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Open Campus Receives Accreditation in Trinidad & Tobago

For Release Upon Receipt - August 8, 2014


On July 10, 2014, The University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Open Campus continued its upward trajectory in higher education offerings by receiving mutual recognition of institutional accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT).  The certificate was presented to the Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the UWI Open Campus at a small ceremony at the office of the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training (MTEST) in Port-of-Spain. ACTT’s mutual recognition of the institutional accreditation status is for the period June 18, 2013 to June 17, 2018.

Mutual recognition signals that the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago has recognised the institutional accreditation decision granted by the Barbados Accreditation Council (BAC).  It also an endorsement of the recognition by ACTT of the quality of the Open Campus’s systems.

At the event, Trinidad & Tobago’s Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training (MTEST), Senator the Honourable Fazal Karim, commended the campus, saying that it is a sign that the campus is perceived with greater confidence throughout the Caribbean region.

He further stated that, “the status of institutional accreditation was granted to the UWI Open Campus, just about one year ago by the Barbados Accreditation Council. The Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago’s mutual recognition of this title to the institution, places confidence in the criteria of standards and performance of our sister Accreditation Council in Barbados. It means that a greater pool of persons in under-served areas and with challenging circumstances will be able to access programmes of the UWI Open Campus, in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and beyond.”

Formerly known as the Extra-Mural Department and the School of Continuing Studies in Trinidad & Tobago in its former years, the UWI Open Campus has provided many opportunities for training and development to thousands of Trinidad & Tobago nationals in areas where other higher education campuses were not accessible. Since its inception in 2008, The UWI Open has evolved its portfolio of programmes to include virtual learning platforms to facilitate online learning, as well as blending both online and face-to-face learning in its 44 physical site locations across the region. In Trinidad & Tobago, the campus has seen significant expansion since its genesis in the 2008 and continues to extend its geographic reach in the country with the construction of its Chaguanas site, which is to be named after the late Head of the Extra-Mural Department. Mr Esmond D Ramesar.

Minister Karim shared his anticipation that the UWI Open Campus will increase requests for the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) funding for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and entrepreneurship courses, and be a major catalyst for achieving the Government of Trinidad & Tobago’s target for 60 percent participation in tertiary education by 2015. The current participation rate is reported at 57 percent.

The Chaguanas centre in central Trinidad is anticipated to be “the flagship facility in the entire Caribbean”, according to Minister Karim. So far, the project has received government assistance with funding of TT$57 million for Phase A of the project. Upon completion of Phase A, which will include civil, infrastructural and building works, the new centre will be fully operational. The UWI Open Campus will implement other aspects of developmental plans for the facility on a phased basis. The proposed completion for this project is 2016.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with over 50,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Visit



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