Higher education central to development agenda - Williams
Education and Youth Minister, Fayval Williams (second left), with (from left) Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (JTEC), Dr Dameon Black; President of the University of Technology (UTech) Jamaica Students’ Union, Tavoy Barrett and Assistant Registrar, Student Services, UTech Jamaica, Dorrset Gabbidon Pottinger. Event was the UTech Jamaica Students’ Union Future of Education ‘Think Tank’, held on Tuesday (January 24) at the institution in St Andrew. (Photo: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Ministry of Education and Youth is focusing on higher education as a top priority, as part of the Government’s development agenda.

Cabinet has granted approval for the development of a National Higher Education Policy, with the goal of increasing quality assurance and monitoring of higher education institutions.

Addressing the University of Technology (UTech) Jamaica Students’ Union Future of Education ‘Think Tank’ on Tuesday, Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams said development of the policy will seek to address the challenges and obstacles to higher education.

“We have put our best minds at the Ministry to think about a higher education policy. They have spent a lot of time speaking to stakeholders and they have also spoken to students as well to just improve how we want higher education to be structured, what it is that we want and how do we align higher education with the labour market and what incentives do we give,” the minister explained.

Noting that financing tertiary education is a significant challenge for the majority of students, Williams said this is one of several areas being closely examined under the policy.

“I believe that financing of tertiary education has to include in it not just what you pay for tuition but also room and board, books and supplies,” Williams added.

The minister said with the crafting of the policy, they will also seek to increase the number of students engaged in higher education.

“We want more of our students graduating from high school to take that path to higher education,” Williams continued.

The policy will provide a framework that should streamline that sector to work in a cohesive and efficient manner and facilitate the relevant achievements and outcomes of Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan towards national sustainable development.

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