ASSOCIATION OF CARIBBEAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS
(ACT I) INC
Full membership is open to tertiary institutions in the Caribbean region. Associate membership is open to organizations and other institutions that have responsibilities related to tertiary education territorially, regionally and extra regionally. Honorary membership is conferred on an organization. institution or individual that the Association considers to have given outstanding services to education in the region. particularly at the tertiary level.
At the present time, there are more than 82 members from 17 countries as follows:
Full members: 60
Associate members: 14
Honorary members: 8
AGI has seven universities among its members. most of whom are English-speaking but it has been recommended that ACTI extend its membership to the CAR/FORUM countries, and also to members of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).
In the context of ACTI, Tertiary is synonymous with post secondary. A Tertiary institution is defined as an institution designed to provide post-secondary education and/or training leading to a certificate. diploma or degree.
To be accepted at a Tertiary institution, a student must have completed a secondary education with a minimum of four or five subjects at the CXC General Proficiency or equivalent. with English language being compulsory.
In this context. Tertiary includes what is referred to in some countries as Higher. but in some countries. Higher refers to university studies only and does not include institutions such as Community Colleges. Technical Colleges and Teacher Training Colleges. which are members of ACTI.
In order to avoid discrepancies. the definitions of Tertiary and Higher must be clarified when comparisons are being made.
ACT! was inaugurated on November 8. 1990. in Kingston. Jamaica. Over the past twenty years in the English-speaking Caribbean. several Tertiary level Institutions (TUs) were being established to meet national needs. not only for those persons going on to university studies, but also for persons in middle management, technicians. workers in health professions. persons in the Performing and Creative Arts, and so on. In several countries. due to their small size and to effect economies of scale. several individual institutions. e.g. The Technical college. Teachers College. Nursing School. and Sixth Forms of schools were amalgamated to form the national Tertiary level Institution.
It was recognized that there was a vital need to assist in the strengthening of these His and to effect better articulation between their programme offerings and those of UWI. It was in that context that ACT! was established.
The overall aim of ACT! is to improve the quality. quantity and organisation of tertiary education in the region through co-operation and collaboration between member institutions.
The specific objectives. as stated in the constitution of ACT!. are:
I. To facilitate cooperation and collaboration between the institutions in a wide range of academic. administrative and other areas.
2. To facilitate more effective utilization of scarce resources in seeking to enhance access. mobility and quality in tertiary education.
3. To facilitate articulation among the institutions.
In addition, there is a Council, comprISing the Executive, one representative from each member territory, two representatives from the University of the West Indies, one representative from the University of Technology, Jamaica, and one representative from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Jamaica.
4. To facilitate the development/delivery of particular programmes and services.
5. To assist in identifying and meeting the ongoing tertiary education needs of the region and individual territories.
6. To provide a professional forum for discussion and problem-solving.
ACTI is managed through an Executive Committee comprising of a President, two Vice-Presidents and a Treasurer. An Executive Officer performs the functions of secretary and office manager.
The Executive Committee and the Council act for the General Assembly between annual meetings.
The ACTI Secretariat is located at the UWI Cave Hill campus in offices adjacent to the UWI Tertiary level Institutions Unit (HIU).
ACTI sees the need for accreditation at the regional level, to complement accreditation activities at the national level. It is an important plank of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. to enable people to move in the region with acceptance of their qualifications. Regional Accreditation will assist in quality control as the qualifications must be examined for standards and equivalencies. Furthermore, as Caribbean people increasingly operate in a global market, the standard and quality of their goods and services must be acceptable at international levels.
The current major focus of ACTI is on working with the CARl COM Secretariat to establish and make operational a Regional Mechanism for Accreditation, Articulation and Equivalency. as mandated by the Heads of Government of CARICOM as one of the important tools to facilitate the free movement of people. skills and services including trade in the CARICOM region.
The Tertiary level Institutions Unit (HI Unit) of the UWI has been very active in assisting in the process of quality control, articulation and facilitating Matriculation and Advanced Placement between the non-university members of ACTI and the UWI.
These activities are all related to the Regional Qualifications Framework and the Regional Mechanism, and ACTI enjoys a close working relationship with the HI Unit as we pursue the common goal of improving the quality or and
access to tertiary education in the region.
More Information: http://www.acticarib.org/