Commonwealth Case Studies in Education

2310-1458 (online)
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This series is comprised of key papers focusing on innovations and challenges in education. Each case study presents and analyses a pertinent educational issue in a timely and brief manner. The series marks an important contribution to educational advancement of benefit to countries, agencies and organisations with the Commonwealth and beyond.

The Shaping of Tertiary Education in the Anglophone Caribbean

The Shaping of Tertiary Education in the Anglophone Caribbean

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Vivienne Roberts
01 Jan 2003
9781848597969 (PDF)

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As tertiary education in the Caribbean enters a period of expansion and maturity, this book is a timely study into how the sector should evolve if it is to meet its target of increasing enrolment from under 10 per cent to 15 per cent by 2005. It explores the issues involved in providing an optimum learning and teaching environment, and presents options for policy, strategic design and leadership. Contains sections on: The Concept of Tertiary Education; The Shaping of Tertiary Education in the Caribbean; Access of Tertiary Education in the Anglophone Caribbean A Study of Barbados and St Lucia; Quality Assurance; Future Directions for Tertiary Education in the Caribbean. The Commonwealth’s educational work promotes the exchange of experiences and good practice in the field of education. Commonwealth Case Studies in Education is a series of key papers focusing on innovations and challenges in education. Each case study presents a concise analysis of a topical and pertinent educational issue. The series marks an important contribution to educational advancement of benefit to countries, agencies and organisations, within the Commonwealth and beyond.

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  • General Introduction to the Series

    Education systems are increasingly making changes in response to a rising tide of new expectations about the role of education in human development. Education is seen as a critical requirement for individuals to fulfil their potential, for communities to make positive changes in quality of life and for societies to improve their economic competitiveness. This rediscovery of education, as the key to human development, stems partly from the need to address growing inequalities within countries and between countries in an era of globalisation. The global era is characterised by rapid advances in technology and expansion of knowledge. It is therefore not unreasonable for political leaders to view education as a way of dealing with the opportunities and problems that stem from globalisation. In response, important changes are now taking place in the field of education. These changes concern opening up educational opportunities to all citizens, developing more flexible and responsive programmes, improving the relevance and quality of education content, and enhancing the organisation and management of education systems. Many countries are making progress in these areas of concern, but there is an urgent need to share success stories and lessons learned from these efforts so that they can be replicated where possible.

  • Introduction

    Tertiary education is of tremendous worldwide interest and is of special interest in the Caribbean. The heads of C A R I C O M (the Caribbean Community) governments have made human resource development one of their highest priorities; their aim is to increase the enrolment of the relevant age group in tertiary education from under 10 per cent to 15 per cent by 2005. In Jamaica, the Green Paper on Education (1999) has set a target of a 1 per cent annual increase in the number of students going on to tertiary education in the period 2000-2005.

  • The Concept of Tertiary Education

    In the Caribbean a number of terms are used to designate the stages of education. Elementary, high and higher is one set; primary, secondary and tertiary is another; and primary, secondary and post-secondary is a third. The equivalence of the terms 'elementary' and 'primary' is not disputed and the terms 'secondary' and 'high' are also used interchangeably. The same cannot be said, however about post-secondary, tertiary and higher. Even in the twenty-first century, it is true to say that the terms have elements in common but are still in the process of being redefined.

  • The Shaping of Tertiary Education in the Caribbean

    In Europe, the university was the hegemonic institution of the twelfth to sixteenth centuries. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, other powerful institutions emerged to address development needs They included the Royal Society in Britain, the grands écoles in France, research institutes in Germany and academies of science in Russia. In the U S A , the seventeenth century colonial colleges were quickly complemented by other types of colleges in an attempt to meet unserved higher education needs.

  • Access to Tertiary Education

    One of the most important forces which has changed the nature and organisation of tertiary education in the Anglophone Caribbean has been the demand for access to it by the masses of the population. Equally important have been the attempts by institutions and governments to regulate access, particularly in systems where resources are limited. Additionally, the size, form, differentiation and convergence in current tertiary education institutions and systems can all be directly or indirectly linked to their attempts to promote expansion of access.

  • Quality Assurance

    Quality Assurance (QA) is a subject which has recently received extensive local and international scrutiny. Not surprisingly, therefore, the 1990s have been dubbed by Frazer (1992) as the decade of quality. Gaither (1998) has asked 'Is quality assurance merely the latest tide of management reform to wash up on the shores of academia, and will it survive into the new millennium?'. It is true to say that it has survived, and its related challenges are now engaging the attention of educators during this first decade of the twenty-first century.

  • Future Directions for Tertiary Education in the Caribbean

    The years ahead will be a challenging period for tertiary education development in the Caribbean. The challenges will come from a number of quarters. It is reasonable to expect that globalisation will continue to erode national and regional boundaries, aiding the unimpeded flow of information and increased movement of people for work and study. Global forces will drive economic restructuring so that priority areas for economic growth will continue to change both in developed and developing countries. Environmental fragility and interconnectedness will require new approaches to international negotiation, dialogue and legislation, and new sensitivities about the culture and practices of other peoples.

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