JIS News

The University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) is advising tertiary level students who are pursuing accredited programmes, to refer their concerns to the Council, if the standard of these programmes are not being upheld by the institutions.
In an interview with JIS News, Executive Director of the UCJ, Dr. Ethley London stressed that the UCJ insisted on “student centredness”, and as such, students had a right to make complaints if they had evidence that a programme was not being delivered at the required standard. She pointed out however, that the UCJ could only intervene in circumstances where the programme was accredited.
Prior to submitting their complaints to the UCJ, Dr. London said that students must first refer their complaints to their institution, and noted that it was only after their efforts had failed that they should refer the matter to the UCJ.
After the referral is made to the UCJ, she said that the organization would then investigate the matter to find out if the claims were valid.
If the complaints are valid, the institution is required to put corrective measures in place, in order to improve the programme delivery. If the institution fails to do this, it may have its accreditation for the particular programme withdrawn and/or face legal action.
“If they [students] have a complaint, and we do get complaints.not that we encourage them to complain, but they know that they are in an accredited programme, and if something is not going right, they should complain,” she said.
“What we would normally do is encourage them to first talk to their institution, and if they feel that the institution is not dealing with the matter to their satisfaction, then they can come to us,” she added.
The UCJ, a statutory body which falls under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, began operating in 1989. The organization functions as the sole accreditation body in Jamaica and seeks to increase the availability of University level education and training, through the accreditation of programmes which are recognized and accepted.
Governed by its mandate: ‘Assuring Quality in Tertiary Education’, the UCJ is empowered to grant and confer degrees, diplomas or certificates for accredited programmes, register tertiary institutions that have met the required educational standards, establish equivalence and facilitate recognition of foreign qualifications and assure the quality of programmes being offered in Jamaica by foreign institutions.

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