At the St Augustine Campus of The UWI, accreditation of professional programmes has been the norm and I am pleased to announce that the Campus has begun its candidacy for Continuing Institutional Accreditation with the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT). The Campus previously received full institutional accreditation from the ACTT for the period 2011-2018.
Former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal, Professor Clement Sankat, launched the continuing institutional accreditation candidacy of the St Augustine Campus in May, 2016 when the ACTT conducted a one-day ‘Orientation Workshop’ for the Campus’. In his opening remarks at the Workshop, he noted the importance of Institutional Accreditation to the St Augustine Campus, as it serves as a tool for the continued enhancement of our programmes, operations and processes and therefore enables us to better position our Campus to achieve our overarching vision.
The Campus’ institutional accreditation candidacy is indicative of the campus leadership’s commitment, through this exercise, to assess institutional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the framework of The UWI Strategic Plan 2012-2017 and against the background of the specific accreditation criteria and standards. This assessment is being facilitated principally through two key internal mechanisms: the Self-Study Steering Committee; five working groups on each of the five accreditation categories and a sixth working group on a theme of particular importance to The UWI: Graduate Studies Research, Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
It must be noted that accreditation is voluntary, but registration with the ACTT is a legal requirement. The Campus stands to gain tremendous benefits from the accreditation process. These include institutional strengthening in terms of governance, administration, teaching, facilities, research and our quality management system, as well as overall enhancement of the education system in Trinidad and Tobago in particular, and strengthening public confidence in the continuing excellence of The UWI and its graduates. In the last cycle, The UWI St Augustine Campus led the way in programme and institutional accreditation within The UWI system; we were referred to as the “pioneers of institutional accreditation”. Under the new theme “Engaging Stakeholders: Meeting Needs, Rising to Challenges” we look to the 2018 accreditation with a renewed sense of focus and I know that our colleagues engaged in the various self-study working groups have approached this task with much enthusiasm.
Dr Sandra Gift, Senior Programme Officer, Quality Assurance Unit, the Vice Chancellery, St Augustine Campus is Chair of the Self-Study Steering Committee (ext. 82584). Professor Jonas Addae, Professor of Physiology, Department of Pre-Clinical Sciences is Deputy Chair (Tel. 645 3232, ext. 4599). Mr Kristen Cockburn, Project Coordinator-Process Improvement Team, Institutional Effectiveness Unit, Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal is serving as Self-Study Coordinator (ext. 83668). For further information, please contact either Dr Gift, Professor Addae or Mr Cockburn.
I thank you and look forward to your collaboration and support of this important process.
Professor Brian Copeland
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal
St. Augustine Campus
As the St Augustine Campus immerses itself in the process of preparing its continuing institutional accreditation Self-Study Report, the opportunity is again presented for deep introspection, critical self-examination, and robust discussion among members of the campus community involved in the process in various capacities. Staff demonstrate their engagement, enthusiasm and commitment in their sharing of knowledge and experience, questioning of process and practice and visioning of the ideal future for the Campus, even amid on-going efforts to overcome current challenges. Awareness of the importance of evidence and therefore access to data, both quantitative and qualitative, is high. This in itself is indicative of the value of the accreditation process and the active learning it promotes.
There is also recognition of the need to demonstrate compliance with the ACTT institutional accreditation criteria and standards while at the same time communicating the Campus’s distinguishing features and its performance relating to the University’s particular mission and goals. The story being told emerges from the invaluable reflections, dialogue, debates and narratives of the Chairs and members of the self-study working groups , supported and guided by the Self-Study Executive Committee, Steering Committee and Editorial Committee. Each contribution is vitally important and deeply appreciated. As Chair of the Self-Study Steering Committee I would like to express my sincere thanks to all contributors to the St Augustine Campus’ continuing institutional accreditation self-study process, 2016-2017.
Dr. Sandra Gift
Self-Study Steering Committee