Mrs Althea Heron, Executive Director and Dr Dotlyn Minott, Director, Accreditation participated in the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Annual Conference and CIGQ Meeting held from January 30-February 2, 2017 in Washington DC, USA. The conference brought together over 400 quality assurance and accreditation professionals from 30 countries, including Japan, Egypt, Croatia, Israel, Jamaica, India and China.

The key takeaway from the conference was that accreditation professionals are required to adjust their practices to suit the dynamic global tertiary education landscape, while maintaining core academic values. The conference also focused on the importance of student learning outcomes, competence-based training and the need for tertiary institutions to have flexibility and autonomy so that they can become creative and innovative.

As the UCJ continuously evaluates its role in the local and international tertiary education sector, the organisation will assess the issues highlighted during the conference that are relevant to how the UCJ operates. These include:

  • the changing role of the state (government) in higher education and accreditation,
  • the rapid growth of, and recognition of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as prior learning requirements for matriculation,
  • the connection between the rapid growth in enrolment in the tertiary education sector and economic growth, and
  • the trends in the labour market: future jobs are aligned to the digital era, and jobs that require higher cognitive skills including, job transformation and retraining.