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Thwaites envisions only three accredited universities

Published:Friday | July 10, 2015 | 3:41 PM

Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites on Friday signalled that only three universities could be granted accreditation from the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ).

While he did not name the universities, he did indicate that it was the policy of the Ministry of Education to limit the number of universities that receive institutional accreditation.

He was speaking at his office where the book, Quality in Higher Education in the Caribbean, authored by Dr Anna Kasafi Perkins, was presented to him.

Thwaites welcomed the contribution of Perkins' book to the discussion on quality in education and said he would be recommending it to the UCJ.

"This is of great importance in a context where university programmes are bubbling up monthly; where this ministry is being asked to accord advanced status and high salaries to the graduates of B&B college or some other arcane name," he said.

"Everybody wants institutional accreditation and we don't favour that. The Government's policy is that we should be sparing with granting institutional accreditation but promote greater latitude in how the quality-assured programmes are delivered in Wait-a-Bit, Trelawny, or St Thomas, or elsewhere. This probably is presumptuous of me, but looking forward, I see three accredited universities in Jamaica and the others related in various ways."

Perkins indicated that the book was unique in that it was the first of its kind to chronicle the work of quality assurance practitioners and academics in the region.