University of the West Indies
University of the West Indies
APRIL 28, 2006
Prof Lawrence Carrington Pro Vice-Chancellor, Non-Campus Countries and Distance Education, UWI - Chair
Dr Clarice Barnes Consultant, Education
Prof Ian Boxill Representative, UWI Mona Campus
Mr Edwin Brandon Programme Coordinator, ONCCDE
Mrs University of the West Indies Hyacinth Browne President, Montserrat Union of Teachers
Mr Claude Browne Agriculturist
Mr Vernon Buffonge Dentist
Mrs Daphne Cassell Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education
Ms Ernestine Cassell Director of Tourism
Ms Gracelyn Cassell Resident Tutor, School of University of the West Indies Continuing Studies
Mrs Elveta Chalmers Tourist Board
Mr Julian Daniel Political Candidate
The Hon. Margaret Dyer-Howe Minister of Agriculture
Mr Easton Farrell Manager, MSJ Flower Shop
Mrs Sarita Francis Permanent Secretary, Office of the Chief Minister
Mr Claude University of the West Indies Gerald Director of Agriculture
Mrs Angela Greenaway Permanent Secretary, Development Unit
Ms Kathleen Greenaway Director of Education
Prof E. Nigel Harris Vice-Chancellor, UWI
Ms Patricia Harrison Representative, Office of Finance, UWI
Ms Sheree University of the West Indies Jemmotte Member Steering Committee – Alumni Association
Ms Rosemary Jordan Administrative Assistant, OBNCCDE
The Hon. Dr Lowell Lewis Member of Legislative Council
Prof Stewart Marshall Director, Distance Education Centre, UWI
The Hon. Idabelle Meade Minister of Education University of the West Indies, Health and Culture
The Hon. John Osborne Chief Minister
Mr Paul Payne Principal, Montserrat Community College
Mr Donaldson Romeo Manager, Romeo’s Wayside Store
Mr Graham Ryan Volcanologist, Montserrat Volcano Observatory
Mrs Patricia Ryan Retired teacher
Mr Elijah Silcott Labour Commissioner
Mrs University of the West Indies Laura Taylor-Scotland Principal Community Development Officer
^ OPENING REMARKS
The Chair welcomed participants to the consultation and expressed his thanks on behalf of the University members for the courtesies on their arrival and University of the West Indies the warmth of the welcome they had received. He assured the participants that the consultation had not been scheduled with a view to influencing the imminent election in Montserrat.
The Chair remarked that University of the West Indies the University was acutely aware of the shortcomings of its operations beyond the three campuses. He observed that in his letter of invitation, the Vice-Chancellor had stated his University of the West Indies desire to “redress the imbalance in the University’s contribution to the region from almost exclusive attention to the three campus countries towards more equitable and nuanced concern for all the countries that own and University of the West Indies support the University”. He had proposed a series of meetings with stakeholders to review national needs and projections and to consider to what extent, and through what mechanisms, the University could realistically University of the West Indies aim to make a significant contribution. He noted that the present meeting was the eighth in the series.
The aim of the consultation was to learn of the human resource University of the West Indies needs in Montserrat and its priorities for tackling them so as to identify ways in which the University could most usefully contribute to them.
The Chair suggested that the University of the West University of the West Indies Indies was more amenable to new relationships than in the past. He noted various initiatives within the University that testified to this new openness:
The Chancellor’s task force on the governance University of the West Indies structures of the University.
A major review of the examination system.
A major review of the post-graduate programmes. (Implementation groups for both these reviews were now active.)
Promotion of the creation University of the West Indies of a Caribbean research foundation.
The formation of a group to examine university financing.
The planned creation of a UWI consultancy company.
The extensive restructuring of outreach activity to constitute University of the West Indies a 4th dispersed and largely virtual campus.
The Chair stressed that the consultation was a working meeting, in which those present should feel free to express their views and thoughts and where the University of the West Indies emphasis should be on the consequences of the meeting rather than on the rhetoric within it.
^ Position Statements
The Hon. Idabelle Meade, Minister of Education, Health, and Culture
The Minister welcomed the University members University of the West Indies to Montserrat and congratulated the University on proposing and implementing a consultation on human resource needs. She observed that Montserrat faced severe reductions and disruption because of the volcano. By 1997, its population University of the West Indies had fallen by about 74%, with a resultant loss of core skills and institutional memory in both the public and private sectors. She noted that by now the фокус had shifted from response University of the West Indies to the emergency to efforts to rebuild a small-island state in a sustainable way, capitalising on the tertiary education acquired by numbers in the diaspora who were poised to University of the West Indies return home.
