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Use Best Practice Principles to do More

For Release Upon Receipt - Friday, June 5, 2015

Tertiary Level Institutions use best practice principles to do more with less


The University of the West Indies, Vice-Chancellery - Global economic crisis. Stalled capital projects. Hiring freeze. Dropped programmes. This is just the top of the iceberg in terms of challenges faced by educational institutions, public and private. The issue is big enough that a University of the West Indies conference on Institutionalising Best Practice in Higher Education is attracting participation from the region and as far away as Austria.


According to Conference Chair Dr Sandra Gift, Head of The University’s Quality Assurance Unit, St Augustine Campus, ‘understanding and using best practice principles can give institutions  the edge to succeed, not just survive, in an increasingly competitive market’.  The conference, she says, will give participants a deeper knowledge about best practice principles in the management and administration of higher education institutions. It is organised by the Quality Assurance Unit and Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) from June 24-26.


Conference themes revolve around Context and its Impact on Best Practice; Best Practice, Good Practice and Promising Practice: Identifying the Evidence; and Strategies for institutionalising Best Practice in Higher Education Institutions.


Among the keynote speakers are UWI’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; Deputy Principal of The UWI’s St. Augustine Campus Prof Rhoda Reddock; Prof Dan Butin, Associate Professor and Founding Dean of the School of Education and Social Policy at Merrimack College, named by Education Week as one of the top public education scholars of 2014 ,; Dr. Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University; Dr. Claudia Harvey, Former UNESCO Representative, Office Director and Education Adviser; and Ms Catherine Kumar, Chief Executive Officer at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce. 


The conference is being held at the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI with the support of UNESCO and the Huawei Corporation.  Further information and online registration are available on Interested persons can email or call 868 224 3719; 868 662 7031 for more and follow UWIBestPractices on Twitter.



 About Dr Sandra Gift

Dr Sandra Gift is Head of The University’s Quality Assurance Unit, reporting in to the Vice-Chancellery.  Dr Gift has made significant contributions to the development and deepening ofThe UWI culture of academic quality. She has conducted numerous quality assurance reviews of UWI academic programmes and quality evaluations of academic processes and procedures that have resulted in improvements in curricula, assessment, resources and quality assurance procedures in departments and units. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Education (awarded with high commendation), a Master of Philosophy in Education- both from The University of the West Indies; a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Studies (accredited as a Master’s Degree) from the University of Geneva, Switzerland; and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from The UWI. She is trilingual and has completed several on-the-job training programmes in diverse areas including - training of new secretaries general of national commissions for UNESCO,  environmental education, cultural heritage, curriculum development for UNESCO Associated Schools, to name a few. She is author of Maroon Teachers: Teaching the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and authored or co-authored several academic papers on quality assurance in higher education.


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