Mrs Althea Heron, Executive Director, the UCJ (right in photo) and Mrs Lisa Henlin, Accreditation Officer (left in photo) with other members of CANQATE's Board of Management, at the 14th annual conference held in Paramaribo, Suriname, from November 8-10, 2017.

Mrs Althea Heron, Executive Director, the UCJ, was elected as Treasurer at the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education’s (CANQATE) 14th annual conference in Paramaribo, Suriname, from November 8-10, 2017. Mrs Lisa Henlin, Accreditation Officer, was also appointed as the Regional Representative (North). Mrs Heron and Mrs Henlin will serve on CANQATE’s Board of Management for the term 2017 to 2019.

The conference, held under the theme: “Promoting Regional Co-operation in Tertiary Education Quality Assurance: Strength in Sustainable Development and Harmony in Action,” was also attended by Dr Angela Penny, Director, Research and Development, and former CANQATE board member; and Accreditation Officers, Dr Jessica Dunn and Mr Eaton Hendricks.

The pre-conference activities included a workshop titled: “Tools for Assessing Open and Distance Learning,” facilitated by Dr Jabini Franklin, Professor of Intercultural Studies, Emmaus Bible College, Iowa. The critical importance of finding ways to protect the integrity of distance learning programmes was emphasised, as was the charge to make better use of online and distance learning resources in the Caribbean.

The plenary sessions on November 9, 2017 covered topics including, “Challenges institutions face with regard to Self-assessment and Possible Solutions” facilitated by Dr Ruby Alleyne, Vice-President of the University of Trinidad and Tobago and Immediate Past President of CANQATE; and “Assuring Quality Across International Borders: Challenges and Opportunities for Foreign Institutions Operating in the Caribbean”, facilitated by Mr Janne Karkkainen, Director of Quality and Compliance, ABE, United Kingdom.

Dr Dunn presented a paper on “Defining Tertiary and Higher Education in Jamaica: Exploring Pathways to Developing an Integrated Higher Education System” at a concurrent session on November 9, 2017. Attendees at the workshop included Immediate Past-President of CANQATE, Dr Ronald Brunton; President, Mr Vincent Alexander (Chairman, National Accreditation Council, Guyana); CANQATE Board representatives; participants from Ministries and Departments of Education (Suriname, Belize, Guyana), Higher Education Institutions and External Quality Assurance Agencies from the region.

Meanwhile, Mr Hendricks and Dr Dunn presented on the topic “The Utility of Institutional Data: Examining Perceived and Actual Applications of Institutional Research” on November 10, 2017.