Principal's Message

 

 

Welcome to The University of the West Indies Open Campus Institutional Accreditation website.

In 1962, The University of the West Indies was granted a Royal Charter which bestowed on it the right to grant and confer degrees and other academic distinctions.  The University is a member of several regional and international bodies, including the Association of Commonwealth Universities.  The Open Campus of the University was conceptualised in 2007 and officially launched in 2008 as the Campus with special responsibilities to increase opportunities for access to the University through online programme offerings and also to meet the educational needs of underserved communities within the Caribbean. 

With the ever increasing need for accountability as well as the University’s desire to showcase its quality management systems and its integrity, we are voluntarily submitting ourselves to the scrutiny of external peer assessment through the institutional accreditation mechanism.  The Open Campus has been registered with the Barbados Accreditation Council since 2009, having undergone an international external peer evaluation as part of that entity’s registration process.  Registration was granted as result of the Open Campus meeting specific criteria as set out by the Council.  Hence, the institutional accreditation process is another step in the Open Campus’ drive to enhance its internal processes, provide a measure of assurance of the quality of its provisions; and support its quest for international recognition. 

The Open Campus is currently engaged in its self-study process, through which it will critically evaluate its systems and procedures with the aim of highlighting its strengths and opportunities, as well as acknowledging its weaknesses and threats.  The intention is to formulate mechanisms to enhance the strengths and opportunities and to turn the weaknesses and threats into strengths and opportunities for improvement.  To this end, we have instituted an institutional accreditation team including a self-study team; a steering Committee; and five (5) sub-committees that have standard specific responsibilities. These teams are representative of the various sections within the Open Campus, as we believe that it is important that the self-study is reflective of the entire Open Campus.  I am excited by the opportunity that a self-reflective process, like institutional accreditation, will afford the Open Campus and the improvements that can be achieved as a result. 

It is a pleasure to endorse and to participate actively in the institutional accreditation effort as we seek to illustrate our theme “a Campus for the times... a Campus for the future”. Additionally, I believe, that the accreditation process will also highlight how we are achieving the mandate outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan, 2007-2012 of enabling the University to “... expand the scope, enhance the appeal and improve the efficiency of its services to the individuals, communities and countries which its serves” (STRIDE, 2007, p. 22). 

In an effort to obtain as much input as possible, this website has a comments facility and we welcome your feedback and contributions via this and other media.  I thank everyone in the Open Campus Community, for the continued support you offer in our quest to become an accredited institution. 

Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal

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