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NCU achieves institutional accreditation status from the Government of Jamaica

The Northern Caribbean University is one of only three tertiary education institutions operating in Jamaica with institutional accreditation status.

NCU achieves institutional accreditation status from the Government of Jamaica

President of Northern Caribbean University Dr. Lincoln Edwards addresses a press conference on the achieved accreditation status for the institution on Dec. 6, 2018. [Photo Credit: Nigel Coke]

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Seventh-day Adventist-owned and operated Northern Caribbean University (NCU) recently has achieved institutional accreditation status from the University Council of Jamaica. This was announced by Dr. Lincoln Edwards during a press conference held on the main campus of the university in Mandeville last month.

The status is effective as of February 17, 2019, and is for a period of seven years.

“The major significance of gaining institutional accreditation status is that NCU now has the authority, ability and capacity to develop and offer degree programs without the need for approval from the University Council of Jamaica,” said Dr. Edwards.

Institutional accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the appropriate agency.

Edwards pointed out that NCU is only one of three tertiary education institution operating in Jamaica that enjoys institutional accreditation status, the other being the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTECH).

“The recent news of institutional accreditation grated to NCU by the UCJ comes as a welcome news for the board of governors and the wider Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica,” said Pastor Everett Brown, Chairman of the Board of Governors of NCU.

“I believe that this achievement will no doubt engender further confidence in the institution by all stakeholders. “We hope that this accreditation, which is a vote of confidence by the Education sector, will enable NCU to stake its claim for a greater share of the potential student population in the Jamaica and the region.

Brown officially thanked past and present administrators and faculty of the university for their relentless pursuit of proving quality Christ-centered education to Caribbean region and the wider world.

The general benefits of accreditation include:

  • Affirmation by the government, regional/national accreditation agencies, or professional organizations, which enhances marketability and makes graduates more employable.
  • Credits earned are transferable to other schools.
  • Students who earn a degree from an accredited institution find it easier to gain acceptance for advanced studies at other schools and qualify for exams that license them for the practice of various professions.
  • Provision for public assurance that new graduates have acquired the necessary knowledge, competence and skills to enter the profession for which they have studied.
  • Through the accreditation process, the institution demonstrates how it aligns its efforts and resources to deliver on its value proposition.
  • The process promotes transparency and demonstrates accountability to the stakeholders.
  • The accreditation process is cyclical and seeks to foster continuous quality improvement.

“We thank the representatives of the UCJ and, by extension, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information for their support and guidance in achieving the high standards required to gain institutional accreditation status,” Edwards added.

Founded in 1907 as the West Indian Training School, Northern Caribbean University (NCU) is the oldest private tertiary institution in Jamaica. It was granted university status in 1999 by the Jamaican Government. Presently the university offers over 70 degree programs, including graduate programs in the sciences, business and education.

“This remarkable achievement is truly something for all of us to celebrate,” said Pastor Peter Kerr, deputy chairman of NCU and president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission. “God has rewarded the hard work and diligent efforts of our faithful and committed team from NCU who pursued this dream with the greatest of energy and passion.  We give God thanks for their dedication and praise Him for this long-awaited accreditation status for our beloved NCU.”

NCU is owned and operated jointly by the Jamaica Union Conference and the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, which comprising the territories the Bahamas, Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

NCU’s current student population stands at more than 3,400 throughout its main campus and extension campuses.

To learn more about the Northern Caribbean University and its programs, go to ncu.edu.jm