JIS News

Story Highlights

  • J-TEC CEO, Maxine Henry-Wilson, is insisting that reform of the tertiary education system must include institutions taking into account the non-academic experience of applicants.
  • The tertiary sector must move away from institutional arrangements of stand-alone entities, to a system where competitors are pursuing international franchises and networks of consortia.
  • The Government is committed to ensuring this framework is in place for tertiary institutions, noting that the creation of J-TEC is part of that strategy.

Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (J-TEC), Maxine Henry-Wilson, is insisting that reform of the tertiary education system must include institutions taking into account the non-academic experience of applicants.

Mrs. Henry-Wilson, who was the keynote speaker at the International University of the Caribbean (IUC) Research Day Conference 2014, held on Thursday, April 3, said currently, “matriculation requirements do not sufficiently take into account the non-academic experiences and assets of applicants”.

She pointed out that there is much to be done to reform the sector, and build a coherent and synergistic system, which is standards-driven and not based on individual institutional measurements.

Mrs. Henry-Wilson insisted that the practices in the tertiary sector must entail: movement away from institutional arrangements of stand-alone entities, to a system where competitors are pursuing international franchises and networks of consortia.

Mrs. Henry-Wilson further argued that these reformed standards and practices must ensure that qualifications that are portable and take account of the reality of the cross-border movement of graduates, both virtually and physically.

She said the Government is committed to ensuring this framework is in place for tertiary institutions, noting that the creation of J-TEC is part of that strategy.

The mandate of the J-TEC is to register and regulate the tertiary education sector and create a synergistic tertiary system, with well-articulated institutions meeting the needs of education of the highest quality.

According to Mrs. Henry-Wilson, the promotion and championing of research that speaks to local problem-solving and exploration of wider issues will be central to the work of J-TEC.

“Research, development and application will underpin all our work. The tertiary sector must lead the thrust to innovation so that we can reverse the reputation of being imitators and take our place in the line of creators,” she said.

In congratulating IUC on its Research Day Conference, Mrs. Henry-Wilson said the conference is consistent with the vision of the institution, which she noted, has a rich history of educational intervention, high academic and research standards, and a commitment to community engagement.

“You are uniquely placed to make a robust contribution to the public debate about the transformation of the tertiary sector and how we fulfill the historic promise of using education as a ladder, not only for social mobility, but social change,” she stated.