Considerable resources had been devoted to determining and meeting the education and training needs of the population. Various surveys identified the main gaps, and a policy had been implemented to redesign University of the West Indies the Community College (prior to the volcano, the Montserrat Technical College). Key issues influencing the new image for the College were:
The small size of the population and the need to retain and University of the West Indies increase it;
The need to expand the human resource base;
The need to retool and retrain the workforce;
The need to revitalise the private sector
The promotion of self-reliance.
The Minister reported University of the West Indies that the Montserrat Community College opened in September 2004. It would soon be graduating its second class, with an enrolment of 17. She noted that this figure reveals the low level of University of the West Indies access to tertiary education: 70% of students coming from secondary schooling were not accessing tertiary training.
The Minister then outlined key human resource needs and projections.
^ The public service
The Minister explained that University of the West Indies in the local context the public sector must assume the role of the engine of growth. She noted that as a British dependency Montserrat was a member of the European Union, while University of the West Indies also a member of CARICOM. Its public sector needed to investigate the implications of globalisation, the WTO and GATTS. It foresaw opportunities in education and health tourism.
The Minister observed that there was University of the West Indies 100% intranet connectivity among the public service. A public sector modernisation programme sought to achieve reforms in the structure, systems, and procedures of the public sector to support a sustainable development plan.
Many areas University of the West Indies needed capacity building, including:
Policy, research, and analysis
Human resource and financial management
Managerial leadership and supervisory management
Work force/private sector
The Minister observed that many employees in this sector had left and University of the West Indies to some extent had been replaced by migrants, an option now мейд easier by the CSME. This presented a challenge for education and at the level of social interaction University of the West Indies. She referred to a recent forum conducted by the ECCB at which discussion of the question, “what makes us different?” revealed the commonalities that united the participants. It was necessary to use culture to facilitate University of the West Indies social advancement.
The Minister emphasised the importance of people accepting training to seize new opportunities and tackle the challenges of competition. Skilled persons must be willing to take on University of the West Indies new jobs and recognise their responsibility to engage in continuing education. Their employers must likewise make education and training a priority. People must take responsibility for their growth; it was easier to University of the West Indies upgrade one’s skills than become unemployed and retrain in the hope of finding a new job. Educational institutions must take work experience into account. Matriculation was currently a problem with 70% not accessing University of the West Indies tertiary education, in part because of the lack of prerequisite qualifications.
Areas in which efforts had been мейд or which were to be tackled included:
A computer training programme for men in University of the West Indies which uptake had been spectacular
Communication and relationship management
Problem-solving and decision-making
Workplace safety and health training
Lifelong learning skills
The Minister reported that the Executive Council had identified 51 priority areas for training during University of the West Indies the 2006/07 academic year. She commented that with respect to agricultural science more research in agriculture was needed. The government had invested in agricultural education but local produce could hardly be found in shops. Other University of the West Indies areas included: land surveying; architecture; electrical and mechanical engineering; teacher education; public health nursing; records management; environmental management; visual and performing arts; and sports and physical education. The Minister expressed University of the West Indies the hope that, with the imminent completion of a new cultural centre, the University could encourage various forms of cultural exchange.
More generally, the Minister observed that Montserrat expected a variety of partnerships with University of the West Indies UWI to continue. She noted that there had recently been a series of in-country training programmes delivered by the Faculty of Law at Cave Hill in public law. Similar in-country University of the West Indies offerings might be мейд of the CMD diploma in public sector management, for instance.
Other types of collaboration might include:
Housing and real estate management, ideally suited for the distance University of the West Indies education modality.
The provision of tertiary level programmes through collaboration among the SCS, the MCC and the Government’s training division and the Labour Department.
Besides academic programmes, such collaboration might cover also University of the West Indies conversational Spanish, occupational health and safety for construction workers, and skills upgrading for those in the hospitality sector.
The alumni might play a role in providing financial assistance to students or University of the West Indies in organising regular conferences or workshops (the Minister noted the contribution of the new Resident Tutor to reviving the alumni association in the island).
Assistance with dealing with accreditation of the various external University of the West Indies providers who want to set up in Montserrat.
Centres of excellence: the Minister noted that Montserrat was poised to establish centres of excellence in telecommunications, emergency management, and – calling upon the resources of University of the West Indies the Montserrat Volcano Observatory – volcanology. Much help had already been received in this last area from the Seismic Research Unit, but these were areas in which much more could be achieved University of the West Indies in the future.
