The Caribbean’s premier training institution for media practitioners has been renamed the Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC).
The dedication and unveiling ceremony was held on the school grounds at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, on June 22.
In his remarks, Director of CARIMAC, Professor Hopeton Dunn, said the renaming of the institution is an opportunity for it to increase its contribution on global and regional spheres on behalf of the people of the Caribbean.
“In this new framework in which we will be operating, CARIMAC will seek out new international accreditations for our special technical programmes. We will reach out to establish stronger physical presence within the Eastern Caribbean and elsewhere,” Professor Dunn said.
He added that the school will prepare new graduate and undergraduate courses covering areas such as social media marketing, as well as in sports commentary and analytics, among others.
“We will transform more of our graduate programmes into dual mode delivery, combining face to face with a higher proportion of online. We will offer the already approved Master’s Degree in Media Management, which is to be delivered in association with the Mona School of Business and Management,” he said.
Professor Dunn noted that the School will also grow its western Jamaica offerings by adding the diploma programme to new courses that are to be offered.
For his part, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI, Professor Archibald McDonald, said CARIMAC has paved the way in mass communication studies within the region.
In a speech read by Deputy Principal of the UWI, Mona Campus, Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, the Principal argued that CARIMAC has become the benchmark in higher education in media, training hundreds of the region’s most distinguished journalists and communication professionals.
“The restructuring of the school has facilitated a shift in its academic profile from being a dedicated school of journalism, to one which instructs on animation, film and television production, public relations and marketing,” he said.
Professor McDonald said with this diverse offering, CARIMAC has placed itself at the forefront of higher education in such a specialised field.
“This restructuring will not only entice many from within our shores to seek learning opportunities here, but it will also encourage both our regional and international neighbours to seek degree programmes within this school,” Professor McDonald noted.
He added that this will boost the school’s academic status internationally as well as that of the University.
The department was previously known as the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication.
CARIMAC started in 1974 with 31 students doing a one-year diploma in Mass Communication. In 1977, the Institute introduced a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, followed in 1994 by a Master of Arts in Communication Studies and in 2004 a Master of Arts in Communication for Social Behaviour Change.