Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Head of the Caribbean Development Bank's (CDB) Social Sector Division, Yvonne Moses Grant, says the prevailing economic crisis presents Caribbean countries with an opportunity for creative innovative solutions to deal with the challenges.
  • "We must be creative and imaginative, finding the best solutions to the problems we face, creating new employment opportunities to offset the anticipated layoffs at the workplace, increasing efficiency in the production of goods and services and developing niches in industry, culture and the arts, to secure greater diversity in our economic activities," she told the launch of the University of Technology's (UTech) Enhancement Project on March 12.
  • Mrs. Moses intimated the CDB's confidence in the region's ability to rise to the challenges, noting the important role tertiary institutions must play in this dispensation, and adding that the Caribbean is blessed with professionals who are among the best in the world.

Head of the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Social Sector Division, Yvonne Moses Grant, says the prevailing economic crisis presents Caribbean countries with an opportunity for creative innovative solutions to deal with the challenges.

“We must be creative and imaginative, finding the best solutions to the problems we face, creating new employment opportunities to offset the anticipated layoffs at the workplace, increasing efficiency in the production of goods and services and developing niches in industry, culture and the arts, to secure greater diversity in our economic activities,” she told the launch of the University of Technology’s (UTech) Enhancement Project on March 12.

Mrs. Moses intimated the CDB’s confidence in the region’s ability to rise to the challenges, noting the important role tertiary institutions must play in this dispensation, and adding that the Caribbean is blessed with professionals who are among the best in the world.

“Many of them are products of the University of Technology, and other tertiary institutions right here in Jamaica. Our hope is that many more of our people, both male and female, will achieve at the pinnacle of the educational tier,” she stated.

She pointed out that the regional target for gross enrolment in tertiary institutions by 2015 is 15 per cent, and Jamaica’s estimated target is 27 per cent.

“This suggests that the Vision 2030 target of 30 percent is achievable,” she said.

Mrs. Moses contended that improving enrolment targets require fundamental reform in how tertiary institutions do business.

“They must adjust to meet the new realities with programmes and delivery modes that respond to large and growing demands for flexible home or work study programmes. Our institutions must also design programmes of excellence, capable of producing high quality graduates.

“There must be greater emphasis placed on research. We have talked about research and development in the region for years, (yet) we lag behind. So we must place greater emphasis on research to solve problems that are endemic to our region, this is the best foundation for resilience to economic shock,” she articulated.

The CDB official also noted that the growth and competitiveness of CDB borrowing member countries is, to a large extent, contingent on the number and quality of graduates produced.

She pointed out that the CDB’s support to tertiary institutions has strategically incorporated: increasing and broadening access to tertiary education; strengthening management and institutional capability; improving efficiency and effectiveness in programme delivery; and enhancing technological capacity.

“This is the holistic approach to institutional development that has informed the design of this UTech enhancement project,” Mrs. Moses added.

The US$43.9 million UTech Enhancement Project is being undertaken, against the background of the institution’s increased enrolment and expanded programme offered over its 50-year existence. Enrolment has grown from 50 students pursuing four programmes, to currently upwards of 10,500, engaged some 100 disciplines.

The scope of work will primarily comprise expansion and upgrading of the institution’s facilities, and will be jointly funded by the CDB, which is providing a US$26.9 million loan, and US$17 million which UTech is providing from its resources.

Skip to content