The Barbados Accreditation Council has certified the University of the West Indies for the next six years.
The official presentation of the certificate of institutional accreditation occurred yesterday during a brief ceremony at the BAC’s Roebuck Street offices, where Deputy Principal Professor Eudine Barriteau explained that six years was granted to allow all the campuses to be recertified at the same time in 2019.
She explained that it had taken 10 years to complete the process because there were a number of elements that had to be put in place, not just locally but at the CARICOM and regional level to ensure all the campuses likewise recognised the accreditation.
“You cannot become accredited before you are registered and we became registered in 2008, and after that registration process you then apply for accreditation. So it may seem like a long time, but the university existed before the accreditation bodies,” she said, adding further that there needed to be a local accreditation body present in order to certify an institution.
“It is a process of reciprocity because as you know the University of the West Indies is a regional body and we had to work out with CARICOM, because although the Barbados Accreditation Council is accrediting the Cave Hill Campus, in a sense it is accrediting an arm of UWI, so again the process had to be worked out in CARICOM that there would be an agreement that when the Barbados Accreditation Council recognises the Cave Hill Campus as institutionally accredited, that the other national accreditation bodies existing will reciprocate. SO the one in St. Augustine and the one in Mona will recognise what Barbados Accreditation Council has done…,” she said adding that this was similarly done for the other campuses when they were accredited.
Regional and national data, she said, had to be synchronised. The reason Cave Hill and recently the Open Campus were granted six years accreditation, she added, was because those were the last two to be recognised and the accreditation for Trinidad and Jamaica would run out in time for all the campuses to be recertified together.
Chairman of the council, Yvonne Walkes said the Cave Hill Campus had shown commitment to “quality enhancement” when it sought accreditation, noting that the BAC had a role to play in enabling an environment for encouraging a quality culture within tertiary education and the training sector.
“In small developing countries such as Barbados where competition comes not only from local providers, but international providers of education and training services, accreditation can provide that competitive edge within the tertiary education and training environment.
“It is our belief as a Council that no person should be left behind or marginalised for whatever reason. As a consequence, the BAC will continue to make available to tertiary educational providers the means through which continuous self-improvement may be attained,” said Walkes. (LB)