Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 08, 2015 (SKNIS): “Quality Assurance and Socioeconomic Development in a Global Environment: Regional and International Perspectives”, which is the theme for this year’s 12thAnnual Conference of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE), is a theme which is regarded as relevant to the Federation.
Speaking at the conference held at the Marriot Beach Resort on October 07, Minister of Education Honorable Shawn Richards, stated that evidence of this can be seen in the growth of tertiary higher education institutions over the past 16 years since the Accreditation Act was enacted. He added that St. Kitts and Nevis has the largest number of offshore tertiary education schools in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Minister Richards stated that the CANQATE conference to discuss the topic of Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education is an indication that it is aware of the importance of maintaining quality in an industry which affects the lives of people the world over, who come to the Federation to study and contribute significantly to social and economic development.
The education minister outlined some of the objectives of CANQATE which include promoting and assisting in the implementation of best practices in quality assurance in tertiary education; supporting and advising CARICOM and other Caribbean regional bodies on matters pertaining to a regional framework for quality assurance; encouraging and supporting research in the field of quality assurance and networking regionally and internationally with similar organizations. Over the course of the workshops, the minister affirmed that these objectives will be satisfied as all of the stakeholders were present.
The preconference was intended for experts to give guidance to improve the financial health of educational institutions.
“This is difficult to achieve with the rising cost of all of the components of tertiary level education, but in the Federation the direct and indirect contribution of the tertiary education sector to the economy is significant,” said Minister Richards, while noting that the deliberations were critical for our sustainable development.
The October 7 to 9 conference will cover a wide cross section of topics which is expected to build on quality assurance.