Mona Granted Institutional Accreditation

The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus has been granted institutional accreditation by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ), for a period of seven (7) years, the maximum time possible. The accreditation took effect from February 1, 2012. This is a significant development for the UWI, Mona, which is now the first institution in Jamaica to secure institutional accreditation from the UCJ, as a way of validating its quality standards. Institutional accreditation means that all the undergraduate and graduate programmes currently being offered by The UWI, Mona, are recognized.

In its Letter of Accreditation, which is the instrument granting the accreditation, the UCJ congratulated the institution on having achieved this milestone, adding that it expected the University to effect the on-going strengthening of the institution by focusing on its unique regional mission while continuing to serve its students with its undergraduate and graduate programmes. The UCJ also asked the institution to continue engaging a broad range of internal and external stakeholders in its major planning initiatives, including, as it has been doing, the development of its strategic plan.

In welcoming the development, Professor Shirley noted that the University’s accredited status provides the assurance to stakeholders of its commitment to excellence as well as official confirmation that UWI students are receiving high quality tertiary level education.

The Certificate indicating Accreditation was presented to Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Gordon Shirley, at an awards ceremony hosted jointly by the University Council of Jamaica and the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE) on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

Accreditation has become increasingly relevant in an environment in which the liberalization of higher education will become effective under the terms of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Given the current competitive structure of the regional market for tertiary education, this development means that more than ever before, institutions of higher education will have to become more accountable to their various stakeholders.

From its establishment by Royal Charter and the support of fifteen Caribbean governments, The University of the West Indies (UWI) had adopted rigorous internal quality assurance measures for its programmes, including external reviews and external examiners. However, given the changing environment, The UWI took the decision to seek accreditation of the institution from the appropriate accrediting bodies in the region. Each of these bodies recognizes and accepts the accreditation granted by the others. The St. Augustine Campus sought, and has obtained, accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Trinidad & Tobago. The Cave Hill Campus and the Open Campus are currently seeking accreditation from the Barbados Accreditation Council.