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
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
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!.
I. To facilitate cooperation and collaboration between the
institutions in a wide range of academic. administrative and
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,
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
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.
Committee and the Council act for the General Assembly between
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.
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.