^ Professor E. Nigel Harris, Vice-Chancellor, University of the West Indies
The Vice-Chancellor began by observing that Montserrat provided an inspiring story for the rest of Caribbean. He University of the West Indies congratulated the Minister on a well thought out and comprehensive plan with respect to tertiary education in Montserrat.
The Vice-Chancellor indicated that the University’s mission was to propel the economic, social University of the West Indies, political and cultural development of West Indian society through teaching, research, innovation, advisory and community services, and intellectual leadership. He intended it to be the University of first choice for Caribbean nationals seeking high University of the West Indies quality undergraduate and graduate education, the institution that will be first in providing new knowledge through research contributory to growth, development and transformation of the region, and the port of first call University of the West Indies for Caribbean governments wishing advice and technical expertise for policy development, strategic planning and programme implementation.
The Vice-Chancellor indicated the University’s current strategic фокус:
^ Enrolment growth to facilitate increased University of the West Indies access Maintenance and enhancement of quality Student-centredness Expansion and strengthening of graduate studies and research Infusion and leveraging of ICTs Modernization of management systems Staff development Diversification of income
Enrolments at UWI University of the West Indies had displayed tremendous growth, a 50% change over the past five years. St Augustine was now the largest campus. These increases were мейд in response to the demands of national governments. On the University of the West Indies other хэнд, enrolment from those countries that do not have a campus had been much less robust. Later, the Vice-Chancellor gave comparative data showing that Montserrat had 63 students enrolled in University of the West Indies its programmes in 2004/5 (out of a total of 2,828 for all the countries without a campus). He also stressed that low enrolments in science and technology among the UWI 12 were particularly University of the West Indies worrisome.
^ With respect to the maintenance and enhancement of quality, the Vice-Chancellor reported that
Quality Assurance reviews were now well entrenched. The first cycle of QA reviews had been completed. Support University of the West Indies for improvement of teaching quality had been greatly expanded. ^ Student feedback on teaching was being monitored and a system of teaching awards was in place. There had been a comprehensive review of the functioning University of the West Indies of the examinations system. Throughput rates were being monitored. Increased use was being мейд of surveys of graduates and employers to obtain vital feedback. With respect to student centredness, he noted that University of the West Indies:
^ Facilities for online application for entry and registration had been put in place at the 3 campuses. Transcript services had improved. The Mona Campus had led the way with the establishment of University of the West Indies central help desk services and a one-stop graduation centre. Students enjoyed greater flexibility in educational choices which had been reflected in the growth of cross-faculty offerings and enrolment. Students had increased access University of the West Indies on all campuses to online electronic databases and other modern information products and services, as well as networked computer hardware and software. ^ Improved advising and counselling programmes were available University of the West Indies to students, including preparation for the world of work, and the development of leadership skills. Mentorship programmes were in place on all campuses and opportunities for internships were being expanded. He reported on University of the West Indies the findings of student exit surveys:
^ The coverage of the survey included: learning experience, student support, and services and facilities. On a scale of 0-5, students rated knowledge acquisition in the range 3.5-3.9, and problem-solving University of the West Indies and critical thinking skills in the range 3.5-4.0. One significant result was the feedback from students on the attitude of lecturers to student learning and accessibility. Across the University, students uniformly indicated satisfaction University of the West Indies scores in the range 3.2-3.3. The extent, usefulness and timeliness of feedback from lecturers were rated in the range 2.9-3.0. Suggestions for enhancement of a UWI education included: increasing opportunities for internships, review of University of the West Indies course loads and greater accessibility of lectures and staff. ^ The Vice-Chancellor drew attention to some significant developments with respect to graduate studies and research:
Graduate enrolment had increased from University of the West Indies 4,022 in 2001/02 to 6,285 in 2005/06, representing an annual rate of growth of 11.5% compared with the targeted rate of 6.2%. ^ Enrolment in research degrees was about 25% of total graduate enrolment. Across the university, new taught programmes had University of the West Indies been developed to respond to regional needs. There were about 160 taught graduate programmes offered. Included among the offerings were environmental studies, epidemiology, electrical and computer engineering, law, management, economics and University of the West Indies education.
There had been a thorough review of graduate programmes at the UWI with a mandate to assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, using the results to recommend enhancement of programme strengths University of the West Indies, correction of weaknesses, address threats and seize opportunities; to ensure greater quality assurance, cross-campus collaboration, increased efficiency and effectiveness, and increased competitiveness; to determine how to increase programme delivery to the UWI 12; to maximise University of the West Indies financing, and recommend administrative restructuring to drive change. The report had recommended that the University must build capacity to respond to increasing demand for graduate education; graduate education should be University of the West Indies treated as a separate endeavour as important as undergraduate education; quality assurance must be strengthened; supervision and mentorship must be markedly strengthened, and more support must be garnered for full-time University of the West Indies graduate research students (MPhil, PhD).
