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UWI, Mona to Seek Accreditation from University Council of Jamaica

The University of the West Indies, Mona has begun processes for accreditation, whereby programmes are recognized as satisfying standards set by the relevant accrediting body and the public may be assured of the quality of the institution.

 This follows the general trend of universities operating in the English-speaking Caribbean using accreditation as a cachet in an increasingly competitive environment, and given the desirability of strengthening the quality assurance mechanisms that the UWI has developed over the years.

The Medical and Engineering programmes led the way in securing accreditation from their professional accreditation bodies and this will continue.

In the absence of a viable regional accrediting body, St. Augustine is seeking accreditation from the Accrediting Council of Trinidad & Tobago, while Mona has decided to seek accreditation from the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ). Cave Hill and the Open Campus will seek from the Barbados Accreditation Council, with all three Councils agreeing to grant reciprocal recognition to institutions any of them accredit.

In considering any submission, the UCJ requires a fairly thorough self-study of the campus in nine areas: Mission, Goal & Objectives; Planning & Evaluation; Organization & administration Finances; Faculty; Students; Facilities/resources; Educational programmes; Future plans.

The Mona Campus has set up a process to carry out this study, involving six Working Groups and a broad-based Steering Committee that includes representatives of the Unions and students. The Steering Committee is chaired by the former Deputy Principal, Joseph Pereira, who will coordinate the self-study. The study should both set out current realities including areas that need strengthening, and project viable developmental directions. Essentially, it is an opportunity for a critical stock-taking.

The initial draft report of the Steering Committee should be developed by mid-March 2011, and would then be submitted for consideration by the various sectors including: Faculties, Unions and Guild for further feedback and refinement. It will then go to Academic Board and Campus Finance & General Purposes Committee (F&GPC) for adoption before the end of the 2011 academic year.

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