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UCC Report - UCC is Students' Loan Bureau-approved

Published:Sunday | April 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Hundreds of applicants for student loans camped outside the Students' Loan Bureau offices in New Kingston in this April 2005 file photo as they attempted to meet the deadline for applicants to submit their forms. - File Photo
Winston Adams, UCC president and chairman. - Contributed Photo

  • UCC Report - UCC is Students' Loan Bureau-approved

The University College of the Caribbean (UCC) is the newest addition to the list of Students' Loan Bureau (SLB) approved tertiary institutions. The SLB was established to facilitate accessible higher education for all Jamaicans who meet the requirements.

The criteria for assessment include an appraisal of the individual's financial situation, two referees who are not family members, as well as two guarantors who may be relatives or friends. Currently, all qualified Jamaicans who are desirous of pursuing higher education at the UCC, but who may not be able to because of their financial position, may now utilise the SLB facility to access funding. Loans are available for both undergraduate and postgraduate study at the UCC. It is important to understand the fact that postgraduate candidates are only eligible if they are employed and includes possible funding for the Florida International University executive master's degrees facilitated by the UCC.

The SLB requires that all the institutions for which they facilitate funding provide quality education. This requirement is attached to the need for the programmes offered to be accredited. Notably, the following degree programmes offered by the UCC are accredited by the University Council of Jamaica. These include:

  • Bachelor of Science degree in human resource management
  • Bachelor of Science degree in business administration
  • Bachelor of Science degree in marketing
  • Bachelor of Science degree in information technology
  • Associate of Science degree in business administration
  • Associate of Science degree in management information systems

Approved candidates

The application cycle for the SLB is open between January and April each year. The application form is available from the SLB offices on the 5th floor of the NCB Towers, located at 2 Oxford Road Kingston 5. Approved candidates may be eligible for up to 100 per cent of their tuition fees. Importantly, some persons may also be beneficiaries of the bureau's 'Grant-in-Aid' programme, which provides part of the cost of books and living expenses as a gift. The UCC is dedicated to providing accessible, quality education. The partnership between the SLB and the UCC is representative of this commitment.

  • UCC for Caribbean Conference on Higher Education in South America

The UCC has been invited to the Caribbean Conference on Higher Education by the Organisation of American States (OAS), the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC), and the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean. This conference will focus on an assessment of the tertiary-education system in the Caribbean in an effort to explore opportunities for regional cooperation on issues of significance, in relation to higher education.

The conference will be held on April 12 and 13 in Paramaribo, Suriname and is pursuant to exploring the issues and recommendations as having been determined in the Final Communiqué of the World Conference on Higher Education (WCHE 2009), which was held in July of last year. From that conference, several issues of importance were identified, these include: The transitioning of Caribbean colleges to universities; quality assurance and accreditation; policy challenges; the role of higher education in Caribbean development and the link with the labour market. These are all hallmark issues attributable to the regional higher education framework.

The conference seeks to invite the participation of policymakers, educators and experts. Winston Adams, founder and president of UCC, will most certainly be an enthusiastic participant. The educational needs of the region are evolutionary. This is exemplified by the advancement of the now accredited UCC from its early beginning as the Institute of Management Science and through the merger with the Institute of Management Production. The growth of the UCC is indicative of the wider higher educational framework, as it pertains in the region. The Caribbean Conference on Higher Education has established an agenda, which aims to examine the Caribbean higher education model, within this evolutionary context. Importantly, the needs of Haiti are significant, and this forum will also be used to consider the higher education system there, with a view to determine what will be necessary for its reconstruction. The conference is indeed a pragmatic approach towards achieving a practical cooperating framework, upon which to build the educational institutions in the Caribbean.