UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean presents its greetings and hearty congratulations to the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ), the
National External Quality Assurance Agency, which will celebrate its 30th Anniversary in October 2017. Quality Assurance remains one of UNESCO’s top priorities  especially in light of the launch of our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly Goal 4 -Quality Education-To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all with keen focus on target 1- By 2030, ensuring that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.

We draw to memory the 2007 partnership established between the World Bank and UNESCO that launched the Global Initiative for Quality Assurance Capacity (GIQAC) which supported the gradual process of bolstering quality assurance in higher education in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other countries. This initiative helped to renew the focus on quality, best practices, implementation of guidelines and the promotion of dialogue among countries in order to monitor and promote the effective use of quality assurance among these vast networks of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

With the current influx of many (HEIs) emerging across Jamaica, there is a need for a greater focus on the quality of output in education, UCJ has been instrumental over the years in ensuring that Jamaica meets universal standards in that regard.

UNESCO salutes the efforts of this august institution as it champions the cause for appropriate accreditation in higher education. We support the development of Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) systems in HEIs so as to detect and discern that the level of knowledge impartation meets the highest possible world standards.

While we congratulate the UCJ on its 30 year anniversary, UNESCO also stands ready to assist the Jamaican Government where possible in the realisation of good higher educational standards and practices so that the gap between educational delivery and employment may be bridged. We salute the team at the UCJ and wish for them many more productive years.