The University of the West Indies today threw out an offer to assist other institutions with their own local accreditation after that Cave Hill Campus was presented with its certificate by the Barbados Accreditation Council.
Deputy Principal, Professor Eudine Barriteau told an audience this morning at the BAC that having gone through the process over the last ten years, they were now more than familiar with it.
“The University of the West Indies plays a very serious national development role and we would really assist. I was a little tongue in cheek about the consultancy fees and if there is an institution that could give us some money because we are cashed strapped, but very seriously, we know how to do it and it can be very, very daunting. The standards are exacting and then you have to identify specific actions plans for how you are going to meet it, but having done it we really know how to do it and we would be quite willing to assist, especially in Barbados…
“In the beginning it is like oh, all this information and it is an incredible learning process. If you approach it diagnostically in that we will learn about ourselves, that helps very much, but yes it is a very serious offer from Cave Hill,” Barriteau told Barbados TODAY.
Moments before Chairman of the Council, Yvonne Walkes, had handed over the accreditation certificate to Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, where Barriteau had noted that the learning process had enabled the campus to make some changes of its own.
“It was also a learning process. We approached the writing of the report in a diagnostic sense. We were very particular in our meetings that we did not want something descriptive. We wanted to be analytical and we wanted to confront whatever we found, and so we were not afraid of finding areas of improvement. So what was a major outcome for us, in fact a very important outcome of the process, is that when we went through it and did the diagnostic approach that we created an action plan. So the areas that we identified for improvement, we were also able to present to the quality assurance committee…,” she said.
Since the campus wanted to improve on teaching, the deputy principal said to send a message to faculty that this was being taken seriously, they created a Principal’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which would be awarded later this year.
“There are other substantive areas of course, but this is just one example of that. So the exercise was very diagnostic and in that process we also were very good at keeping documents and again the administrative system is advanced and we have a very good system and coming out of that we got to see the strength of documentation and the role it plays in higher education and proving in terms of transparency and quality enhancement, the importance of having excellent record keeping,” she said, thanking the teams as well as the BAC for the hard work over the process.
Sir Hilary called the exercise a “referendum on the campus’ growth path”, noting that according to the findings of the process they had succeeded in their endeavours and adding that the resources expended on gaining the accreditation were indeed wisely spent. (LB)