July 2010

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A self-study from inside and out

Just over a year ago, the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI welcomed a team from the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) headed by the Ag. Executive Director, Mr. Michael Bradshaw, for an orientation session on the Accreditation and Self Study process.

It was part of an exercise towards preparing for institutional accreditation, a process led by the Self-Study Steering Committee, and supported by six working groups whose efforts, rich discussion and debates have provided the substance of the Self-Study Report that has now emerged.

This Self-Study Report is a product of the campus community’s embrace of institutional accreditation as an opportunity for reflection and deeper institutional understanding. The framework within which this introspection has been carried out is the University’s 2007-2012 Strategic Plan. The campus community deliberated over the accreditation criteria and standards for a year. Members of the six working groups debated issues and drew on the documentation of a variety of institutional regulations, systems, policies and practices. The intention of all contributors to the process that has shaped this product is that it must now serve as a living document illuminating the path as the institution continues to grow and develop. Each step along this path must be deliberate, designed with the architecture of continuous improvement and with the goal of excellence in view.

As part of the consultation, external stakeholders of The UWI were invited to read and comment on the Report and many insightful observations and suggestions were made.

With presentations from each of the six working groups prefacing each bout of questions, it was a very lively session. A staff consultation also contributed enormously to the process.

Producing the Self-Study Report was a complex exercise, but one that yielded so much value that all involved agree that continuous self-examination is the way towards staying on the cutting edge of excellence.