4 Oct. 2020
Weekly Current (archived version)
Thanks for reading, and thanks for caring about education! Welcome to this week’s newsletter on education news in the Cayman Islands.
Week In Review
This week we published “An interview with … Stacy McAfee, President and CEO, UCCI”.
Highlights from the the interview:
- McAfee’s appointment as President and CEO in January 2019 was part of an organisational change at UCCI, involving the creation of the position of Provost, whose focus is on academics, whereas President/CEO also has a more external role.
- As Cayman’s public university, UCCI can be a direct pipeline of talent into the local workforce and economy.
- “We know that the majority of the students we serve here, 86% Caymanian, will choose and want to work locally.”
- “I think UCCI isn’t very well-known. I think there’s a bit of a misconception about what the university currently does, and what the capability of a fully developed university could mean for Cayman.”
- UCCI’s enrolment grew by 15% in McAfee’s first year and may grow by that much again this year, even considering the impact of COVID-19.
- “I have a lot of experience with prior universities in delivering both online and hybrid education, and I have wanted the university to carefully consider how to introduce technology-enabled learning into the mix.”
- The government has acquired a parcel of land near UCCI and is giving it to the university for growth and expansion.
- “That is an exciting opportunity for us. We would love to start by building a new building over there and give us some room to grow in some of the STEM areas.”
- COVID compelled UCCI to re-engineer multiple aspects of the university, from online student applications, to electronic payments, to virtual learning.
- “What we’re seeing around the world is that the investments that are needed in tertiary education require significant investment from government, but also significant investment from the private sector through philanthropy.”
- “Investment in education has a multiplier effect, and it’s the only strategy that I’ve seen around the world that delivers on a multiplicity of outcomes. The research bears out that for every dollar invested, the payback is recouped.”
- UCCI is establishing relationships with CFA and ACCA accreditation bodies in order to support the financial sector in Cayman.
- “Many people still think we’re the community college. They’re surprised to learn that we also offer bachelor’s and graduate degrees, and that our faculty hold the same credentials as faculty in institutions around the world.”
- While it is impossible to guarantee that all credits earned at UCCI will transfer to a particular institution, data show that UCCI credits “do transfer quite well”.
- “It’s critical that we are thoughtfully planning for the next decade and committing to the changes that are needed in tertiary education as part of an educational continuum. That means we need to hear a multiplicity of voices that maybe today aren’t yet engaged in the dialogue.”
The Credit Union awarded $200,000 in education grants in August to 226 students pursuing post-secondary education. The assistance was given through the Rupert McCoy Memorial Education Grant programme. (Read our story here.)
Clever Fish on Walkers Road has received approval from the Ministry of Education to be a full-time high school for up to 25 students. Owner and teacher Nicola Sowerby said, “We are accepting applications for any child who will do well in the British curriculum, leading to IGCSEs and A Levels, but who needs a smaller learning environment to succeed.” At first, the school is only accepting new students in Years 7 and 8. (Read our story here.)
And here’s a story we didn’t publish, but we’ll include it because the fact that this was news at all, we think, says something about our community. In how many places would a fight at a high school make local headlines? (If you’re curious, read CNS or the Compass.)
Lastly, LIFE has announced that Juliet Austin has joined the literacy charity as Executive Director. Austin has been in Cayman for 25 years, taught secondary school here, and was formerly Education Manager at the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. We spotted this a bit late to write a story in time for this newsletter, but here is LIFE’s Facebook post about the hire. We’ll follow up with Austin this week.
Around The Web
The Current is a central resource for education journalism by others, including regional and international news relevant to Cayman education. (Find our running collection of links here.)
- Cayman Compass ($): Clifton Hunter head shave raises $9,500 for schoolmate
- BVI Beacon: 78 percent of CXC exams written earn passing grade
- Miami Herald ($): The Miami school district says all schools are ready to reopen this week. Some disagree
- The Guardian (UK): ‘Exhausted’ teachers warn they have no additional funding to handle Covid-19
- The Guardian (UK): Special needs children ‘shut out’ of school in England due to Covid-19 rules
- Bermuda Royal Gazette: Government announces 2020 scholarships
- Jamaica Gleaner: J’can males speak of their challenges in tertiary education
- Jamaica Observer: Holy Family Primary first recipient of govt-promised tablets
- The Guardian (UK): Let’s seize this rare chance to abolish school exams and league tables
- The Guardian (UK): I thought school would terrify my kids. They just put on masks and adapted
- The Guardian (UK): UK university student halls too full to be safe, experts warn
- Miami Herald ($): Miami Dade College reopens facing the steepest enrollment decline in its history
- Miami Herald ($): ‘A hell of a fight’: Broward Schools accepts earlier reopening after state agrees to it
- Miami Herald ($): UM and FIU join a growing list of schools canceling spring break because of COVID-19
- Jamaica Gleaner: Latonya Style pushing the barriers of online education
- Jamaica Observer: Gov’t offers more support for public schools
- Bermuda Royal Gazette: Rabain commits to signature schools for 2021
- The Guardian (UK): ‘Where is the money going?’: students demand tuition fee refunds
- The Guardian (UK): Exempt under-12s in England from Covid rule of six, says report
- Jamaica Gleaner: Remittances give students lifeline
The Week Ahead
- Interview with Matthew Read, Principal, Prospect Primary School
- Analysis of the Office of Education Standards’ updated framework for schools inspection, ‘Successful Schools and Achieving Students 2’. This document was scheduled to be officially released Monday, but it appeared on the OES website early. You can get a sneak peek via the Current’s Document Library.