BASSETERRE, St Kitts and Nevis, Thursday, June 28, 2012 – The offshore education sector accounts for almost 12% of the economy of St Kitts and Nevis.
This was revealed by the Minister of Education Nigel Carty as he addressed the launch of the newly established Accreditation Board Secretariat for Institutions seeking to operate in the Federation.
The secretariat, which will regulate the offshore education sector by reviewing applications for prospective institutions as well as certifying and accrediting their programmes is also responsible for re-evaluating such programmes, periodically.
Minister Carty explained that the Accreditation Board would improve the regulatory framework in order to ensure orderly growth and protection of the integrity of the jurisdiction where offshore educational services are concerned.
The Accreditation Board is working on improving local requirements to international and interest groups such as the Educational Commission of Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), among others.
Minister Carty said the objective is to attract more institutions by improving the local rating of this jurisdiction; to facilitate the widest possible cross section of international students and medical programmes. He also expressed hopes to review the composition of the Board as well as to build alliances with regional and international organizations.
A new website for the Accreditation Board Secretariat has also been launched at www.ab.gov.kn, providing potential investors and other interested persons information on the accreditation process, as part of improving standards and increasing transparency within the organization.
The minister reported that the Board is currently involved in revising the Accreditation Act of 199 (amended in 2001) to improve its adequacy and efficiency in dealing with the board areas of concern relative to offshore education, and higher education generally.