UCJ launches quality assurance management system

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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LILLIPUT, St James — The University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) will today launch its Integrated Quality Assurance Management System (IQAMS), that is aimed at managing stakeholders' input and the administration of its quality assurance services in higher education.

Assistant chief education officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr Phylicia Marshall, in hailing the imminent launch of the system, says it will assist with efficiency at the UCJ.

“I am sure that with the introduction of this business process automation initiative, the UCJ will be able to function more effectively in carrying out its work of quality assurance in higher education,” stated Marshall, who added, “the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information welcomes and endorses this initiative as we continue to work collaboratively to deliver a high-quality education product to all our stakeholders.”

Marshall said, too, that the management system will assist the UCJ with transnational recognition.

“This new Integrated Quality Assurance Management System will enable the University Council of Jamaica to deliver its quality assurance services to higher education providers more effectively, including registration, programme and institutional accreditation, transnational recognition, and monitoring,” she said.

The assistant chief education officer said the move is being undertaken as part of the Government's commitment to continuous improvement and modernisation of ministries, departments and agencies. She said more information would be given on the management system and other initiatives during the week.

Marshall was speaking on behalf of Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid at the University Council of Jamaica Symposium on Quality Education and launch of UCJ's IQAMS at the Iberostar Hotels and Resorts in St James yesterday.

Chairperson of the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions Professor Marlene Hamilton expressed hope that, in due course, other bodies will be able to also use the technology.

“I note with both pleasure and muted excitement the launch of UCJ's Integrated Quality Assurance Management System, to take place tomorrow (today). This new automated system holds much promise for improved efficiency and quality assurance reviews. And I hope that in due course, the UCJ might be able to share this technology with other bodies,” stated Professor Hamilton, who added, “obviously at a cost, but I think this is very important.”

In the meantime, Marshall said the importance of UCJ cannot be overstated, especially within the context of education and training being among the growth sectors of the society.

She said this is the case when one considers the increased demand for relevant and practical training programmes that are aligned to the demands of today's marketplace, and also greater access to courses.

“Students who seek to attend our institutions do so with the expectation that they will be receiving a quality educational experience and that the certificate that they obtained at the end of their programme of study will be recognised locally and internationally. They, and their families, will oftentimes expend considerable financial resources in the confidence that the institutions are operating within the parameters of nationally and internationally accepted standards.

“Employers, institutions and the general public must therefore have confidence in the knowledge and competence of the graduates of our institutions for the various professions as well as for further studies,” she said.

Marshall insisted that public accountability is of “paramount importance and herein lies the value of the University Council of Jamaica”.

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