With respect to the use of ICTs, the Vice-Chancellor observed that considerable investments had been мейд in the upgrading of the network infrastructure at each campus; wireless technology had University of the West Indies been phased in and was facilitating more efficient access by staff and students to network resources and the Internet; despite its expense, bandwidth had been increasing; teaching and learning University of the West Indies facilities had been enhanced by the gradual infusion of these technologies. However, he noted that the UWI was far from tapping the full potential of the new and emerging technologies to aid its transformation University of the West Indies. The Vice-Chancellor reported that human resource process re-engineering exercises had been completed on all three campuses; management training for Deans had been initiated; a customer service charter had been University of the West Indies established at Mona. Proposals for more flexible recruitment practices had been developed. A new scheme had been put in place across the University to recognize and reward excellence in performance by academic University of the West Indies, administrative and professional staff. The propagation of best practices was being encouraged. ^ With regard to the diversification of income sources, the Vice-Chancellor noted that:
Delivery costs per capita had been falling. Earned University of the West Indies income from commercial operations had increased by 32% in the first 2 years of the Plan. The Mona and St Augustine Campuses were each generating ‘other income’ of about US$3-4 million annually towards University of the West Indies the UGC budget; Cave Hill was at the level of US$1.25 million. ^ Selective use had been мейд of a policy of student amenities fees to make needed improvement in facilities and services for University of the West Indies students. Partnerships had been forged with the private sectors to obtain resources for the construction and equipping of new facilities. The Vice-Chancellor described the main challenges facing the University:
^ Inadequate resource University of the West Indies support for enrolment growth (both undergraduate and graduate). Insufficient undergraduate tuition fee support (Jamaica, UWI 12). Insufficient support for living expenses (all countries). Insufficient support for postgraduate students. Inadequate services to UWI-12-countries. Narrow University of the West Indies financial base (beyond government financing). Insufficient management/data support systems ^ Male under-representation.
Low participation in sciences/technology.
Focussing on the issue of inadequate service to the UWI 12, the Vice University of the West Indies-Chancellor adverted to the present series of consultations as an initial step in designing much improved service. He outlined the statistics relating to UWI 12 enrolment and went on to sketch the range of University of the West Indies providers, both within and beyond the region, and indicated some of their advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of extra-regional providers included:
Access to post secondary education for students who could not be University of the West Indies accommodated by UWI/national institutions
Opportunity to do degree programmes not offered by Caribbean providers
Opportunity for a few to get into “Ivy League” US/Canadian/U.K. institutions
Opportunity to do graduate University of the West Indies programmes not available in the Caribbean
Lower cost (students with scholarships or graduate research fellowships from non-regional providers or studying by distance education).
Disadvantages of “non-regional” providers included:
Quality of programmes uncertain (“unknown institutions University of the West Indies” in USA providing distance programmes) – there was a need for a regional accreditation agency.
Curriculum content and programmes not directed to Caribbean development needs (limited relevance).
Risk of loss University of the West Indies of most talented young people from the region (remittances cannot replace loss of “knowledge capital”).
Capital out-flows in payments of tuition/fees and support to extra-regional providers.
Restriction of programmes to “what is University of the West Indies profitable” (business, computer science) not what is necessary for national development.
Loss to students of mentorship and role models of Caribbean origin (“psychic loss”).
Advantages of UWI/Regional Providers included:
Quality assurance University of the West Indies (regional accreditation needed)
Curriculum content relevant to Caribbean development needs
Research relevant to growth and policy development of region
Greater chance of retention of graduates
Retention of funds in the region
Provision of a full “basket University of the West Indies of programmes” to meet comprehensive needs of Caribbean countries
Caribbean academics providing mentorship and role models
The Vice-Chancellor observed that if one takes the position that “knowledge capital” is a University of the West Indies critical ingredient for national/regional development, then it is vital that the Caribbean region controls and guides its human resource development and retains its graduates in the region once they are University of the West Indies produced. He insisted that UWI would not be able to do it all – this must be a shared endeavour.
The Vice-Chancellor indicated some ways in which the UWI could contribute to development University of the West Indies:
Professional degree programmes (medicine, law, nursing, dentistry, veterinary science, engineering, agriculture).
Other undergraduate programmes (hospitality, science & technology, social sciences, humanities and arts).
Masters degree programmes – faculty development.
