the government’s perspectives on a Higher Education System for Jamaica, while in the afternoon a panel of higher education managers will focus their presentations on the theme The Mission of and Access to Tertiary Education Institutions. For example, Professor Marlene Hamilton, Pro Vice Chancellor and Head, Office of Administration and Special Initiatives, UWI will present a paper titled Implementing the mission; Improving Access - Challenges for Tertiary Education in Jamaica.

On Saturday afternoon discussions will focus on Financing Higher Education: Policy Choices. Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies as well as Opposition spokesman aon Finance, Mr. Audley Shaw will present two points of view on the topic. Mrs Hyacinth Bennett, Founder of the Hydel Group of Schools will present the perspective of the educational entrepreneur. PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Eric Crawford and Adrian Tait will also present a paper suggesting a sustainable path that can be followed in financing higher education.

The conference continues on Sunday, August 29, with the morning session focussing on Curriculum, Programme and Programme Delivery. Panellists will include Dr. Herbert Thompson, President of Northern Caribbean University who will speak to the issue of Curriculum Programmes and the Delivery of Programmes in Higher Education. Mr. James Walsh, Principal of Brown’s Town Community College will present on The Community College Sector: Context, Challenges, Imperatives, Option; while Mr. Robert Gregory Executive Director of HEART Trust/NTA will present a case study on that institution.

Discussions at 11:00 a.m. will focus on Quality Assurance and Regulation Issues. The panel for this segment of the conference will include Dr. Dennis Irvine, Chairman of the University Council of Jamaica who will address Issues in Contemporary Society;
Dr. Ronald Robinson, Director of the Pre University School who will speak to Access, Funding and Philosophy; Mr. Noel Stenneth, Executive Director, Council of Community Colleges who will examine Jamaica’s tertiary education system; and Mr. Dudley Barrett, Executive Director of B & B Institute will present his perspective on higher education.

The conference closes on Sunday afternoon with an address by outgoing Vice Chancellor of the UWI, Professor the Hon. Rex Nettleford. The closing ceremony will be chaired by Vice Chancellor Designate, Prof. E. Nigel Harris.

For the complete conference programme visit the conference website at .

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