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Caribbean Maritime Institute to Get University Status

Published:Tuesday | August 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Executive Director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) Dr Fritz Pinnock has indicated that plans are well advanced which will see the institution being accorded university status.

In an interview with The Gleaner, Pinnock said that work has been ongoing to have the institute declared a university.

"We are transitioning to the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) ... it is not just a change in name but it's a repositioning of the institution, not to compete with the University of the West Indies (UWI) or University of Technology (UTech), but to create our own little niche market which we are in to being that expense to our name and what we have," he said.

According to Pinnock, "The documents are now before the legislative committee of Cabinet, that is where we have reached now, we have gone through chief parliamentary counsel, the draft bill is there, it has gone back for review, it has gone for comments all around the ministries and the various agencies so we are 95 per cent of the way where this is concerned."

The CMI boss disclosed that the process is expected to be wrapped up by early next year and the institute rebranded as the CMU.

He also argued that the transition to university status is in keeping with the international thrust that the institution has promoted over the years.

The Caribbean Maritime Institute is an international standards organisation (ISO) ISO 9001:2008 certified institution.

audits and inspections

ISO certification is awarded after rigorous audits and inspections by a certification body. ISO 9001:2008 certification is based on the ISO standard which governs quality management systems and is reviewed for recertification on an ongoing basis.

Pinnock pointed out that the cost of recertification for the institution has increased with the impending change to university status.

"One thing the ISO certification process has done for us is keep us on our toes, it cost a lot more money and it opens you to more audits and you have to rethink your process but the good thing is that you are now seen as other global universities and we have just received the BIZZ 2015 award for quality," he said.

BIZZ is considered the world's most important business award and it is presented by the World Confederation of Businesses (WORLDCOB) to the most outstanding businesses in various countries. This recognition celebrates success measured by six criteria WORLDCOB considers to represent business excellence: managerial leadership, management systems, quality of goods and services, creativity and innovation, corporate social responsibility and results.

In regards to its University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) accreditation, Pinnock said that this is an ongoing process.

"UCJ came in and completed the audit for about seven of our degree courses so we are waiting on the report just now ... we have also submitted seven new courses and we have two that went up for re-accreditation so we are just waiting on the report to come back," he said.