Research degree programmes (MPhil, PhD University of the West Indies).
He drew attention in particular to various taught masters programmes from among the 157 currently offered:
Computer based management and information systems
Economic development policy
Public sector management
Human resource development
Tourism and University of the West Indies hospitality management.
^ The Vice-Chancellor suggested that there might be a number of challenges to improved provision of tertiary education around the region:
The number of suitably trained faculty to deliver University of the West Indies programmes may not be adequate. (Faculty development would help.)
Inadequate scholarships, bursaries and access to loans to attend campus-based programmes or even to go to local colleges (requirement for guarantors and high interest rates University of the West Indies).
Inadequate library and technical resources (CKLN and other libraries might help).
May need more infra-structure at national institutions.
The Vice-Chancellor also observed that the UWI could provide value beyond the University of the West Indies provision of educational services in such matters as (i) applied research (e.g., disaster management, crime and security, environmental science, biotechnology, agriculture, etc.) and (ii) consultancy services – a UWI University of the West Indies consulting company was being formed.
The Vice-Chancellor urged that it was crucial not to neglect financing. A capital development task force had been established for the University and had begun its University of the West Indies work. Governments throughout the region need comprehensive plans for tertiary education. He referred to a planning conference at Mona in 2004 whose declaration could serve as a template for plans elsewhere. He also noted University of the West Indies that such plans must cater for technical and vocational education, although this was not an area that the University itself covered.
The Vice-Chancellor concluded by insisting that failure is not an option University of the West Indies – it was necessary always to counter complacency and inertia.
^ Mr Paul Payne, Principal, Montserrat Community College
Mr Payne began by sketching the history of technical and vocational education in Montserrat. The Montserrat Technical University of the West Indies College had been established in 1972. In its 25-year history, some 1,054 students received full-time training and many more part-time training in various fields. The range of programmes and courses included University of the West Indies:
^ Automotive Engineering Carpentry & Joinery Electrical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Secretarial/Business Education Technical Drawing Masonry, Plumbing, Electronics
Montserrat now had a new post-secondary institution, with a new name and, more importantly University of the West Indies, a wider remit: “To provide access to post-secondary and continuing education that will enhance personal and intellectual growth and motivate students towards lifelong learning. The College is committed through creative programmes to providing University of the West Indies the appropriate knowledge and skills necessary for flexible response to the social and economic needs of Montserrat and the wider world.”
Mr Payne suggested that Montserrat’s development strategy required attention to University of the West Indies “high-tech” lucrative service type activities and a re-orientation of the фокус of teaching and learning. The College had a dual responsibility: to provide further and higher education to those University of the West Indies whose training requires additional foundations in further and higher education, and to fill the gaps in the basic education of the workforce and provide the necessary competency training in response to the University of the West Indies HR needs of the key economic sectors and the supporting services.
With respect to the first role, the College was entrusted with preparing students who would go on to university studies University of the West Indies. In the present year, the Government had supported students in the following areas, students whose foundations had to be laid at the College:
^ Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture; Certificate in Land Surveying University of the West Indies Technician; Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Science; Diploma or Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering; Diploma or Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering; Diploma or Bachelor’s degree in Radiography; Diploma in University of the West Indies Construction Management; Bachelor of Arts degree in French or Spanish; ^ Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Programming
A bigger challenge was posed by the other task, of filling gaps in workforce University of the West Indies training needs. The College had begun offering the Advanced Level Programme, and hoped to add in the coming academic year, programmes in Nursing, Construction Trades and Office Administration along with a University of the West Indies variety of part-time programmes. The absence of a labour market information system meant that training areas were determined through an informal assessment of future needs and the subjective analysis of perceived University of the West Indies skill gaps. Expansion of the College programmes into other technical areas and additional areas like teacher training, training for the public service and agriculture, were possibilities which had to be carefully planned, requiring some form University of the West Indies of labour market information to guide this process.
The College attempted to address human resource needs through:
^ Extending full-time courses to part-time students; Providing for multi-skill training; Using ICT University of the West Indies as a key tool for human resource development (an initiative that was waiting upon the CKLN).
Mr Payne concluded by noting that a sustainable HRD Programme at MCC would require partnerships University of the West Indies with the public and private sectors, NGOs, and other educational institutions, including the University.
^ Open discussion of perceived HR needs
The Chair observed that the Montserrat Community College was in a University of the West Indies peculiar position, having to provide a wide range of levels of training in a context of very small numbers.
