Discussions to Be Held on Entrance Issue at Norman Manley Law School

Photo: Donald De La Haye Chairman of the Accreditation, Curriculum and Development Committee, University Council of Jamaica (UCJ), Dr. Lowell Dilworth (left), presents President of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Dr. Derrick Deslandes, with certificates of accreditation for several of the programmes offered at the institution. The presentation was made during the 30th anniversary awards luncheon of the UCJ at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on October 27. During the event, certificates of registration and accreditation were issued to recently registered institutions and those with programmes that have been accredited or re-accredited during the period March 2016 to September 2017.

Story Highlights

  • The Government will be engaging in discussions with stakeholders to resolve issues surrounding entrance to the Norman Manley Law School, housed at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).
  • “The intent is to make the same criteria (for entry apply to all graduates, irrespective of the university it was obtained). Everybody will go through the same prism to access the Norman Manley Law School,” he said.
  • During the event, the UCJ presented certificates of registration and accreditation to recently registered institutions and those with programmes that have been accredited or re-accredited during the period March 2016 to September 2017.

The Government will be engaging in discussions with stakeholders to resolve issues surrounding entrance to the Norman Manley Law School, housed at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

This was disclosed by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, who said the matter was raised during the last meeting of the Cabinet.

He noted that Cabinet, which endorses “the philosophy and policy of equity”, has instructed that the UWI, Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General, through the General Legal Council, work to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

“The intent is to make the same criteria (for entry apply to all graduates, irrespective of the university it was obtained). Everybody will go through the same prism to access the Norman Manley Law School,” he said.

The Minister was addressing the 30th anniversary awards luncheon of the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ), at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on October 26.

Students have voiced concerns regarding the entry process to the regional institution, which has been deemed unfair and expensive.

UWI graduates with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree gain automatic entry into the law school programme. This is facilitated by Article Three of the Treaty of Chaguaramas. Students earning LLB degrees from other institutions must sit an entrance test, and earn a passing grade, which does not guarantee admission.

The Treaty established the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), which promotes economic integration and cooperation among its members to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy.

 

In the meantime, the Minister noted that through the UCJ and the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (J-TEC), the Government is working to ensure access to quality education and an opportunity to get training and certification at the highest level.

He said the Administration is working towards perfecting its higher education model “that is not just the best in the Caribbean but the best for the world which delivers social, economic and intellectual value par excellence”.

Meanwhile, Executive Director, UCJ, Althea Heron, said over the past 30 years, the UCJ has been contributing to nation building through its role as the national external quality assurance for higher education body.

The UCJ’s quality assurance processes include the registration of institutions, programme readiness assessment, the accreditation of programmes/institutions, recognition of programmes and monitoring.

The number of registered institutions in the country now stands at 42, with 339 programmes accredited.

The Council contributes to the development of best practice principles for quality assurance regionally and internationally through its work with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); its membership and full participation on the Board of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education; the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education; and its participation at a strategic level at conferences and meetings hosted by the Council for Higher Accreditation.

During the event, the UCJ presented certificates of registration and accreditation to recently registered institutions and those with programmes that have been accredited or re-accredited during the period March 2016 to September 2017.

Staff and volunteers who have made significant contributions to the agency were also recognised.

 

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