The University Council of Jamaica’s (UCJ) celebrated its 30th Anniversary during October 2017, under the theme,“30 Years of Enabling National Development through Quality Assurance.” The celebration is one that the UCJ will cherish for years to come as it provided a significant opportunity for the organisation to reflect on its work and achievements since its inception in 1987.
On Sunday, October 8, 2017, the celebration commenced with a Thanksgiving Service held at the Boulevard Baptist Church in Kingston. Members of the UCJ Council, staff, volunteers and representatives from the agencies of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI) were in attendance.
The celebration continued on Thursday, October 19, 2017, with the hosting of the 6th Dr Dennis Irvine Lecture, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. The lecture was introduced in 2007 to honour the work and memory of the late renowned educator, Dr Dennis Irvine, the UCJ’s founding Chairman. Dr Lincoln Edwards, President, Northern Caribbean University and guest lecturer examined the topic, “Enabling Development: International Standards, Our Future.”
The Honourable Floyd Green, State Minister, MOEYI brought greetings during the event. He encouraged higher education institutions to ensure that their programme offerings are aligned to the nation’s economic priorities, developmental goals and international standards. A live outside broadcast of the lecture was aired on Nationwide 90FM from 6-8pm.
The toast of the celebration was the 30th Anniversary Awards Luncheon. During the luncheon, the UCJ presented certificates of Registration and Accreditation to recently registered institutions and those with programmes that had been accredited or re-accredited during the period March 2016-September 2017. Staff and volunteers who have made significant contributions to the UCJ were also recognised.
Senator, the Honourable Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, in his address to key stakeholders at the luncheon focused on, the government’s vision for higher education in Jamaica, edu-tourism and the greater parity in the allocation of funds to higher education institutions as well as the improvement of quality assurance systems. He cited these areas as key priorities of the Government.
Speaking after the 30th Anniversary Awards Luncheon, Mrs Althea Heron, Executive Director, the UCJ said, “as the organisation progresses, the UCJ recognises that it has a key role to play in Jamaica’s achievement of the objectives outlined in the Vision 2030 – National Development Plan, and we are committed to continuously assuring quality in the higher education sector.”