The Resident Tutor asked how far the CUPIDE project overlapped CKLN. Professor Marshall replied that University of the West Indies they were complementary in that CUPIDE was building capacity in five regional universities, while CKLN was seeking to provide cheap bandwidth and also developing capacity at tertiary level institutions in the region University of the West Indies. He noted that CKLN had intended to source bandwidth from e-Link Americas, but that had ceased operations, so there was a question of which options CKLN should now pursue.
Mr Payne University of the West Indies observed that the adoption of the Caribbean vocational framework, developed within ACTI, would be taken to the next CARICOM ministerial meeting. It would provide a framework for operating within the CSME.
The Resident University of the West Indies Tutor raised the question whether the University would authenticate certificates issued by other institutions. The Chair responded that the University was reluctant to engage in value judgments on other institutions. He would University of the West Indies circulate a paper on bogus qualifications that had been brought to his attention, noting also that Internet searches could reveal a lot about institutions.
In reply to a question, the Chair University of the West Indies indicated that one important aim of the meeting was to consider the extent to which what was done at MCC and at the University could be harmonised and articulated. The TLIU had University of the West Indies the responsibility of focussing on these issues; where once the question had been whether the programmes fitted each other, it was now a question of what needed to be done to make University of the West Indies them fit.
The Chief Minister, noting that the University was the main base for national development, asked where its priority lay: theory or skills? He suggested that the University should stress technical development University of the West Indies. The Vice-Chancellor noted that there was a general issue of balance between university and other tertiary institutions, between theoretical study and its application. The University did not disdain application, but University of the West Indies there were limits to what the University was equipped to deal with, and there were now several technical training institutions with appropriate standards in the region.
Ms Ernestine Cassell raised University of the West Indies the question whether the University offered training in getting people with particular skills to teach these skills to others. The Chair admitted that this was a gap, though the campuses did have Instructional Development University of the West Indies Units whose remit was to help convert their own subject-matter experts into good disseminators of that knowledge. Mr Payne noted that the MCC offered a one-week summer workshop on University of the West Indies the teaching of adults which had space for other participants. The Chair also observed that the School of Continuing Studies was working on a Masters programme in adult and continuing education that University of the West Indies would be offered across the region. He also remarked that the MCC could be the local centre for programmes to upgrade the knowledge of teachers in the school system through postgraduate University of the West Indies study.
Dr Lewis observed that there had been missed opportunities. The volcano and its aftermath could have generated specialists in disaster management through the Seismic Research Unit, but in the end an University of the West Indies external unit was set up. He hoped the MVO would be transformed into a genuinely Caribbean institution. He also noted that plans for human resource development had to be related to population University of the West Indies policy; the island’s recovery was linked directly to population size. He thought the aim should be to encourage at least another 3,000 Montserratians to return and to aim at a total population by University of the West Indies 2020 of about 20,000. Again he felt that excessive money was being spent on English experts in the office charged with planning for development when better value and advice could be had from local people University of the West Indies.
The Chair observed that there were difficult questions of relating population size to development. How would the goal of 20,000 relate to the pre-volcano period when the full population was roughly 10,000? Would University of the West Indies it bring under-employment? How could one determine the optimal size? He noted the experience of the BVI where there were only 3.5 locals for every 10 jobs in the economy, and University of the West Indies the effects that was having on the self-image of the population. Professor Boxill added that it was not simply a question of population size but also of the dependency ratio between the working population University of the West Indies and those dependent upon them. Mrs Angela Greenaway noted that a UWI consultant had raised the issue of the dependency ratio; the island needed swift increases in productive areas University of the West Indies and thus could not avoid using migrant labour, while acknowledging the social problems that would have to be faced.
Mrs Greenaway also commented that using UWI consultants could take too long because University of the West Indies of the lack of availability of the best persons. The Vice-Chancellor agreed on the need for timeliness in consultancy work, and observed that the intention of formalising it through a consultancy company was University of the West Indies to make better provision for people to do the work properly and in good time. He added that it was hoped to have the company set up within six months; another company was University of the West Indies being used to guide the process. Mrs Greenaway remarked that in general it would be better to deal with the University rather than with a particular individual.
Ms Cassell University of the West Indies suggested that it would be useful to have databases of Caribbean best practices. The Chair agreed that this would be a worthwhile idea; Professor Boxill suggested that some information would already be available from departmental University of the West Indies websites, or those maintained by special centres, such as the Van Leer Early Childhood Centre at Mona.
^ Options for Tertiary Education in Montserrat
Three working groups were formed to consider various issues. They University of the West Indies later reported on their discussions.
a. Partnerships for meeting workforce training, undergraduate and postgraduate needs
Points мейд in this group included:
Standards to be identified by industry.
