Better days ahead - NCU receives institutional accreditation
With news of a financial crisis following years of a decrease in enrolment coming to public attention recently, Northern Caribbean University (NCU) is revealing that brighter days are ahead, having received institutional accreditation from the University Council of Jamaica.
The accreditation, which takes effect on February 17, 2019, augurs well for NCU as it enhances marketability, makes graduates more employable, and allows credits earned by students to be transferable to other schools.
"NCU now stands as the second institution in Jamaica to receive institutional accreditation from the University Council of Jamaica... . All the programmes that we offer here at NCU have now been accredited, and that is important because we will receive wider international recognition," said Dr Lincoln Edwards, president of the institution.
Edwards, who was speaking at a press conference on Thursday at the institution's main campus, said that the institution has intensified its efforts to increases enrolment and has so far seen an increase of well over 100 students for the academic year 2018-2019.
"We having been working hard to sensitise the public that NCU offers a values-based education... . We have won the business-model competition, and no other institution in the Caribbean has won that. There are several other awards that we have won... . We do believe we have a wonderful product here at NCU," he noted.
Edwards revealed that the institution is working with the Ministry of Education to receive approval through the American Department of Education for students to use their federal aid to attend NCU.
He said that the institution has so far received approval for US Army veterans to use their veteran's aid to study there.
While many continue to bemoan the cost of the institution's offerings, Edwards remains convinced that the school is doing the best it can without a government subsidy and is of the belief that people will pay for quality.
He added that there are several initiatives in place for students who need help funding their education. One such initiative is RESCUE (Restoring Every Student's Confidence Using Education), and there are work-and-study programmes.
The institution will, for the first time, host the Third Universities of the Inter-American Division Research Conference from March 27 to 30, where 15 tertiary institutions affiliated with the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists will be represented, along with 50 overseas presenters and 25 local counterparts.
In 2019, the university will also be having a year-long celebration for its 100th anniversary.