Dr. Roderick Hewitt

Faith-based schools must reshape their curricula and revenue structure in order to be relevant to the needs of modern-day students and to stay afloat in tough economic times, says the Reverend Dr Roderick Hewitt, new president of the International University of the Caribbean (IUC).

“The landscape of tertiary education in Jamaica, the Caribbean and the wider world is fast changing. The emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with its accompanying information technology, biotechnology, deep learning, machine learning, and the rise of artificial general intelligence, is fast transforming the tertiary educational landscape,” he said.

“Institutions that fail to adapt will, therefore, be abandoned by the marketplace as being irrelevant to their needs. This has placed great pressure on faith-based private institutions that are not recipients of government subversion,” he further stated.

He also announced some of the new programmes that IUC will be pursuing for the next school year.

In a thought-provoking speech, guest speaker Theresa Turner-Jones, country manager of the Inter-American Development Bank, emphasised the need for graduands to have other competencies such as critical-thinking and digital skills.

Turner-Jones bemoaned the fact that many people have lost the soft skills and encouraged the 2019 cohort of graduates to learn and refine those competencies. She also encouraged the private sector to employ the graduands.

Two hundred students graduated from the IUC in a conservative exercise held at the Jamaica Conference Centre last Thursday.