Some partnerships already University of the West Indies existed and produced results: over 100 people were trained last year through collaboration between Mona and a US tourism programme.
Employers should be involved in training decisions; they should be encouraged to allow University of the West Indies staff leave to get education or training.
Employers themselves should be trained in high standards.
Montserrat should adopt the CARICOM scheme with 5 levels of training.
The MCC could improve its training University of the West Indies facilities through partnerships.
A labour market survey would be helpful: Mona sociology might be able to assist here.
MVO provided an opportunity to develop competencies in disaster management.
Another opportunity to offer University of the West Indies specialised programmes was afforded by the National Trust’s Darwin project.
b. The development of open and distance education
Points мейд in this group included:
The context was constituted by CKLN, one of whose functions was University of the West Indies to aggregate demand for bandwidth – the demise of e-Link Americas had cast some doubt on how bandwidth would be acquired.
The other major player in the regional context was the UWIDEC University of the West Indies which was moving to blended learning and a more proactive approach to programme creation.
MCC could serve as a local support institution for blended learning.
One issue in Montserrat was the provision University of the West Indies of Internet access; some community access points would be required.
The cost of Internet access needed to be contained.
Small enrolments locally can be offset by distance programmes serving the University of the West Indies entire region.
Programmes had to fit a student’s need and opportunities; they needed flexible entry and to provide remediation when necessary.
c. Financial issues in tertiary education development
Points мейд in University of the West Indies this group included:
In Montserrat education was free up to the end of secondary schooling. The Government paid 80% of the cost of UWIDEC programmes.
Many students went to the UK after 5th form to University of the West Indies meet residency requirements to enter UK universities.
MCC needs to recover its operational expenses.
Few students met the entry requirements to science and engineering programmes.
Programmes and government priorities for scholarships were not University of the West Indies well advertised and were sometimes unattractive to people.
Study at a campus depended on scholarships – almost no one finances himself.
The UWIDEC programmes are currently biased to social science.
There is University of the West Indies no loan programme in Montserrat.
The group recommended on island programmes that would be flexible in terms of time and place and self-financing short courses.
A reliable projection of student numbers was University of the West Indies needed for planning.
The Resident Tutor observed that there was an understanding between the SCS and the MCC that they would not offer overlapping programmes.
The Chair asked to University of the West Indies what extent the MCC was incorporated into the public service intranet. Mr Payne indicated that work was in progress on making such a link.
Professor Boxill sought clarification of the suggestion for employers to be University of the West Indies trained. The idea was that they should be exposed to industrial relations, motivation, etc., preferably in short modules so that their time was not stretched.
The Resident Tutor observed that when families University of the West Indies migrate to the UK to establish residency the British Government may be paying them unemployment benefit. Perhaps a way could be found to negotiate that this money be better spent in University of the West Indies Montserrat. The Chair remarked that a precise proposal displaying the short term benefit to the British Government would be necessary, but it might be worth following up. The point was University of the West Indies мейд that going to the UK had social dimensions, family and expanding opportunities for employment. The Chair agreed that this showed that one must work hard to design secondary schooling so that it мейд people University of the West Indies employable.
The point was also мейд that several governments were offering scholarships to students from the OECS. The Chair acknowledged that the University could not easily compete with countries such University of the West Indies as Cuba or Mexico. Mrs Browne noted that Cuba seemed able to afford quality education at little cost. The Chair observed that the Anglophone Caribbean left a lot to market forces University of the West Indies; Cuba had decided to devote considerable resources to education and used scholarships as a key element in its diplomacy. The University needed to generate resources that did not come from the contributing governments University of the West Indies to pay for scholarships. The alumni might be one such source.
Professor Boxill adverted to other differences between Cuba and the typical Caribbean country. He added that recent policy changes meant University of the West Indies that UWI postgraduate research degrees did not cost very much to students. Many of them were also able to access assistantships.
Mr Payne noted the kind of relationship existing between the T.A. Marryshow University of the West Indies Community College and Saint George’s University. It was profitable for the college. The typical UWI franchise relationship was very different. The Chair noted that it was a difference between University of the West Indies for profit and not-for-profit. But the issue merited further reflection. As it stood, the tertiary level institution benefits from a shift in status and the expansion of the scope of their University of the West Indies curriculum possibilities.
^ Partnerships in Human Resource Development
The Chair observed that the Minister of Education had presented a clear set of needs; the University could not satisfy all of University of the West Indies them, but it was clear that much of the expertise the University did possess was not being projected adequately beyond the campus countries. He noted that it would be easier to deal University of the West Indies with programmes with few technical requirements. But programmes that demanded practical applications could still be conducted in Montserrat if modular flexible schedules were devised.
