24 Oct. 2021
Weekly Current (archived version)
UCCI leaders make an appearance on EdBeat. Bids sought for new Red Bay Primary classrooms. Lions Pool reopens for swim classes. ICCI students inducted into honor society.
Welcome to this week’s newsletter on education in the Cayman Islands.
Week In Review
This week’s episode of EdBeat puts a spotlight on the University College of the Cayman Islands, which is undertaking a comprehensive accreditation process for a major US governing body, and is right around the midpoint of its 5-year strategic plan.
Patrick Brendel of the Cayman Current and April Cummings of Cayman Life TV are joined by UCCI President and CEO Stacy McAfee and VP of Academic Affairs JD Mosley-Matchett.
Here are some highlights from the discussion:
- McAfee said gaining external accreditation is “balancing the quality of what we do within the Cayman context to ensure that students that attend UCCI are receiving the same quality of education that they might receive anywhere else in the world“.
- For example, having accreditation means that a student earning a bachelor’s degree from UCCI can more easily go on to seek a master’s degree from another institution because their UCCI degree will be recognised.
- Although UCCI is now seeking accreditation from the US-based Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the university already has accreditation from organisations in the UK, Caribbean and internationally.
- “It’s all about continuous improvement,” McAfee said.
- Matchett-Mosley said SACS accreditation has 14 principles in areas ranging from student achievement to faculty, and from academic programmes to finances and transparency.
- “We have to prove that we are meeting the standards for all of those 14 areas, which means it’s very data-intensive, and some of the things that we’ve had to change are the way we go about determining whether or not students are actually meeting those student learning outcomes, and how are we taking that information and improving our education system,” Matchett-Mosley said.
- From 2016/17 to August 2021, UCCI increased the number of students it serves by more than 40% — from 1,350 to 1,943.
- McAfee said, “We’ve always had wonderful faculty who were very invested in their students and the Cayman Islands, but we needed students to take a real active role in their own successes.”
- She said, “We need more resources, to be perfectly frank, to accomplish the vision for the university. Not just the physical campus, but we need more faculty, we need more support staff and ensuring that we have similar ratios to other universities around the world.”
- Maybe the most-unrealised, but most important, part of UCCI’s strategic plan is to make the university an “engine for economic development, innovation and social change”.
The Department of Education Services is seeking bids for the construction of three new Year 6 classrooms at Red Bay Primary School.
The Request for Proposal also calls for modifying three existing classrooms into classrooms for Reception.
Red Bay Primary is one of the most-crowded public primary schools in Cayman, with an occupancy rate of 86% as of September 2020.
The PACT government has called for creating Nursery classrooms in public schools, as part of the proposed $88.3 million in capital spending for the Ministry of Education over the next three years.
The Lions Aquatic Centre reopened after being closed for a month or so while repair and maintenance work was performed on the swimming pool.
You may ask, “What does this have to do with education?” … Well, many public and private schools hold their PE swimming classes at the Lions Pool.
In addition to schools’ swimming classes, the Department of Sports’ ‘Learn to Swim’ programme opens back up on 8 Nov.
Seventeen students from the International College of the Cayman Islands were inducted into Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society at the George Town Yacht Club.
To qualify, undergraduate students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be in the top 20% of the class. Graduate students must have at least a 3.5 GPA and be in the top 20% of the class.
More from the Current
- Spring Registration for UCCI Opens Oct. 27
- Law School’s Deputy Director makes another contribution to the Law of Trusts
Around The Web
The Current is a central resource for education journalism by others, including regional and international news relevant to Cayman education. (Find our running collection of links here.)
- Cayman Compass ($): Back to school: Return to classrooms on track for Monday
- Cayman Compass: EY Cayman Scholarship
- The Royal Gazette (Bermuda): Education minister ‘honestly not following’ parents’ stance on testing
- The Royal Gazette (Bermuda): Mandatory testing for students and staff before return to school after midterm break
- The BVI Beacon: Asked about NPP, Fahie points to late premier
- The Guardian (UK): The Guardian view on biometric technology in schools: watch closely | Editorial
- The Royal Gazette (Bermuda): Multimillion-dollar marine robot unveiled to students
The Week Ahead
- EdBeat: Episode 20