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The University of Technology (UTech), is to partner with 10 other tertiary institutions, to enable them to offer the Polytechnic’s programmes up to the degree level.
UTech, along with the institutions, which include the Shortwood Teachers’ College, and the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts, will sign an agreement formalising the partnership, on Tuesday, December 9.
Making the announcement at UTech’s 50th anniversary gala banquet, held at the Hilton Kingston Hotel on December 7, Pro Chancellor, Edward Seaga, noted that the institution, with its population of 10,000 students and full degree granting status, “has accomplished everything that it has had to do as a university in those respects.”
Mr. Seaga added that in recent years, the institution has been expanding by way of collaborations with comprehensive schools, in the acceptance of aspects of their curricula for university credit. This endeavour, he said, took on a new dimension following the appointment of Professor Errol Morrison as President.
“He has pursued the collaboration that began in recent years…And therefore, he has been extremely busy, along with members of staff, in having dialogue with various institutions at the tertiary level, to endeavour to create a network, within which this collaboration would be mutually interactive… and beneficial,” the Pro Chancellor said.
This effort, Mr. Seaga informed, has led to UTech being able to enter into partnerships with 10 of Jamaica’s other tertiary institutions, adding that “discussions continue with 12 more.”
Another objective, which Mr. Seaga said is being targeted is the transformation of UTech into an independent institution, capable of charting its own future on its own terms.
“That was the objective which we had hoped would have been reached by this particular (point in) time. Unfortunately, it is not yet been fully completed, but it is definitely a work in progress, and one that we look forward to achieving,” he said.
The banquet saw several awards being presented to current and past students and staff, who have distinguished themselves in various endeavours. Recipients included seven members of Jamaica’s record medal winning team to the Beijing Olympics in China, in August, who are also part of the UTech-based Maximising Velocity and Power (MVP) Track Club; their coach, Stephen Francis; and former Presidents, Dr. Alfred Sangster and Dr. Rae Davis.