The UWI Open Campus — Overview
The University of the West Indies Open Campus is the newest addition to the campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI). The campus was formally launched in Antigua & Barbuda in June 2008. Today, the Open Campus offers a variety of multi-mode teaching and learning services through a mixture of virtual and physical style instruction.
There are currently 42 site locations of the Open Campus in the region, serving 16 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. The campus offers undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education study programmes and courses by distance, blended, online and face-to-face learning modes.
The Results of Accreditation
At a ceremony held in Barbados on Monday, July 8, the Open Campus was awarded institutional accreditation status. The ceremony was held at the Barbados Accreditation Council’s (BAC) headquarters in St Michael, and was streamed live across various locations of the Open Campus in 16 countries throughout the Caribbean.
What accreditation has effectively done is to offer students and the wider national community greater confidence in the quality of the overall operations of the Open Campus. This feat cannot be taken lightly as it was achieved by examining and revising all aspects of the educational institution including the standards of their educational provisions and professionals as well as their goals and objectives.
In short, the effectiveness of their overall administrative process was strictly analysed through a lot of dedication and evaluation of the various processes and services involved. In receiving accreditation then, the UWI has established that the educational institution is operating at a high level.
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At the close of her remarks, chairperson of the BAC, Yvonne Walkes presented the Certificate of Institutional Accreditation to Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald. In expressing her appreciation to the BAC for the honour of being the first institution to achieve accreditation from the BAC, the principal stated that the “accreditation process for the Open Campus was not an accident, but began as a result of careful consideration and deliberations by the Vice Chancellor, Professor E. Nigel Harris, and members of the Executive Management Committee of the UWI”.
The Future of UWI Open Campus
The road to achieving accreditation for the Open Campus was not clear-cut, especially due to the regional spread of the UWI Open Campus. The principal was noted as saying that the accreditation exercise brought about the realisation that quality is indeed the fabric of the Open Campus. She added that the Open Campus “… used the institutional accreditation standards of the Barbados Accreditation Council as a catalyst for self-evaluation. It did not hide from the truths that the evaluation revealed but genuinely looked at how it could address them – at how it could turn weaknesses into strengths.”
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The institution’s achievement after only six years of existence speaks to the quality of the programme offerings and services. It augers well for the university’s current condition as well as establishes the promises of continued success and improvement for the young institution.
A prospering subsection of the University of the West Indies, the Open Campus has developed a unique approach to enhancing the student experience by means of innovative professional education. As the institution embarks on this chapter in its history, we wish the university continued success in its pursuits. The University of the West Indies, your place to shine!
By: Norvan Martin