UWI, MONA AND TERTIARY EDUCATION IN JAMAICA
The University of the West Indies, Mona and Tertiary Education in Jamaica. In Revisiting Tertiary Education Policy in Jamaica: Towards Personal Gain or Public Good? Editors Olivene Burke and Rheima Holding. Ian Randle Publishers: Kingston. Pp 60-103: 2005
This Chapter on the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus and tertiary education in Jamaica, is situated within a volume revisiting tertiary education policy in Jamaica, especially with respect to its public and private benefits. Before delving directly into the subject, the Chapter steps back and examines, if even briefly, general issues. These include rapid, pervasive and disruptive technology changes; reactions to these changes including reaching back to traditional verities; the revival of historical enmities; and uncertainties because social cause and effect are usually so long separated in time such that the generation generating the cause is not around to address the effect and its consequences. Included in this general background is the relationship between society and formal education. Generally, education is intentional activity and tertiary education even more so. Hence, the teleological dimension becomes very relevant since purposeful action is taken within a framework of learned meaning.
Becoming more specific, the Chapter examines tertiary education in Jamaica with respect to its relatively recent history, dispersed policy apparatus, loose legal framework, relatively small size and increasing demand pressure consequent upon the expansion of secondary education and the constraints and expense of seeking tertiary education abroad. Also discussed are Government and development corporation agencies policies and financing of the different levels of formal education and the limited priority given to tertiary education.
The concluding half of the Chapter addresses the return on investment of tertiary education generally, and within tertiary, on different specializations offered at UWI. Detailed empirical data, in table and charts, document enrollments at all public tertiary institutions, annual recurrent and capital expenditures over the period 1975 to 2002/2003. Expenditures are compared in constant 1986$ Jamaican and US$. Studies are cited which show that tertiary education is both a public good and a private benefit. The critical question is whether the Government as the recipient of the public good or students/parents are prepared their fair share.