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  • Executive Director of the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission, Maxine Henry-Wilson, is urging Jamaicans to enroll in accredited and reputable institutions when pursuing tertiary studies.
  • Mrs. Henry-Wilson said that there are several criteria that goes into determining the quality of a university.
  • There are various types of tertiary institutions that offer different levels of certification.

Executive Director, Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission, Maxine Henry-Wilson, is urging Jamaicans to enroll in accredited and reputable institutions when pursuing tertiary studies.

“We use the word university very loosely in Jamaica, with (institutions) calling themselves university, and they are not universities. I want you to bear that in mind because when you get a certificate, whether it is a Bachelor, Master or Associate Degree and you are taking it somewhere and you say, ‘I have been to ‘x’ university’, the people are going to look it up,” she pointed out.

“They are either going to look on the University Council of Jamaica website or another website and if it is not a university, the value of your certificate is not worth what they say it is,” she said, adding that the credentials sought, should have value worldwide.

Mrs. Henry-Wilson, who was addressing a public forum on ‘Financing Tertiary Education’ held on Tuesday, February 25, at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) auditorium in New Kingston, said that there are several criteria that goes into determining the quality of a university, such as the qualifications of the staff, and the various systems of teaching and learning.

She noted that there are various types of tertiary institutions that offer different levels of certification.  “A college is different from a university. A polytechnic institute is a kind of university, but it focuses on particular kinds of subjects, then you have community colleges, which tend to have a wide range of offerings,” she pointed out.

She said that there are also differences in the cost, standard and quality of the programmes offered. “You will find that programmes which are largely lectures, tend to be cheaper than those that require apprenticeships and those that require equipment for use,” she noted.

Mrs. Henry-Wilson said that one of the main roles of the Commission is to ensure that institutions that offer programmes have the appropriate infrastructure.

She is encouraging Jamaicans to plan and prepare for tertiary education and register for programmes that are consistent with global requirements and standards.

Other speakers at the forum included: Chief Strategic Director, RateBee, Claudja Williams; and Public Relations Officer, Student Loan Bureau, Analisa Downes-Allen.

The forum sought to demonstrate that a solid tertiary education is accessible to all Jamaicans and to provide information on the steps the Government is taking to ensure that this remains true and that the quality of education will improve over time.