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The Island’s tertiary education landscape has been further widened with the establishment of a partnership between Caribbean International College (CIC) and international partners, Resource Development International, to provide tertiary level training in six areas.
This will allow individuals to pursue further studies in Business, Information Technology and Management at the graduate and undergraduate level through distance learning.
Speaking at the launch of the collaboration at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday (January 25), Chief Executive Officer of New Heights Learning, Eddie Leighton said the partnership would prove invaluable to Jamaicans.
Referring to CIC’s role he said, “we expect to be the leading local provider of flexible and accessible world-class university programmes.” With the partnership, CIC will be the supporting agent for programmes from the internationally recognized bodies. These are Edexcel International and the University of Sunderland.
From the University of Sunderland and Edexcel, CIC will offer courses in the areas of Business Management and Business Information Technology at the graduate level, Management at the graduate and diploma level, as well as the Higher National Diploma in Business Management and Business Information Technology.
In explaining the rationale behind the small range of course offerings, Mr. Leighton said the approach was to offer a core group of courses initially before widening its offerings so as to ensure its ability to properly support the programmes and coach the students effectively.
The partnership will be the first of its kind in Jamaica as there is now local support for students pursuing their degrees with British Universities.
Vouching for the programme’s quality and recognition he said the University of Sunderland and Edexcel International, one of the leading examining and awarding bodies internationally were renowned for the calibre of their subject offerings and were fully accredited and recognized internationally.
According to Mr. Leighton, one unique aspect of the programme was its zero percent interest free financing option, which facilitates the easy payment of fees in monthly, quarterly or yearly installments at competitive prices. Fees include all course materials inclusive of textbooks.
Registration remains open up to the start of the programme and begins in April of this year. Additionally the CIC has four intake periods, specifically, January, April, July and October for registration. There are also no application fees.
Mr. Leighton said the absence of the application fee was to allow a fair assessment and ascertain the value of the programme to the potential student. CIC also boasts flexible entry requirements for persons who have not completed or begun studies at the Advanced level (A Level) or its equivalent Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
According to Mr. Leighton the provision in no way compromised the quality of the programme. Furthermore he said students could contact their tutors via fax, email or telephone and also access their course materials in virtual classrooms via the net and also establish contact with other students across the world in the same programme.
He also emphasized that the value of the degree gained through distance education was the same as when gained from full time study. “Distance learning is not a solitary process it is a alternative study process that is extremely advantageous for students who do not live close to the programme provider or who want freedom to study when and where they like within a structured but flexible personal timetable.”
Meanwhile Regional Director of RDI, John Evans said the flexible approach to education as reflected in the RDI model has resulted in a 95 per cent graduation success rate and a cost efficient way of accessing further education and qualification, by allowing students to remain in their home countries and continue their career without disruption. He said similar partnerships had been developed in St. Lucia, Dominica, Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts, Trinidad, and Antigua with a student body of over 500 students.
RDI is an international organization operating in numerous countries around the world. It was established in 1990 and works in partnership with renowned British Universities and professional bodies to deliver internationally recognized, and accredited business and management education to individuals and organizations, by flexible methods through more than 30 centres worldwide.
Meanwhile, CIC is a relatively new unit under the New Heights Learning umbrella, the holding company for the independent high school Maths Unlimited. CIC offers university access programmes and is located at 6-8 Parkington Plaza, Kingston 10. The Ministry of Education has given its support to the initiative.

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