Dr. Ruby S. Alleyne, Executive Director, ACTT - The registration of USC and conferment of instutional title on CHESS - November 14, 2007

REMARKS BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ON THE OCCASION OF THE REGISTRATION OF THE USC AND CONFERMENT OF TITLE ON CHESS

Dr. Ruby S. Alleyne

November 14th 2007

Today marks the dawn of a new era for higher education in our beloved twin-island Republic as the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago celebrates the achievement of the first institution to have earned the distinction of being registered and placed on the National Register of Post secondary and tertiary institutions. On this occasion, we also celebrate the first institution to have been conferred with the title of tertiary college by the ACTT.

In February 2005, the ACTT opened its doors to the public. Having been established by Act no 16 of 2004, the Council immediately assumed responsibility for issuing statements on the recognition of foreign qualifications, as this was one of the functions that had been previously performed by CORD/NIHERST.  The ACTT was given a mandate to serve as the principal authority for the registration of institutions; accreditation of institutions and programmes; recognition of foreign qualifications; and conferment of institutional titles protected by the legislation. The past two years have been devoted primarily to the physical establishment of offices both here at ALGICO Plaza and at the TLH Building in Scarborough; development of a strategic plan; the recruitment of qualified personnel; development of policies, procedures and processes for all of our key services; development of regulations for the legislation; professional development for staff; development of a corps of external evaluators; establishment of strategic alliances intra- and extra-regionally. During this time we also gained membership in international networks that enhance the profile of the tertiary education sector in Trinidad and Tobago and engaged in capacity-building activities for our key stakeholders. Our key stakeholders are the institutions that provide students with access to post secondary and tertiary education to meet their individual needs and we are pleased to recognise the achievement of two of these institutions today.

The three areas that have received the most attention are staff development; evaluator training and institutional capacity-building.  I would like to speak first about the importance of staff development. Globally, quality assurance in tertiary education has emerged over the past two decades as an area of specialization, in which professionals are required to be trained and re-trained in order to maintain the knowledge, skills and competence to effectively carry out their functions. In Trinidad and Tobago, as well as in Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana where national accreditation councils have also been established, the poo