The Chair briefly sketched the proposed fourth campus: the new entity University of the West Indies would have the status of a campus; its goals would be to bring University programmes to students throughout the region and beyond the metropolitan areas of the campus countries. Its modality would University of the West Indies be ‘blended learning’. It would seek to coordinate its efforts with the various national colleges. It would seek to provide much improved library access throughout the region, again in collaboration with national University of the West Indies entities. He noted that the Chancellor’s Task Force had recommended a campus presence in all the UWI 12. This was not incompatible with the virtual campus proposal; it would cost University of the West Indies money, but he noted that all the existing campuses had grown from very small beginnings.
The Chancellor’s task force on governance had recommended a campus presence in each contributing country, but University of the West Indies this did not entail creating a campus, a university presence need not be departmental. He suggested that the virtual campus would provide a mechanism whereby many of the proposed partnerships, especially with the University of the West Indies MCC, could be taken further.
b. Government of Montserrat
Mrs Daphne Cassell observed that succession planning was required since key persons were soon to retire throughout the public and private sectors. The island was University of the West Indies characterised by weak middle management. Technical support was needed for networking in the public service. Regional attachments, e.g. in records management, would help. The government recognised the opportunity provided by the University of the West Indies MVO for Montserrat to become a centre of excellence in volcanology and disaster management.
c. Montserrat Community College
Mr Payne noted that the MCC had not yet joined ACTI. It was University of the West Indies a very small institution, with only three full-time staff. One issue was to fight against the cultural bias against technical skills. The College’s small size мейд it very dependent University of the West Indies on partnerships for its programmes and future development. He looked forward to whatever the University could provide in this regard.
^ A Mechanism for Continuing Action
The Chair indicated that the consultation was only a beginning University of the West Indies; a way of taking things forward was now needed. It was agreed that a working group be identified to continue discussion in and with stakeholders in Montserrat: the Ministry of Education University of the West Indies, the MCC, the University, and others as were appropriate in the local environment (MVO, the Chamber of Commerce, a representative of the financial sector). Such a working group would have the flexibility to University of the West Indies co-opt other representatives as necessary for particular issues. Its facilitator on the ground would be the Resident Tutor. The Chair noted that as soon as possible a report of the University of the West Indies consultation would be circulated to all those who had been invited to the consultation and that the working group would be put in place.
He thanked all those who had contributed in University of the West Indies any way to the success of the day’s proceedings and expressed the hope that significant developments would flow from them.
^ Appendix: Persons invited but not present
Ms Beatrice Allen Member Steering Committee, Alumni University of the West Indies Association
Prof Hilary Beckles Principal, UWI Cave Hill Campus
Mr David Brandt Lawyer
Mr Chedmond Browne Member of Parliament
Mr Joseph Cassell Vice-President, Chamber of Commerce
The Hon. Roselyn Cassell-Sealy Director, National Development Foundation
Mr Phillip Chambers University of the West Indies Budget
Ms Ann Marie Dewar Permanent Secretary, Administration
Mr Anton Doldron Manager, Bank of Montserrat
Mr Neville Dublin Manager, Cable & Wireless
Ms Jean Dyer Member Steering Committee Alumni Association
Mr D.R.V. Edwards Director, Montserrat Foundation
Lady University of the West Indies Eudora Fergus Director, Montserrat National Trust
Sir Howard Fergus Former Resident Tutor
Mr Glen Francis Principal, Montserrat Secondary School
Mr Herman Francis Director of Culture
Mrs Chelsea Gerald Senior Economist
Mr Gerard Gray
Mr Carlyle Greaves Director University of the West Indies, Planning Unit UWI
Ms Lyndelle Greer Permanent Secretary, Health & Community Service
The Hon. Claude Hogan Minister of Government
Prof Wayne Hunte Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research, UWI
Mrs Oselyn Jemmotte Former Director of University of the West Indies Education
Mrs Florence Joseph Member, Monsterrat Calabash Festival
The Hon. Reuben Meade Minister of Government
Dr Bevis Peters Director, Tertiary Level Institutions Unit, UWI
Mr Eugene Skerritt Permanent Secretary, Agriculture
The Hon. John Skerrit Financial Secretary
Dr Bhoe University of the West Indies Tewarie Principal, UWI St. Augustine Campus
Mrs Esternella West Permanent Secretary, Education
Ms Yasmin White Education Officer
Ms Rose Willock Media
The Hon. John Wilson Minister of Communications & Works