- The move comes in light of the increasing use of the Internet for the delivery of tertiary education
- There is a perception that online programmes are easier and less expensive
- The UCJ will research to find out if the overseas institution is recognized and delivering quality offerings
The University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) is drafting a set of standards for the accreditation of programmes offered online.
The move comes in light of the increasing use of the Internet for the delivery of tertiary education.
“We are on the finalizing of standards for distant education. We decided that we had to do this because there is an outburst of programmes being delivered by distance,” said Director of Accreditation at the institution, Grace Gordon.
She was speaking at a recent Think Tank held at the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) headquarters on Half-Way-Tree Road.
Miss Gordon said there is a perception that online programmes are easier and less expensive. “That is not so,” she said, stating that the standards will indicate that “what needs to be in place for distant delivery is the same standards that need to be in place for face- to-face contact, plus in terms of the distance and the modality and what that requires and demands.”
The Accreditation Director is advising the public to check with the agency if they are unsure about a particular programme being offered online. She said the UCJ will research to find out if the overseas institution is recognized and delivering quality offerings.
In her remarks, Executive Director of the UCJ, Dr. Yvonnette Marshall, informed that the institution has a set of standards for tertiary institutions for the development and evaluation of their programmes at different academic levels.
She said that the standards are aligned with international benchmarks and provide guidelines as to the requirements for programme accreditation.
Chairman of the UCJ Board, Ambassador Burchell Whiteman, who also attended the Think Tank, noted that as the “quality assurance body” for tertiary education, UCJ must ensure that persons accessing tertiary level studies receive quality instruction.
He stated that a nation is judged by the quality of its educational product.
“UCJ is that body, which seeks to ensure that standards are met and to assure the public, the people of Jamaica, the employers, international community that the products of our tertiary education system are up to the required standard,” he said.