HIGHER EDUCATION GOVERNANCE
Ministry of Education OFFICIAL
The government role is to oversee equity in education ensuring that access is available to all citizens. Ensure that education is affordable and of a high quality. The government of St. Lucia wants to ensure that programs are developed to meet the needs of citizens.
The Ministry of Education is here to ensure balance on the Board of Governors, that members are carrying out the plans of the government and that citizen’s needs. According to the ACT the Ministry of Finance should oversee the finances of the college, assist with all financial transactions, the MOE should oversee policy and general performance of the college, hire and evaluate the principal.
The Board should be limited to overseeing activities. They should be providing advice on curriculum development, financing including tuition fees, and ensuring smooth and efficient running of the institution. The BOG should not be involved in daily operations pf the college
The positive consequences are providing access to all citizen, ensuring fees are affordable, ensuring quality and relevant programs are developed.
Negative consequences: government appoints board members and that changes one government changes so that there is inconsistencies in how the institution is governed depending on the governments mandate. Continuity is lacking.
The forms of accountability include audited financial statements, ensuring accreditation of programs, and commitment to quality teaching. The MOE is developing a higher education public policy that will ensure accountability and transparency in the sector.
The governance issues faced at this moment is the lack of adequate laws to oversee the institutions. The Act of 1985 is the only legislative piece of work .As the college transitions into a university college there need to be strategies that address continuity accreditation, quality assurance, board composition, ethics, accountability issues as well as transparency. The absence of a clear national development plan prevents the developing of curricula that are relevant to national development needs.
This question is a yes and no answer in St. Lucia’s situation SALCC is the only pubic government subsided tertiary level institution and so government plays a pivotal role in how the institution is governed by ensuring that the vulnerable citizens have access to education. However due to the decline in resources there is a need for the college to have autonomy to be able to find innovative ways to provide programs at an affordable rate. Because of the political nature of the system in St Lucia it would be better for HEI’s to govern themselves so that there is consistency and continuity.
There have been few changes in the approach. SALCC is semi-autonomous and so changes have to be made in collaboration with the government. However, since the proposal of transitioning into a university there have been changes in the programs that are being offered. Institutional effectiveness is a priority however increasing tuition fees quality assurance and communication seems to be a problem.
There must be accountability and transparency As more student’s access higher education there needs to be more available programs. All stakeholders should be part of the process. There should be monitoring of the institutions performance to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Ensuring that tht board always has right and adequate information.
Ministries of Education and Finance
The Principal and Management of the college
Chairperson of the Board of Governors
The government of St. Lucia has realized the need for good governance in Higher Education and has decided that the Higher Education system requires a totally new approach with a unified system of higher education. As such SALCC which is the lone public community college will embark on a vision and mission that is aligned with national goals. SALCC will provide diverse quality programs that will enable economic growth. The government is there to ensure accountability and transparency. Institutions have the right to be autonomous but that autonomy must come with a parallel level of accountability. Accountability meaning not only reporting how you spent the money but demonstrating value for money. The government is also there to ensure national goals are met
The board of governors of the college is selected by the Government of the day. According to the Act seven individuals are chosen. However I believe that the MOE and the government should not be part of the selection process of board members as continuity and transitioning is always hampered. The ACT should be amended so that there is less government involvement. Members should have autonomy to make decisions that is aligned with goals of college. The MOE should allow the board to make decisions that would effective and efficient running of the institution such as increasing fees and introducing ordeleting academic programs
The BOG should be placed to oversee the strategic direction of the college and ensure that the mission of the College is fulfilled. They should monitor and evaluate the progress the college, and act as a source of support to the management. The BOG should be able to hire college principal objectively and with integrity and also assess the performance with little intervention by the MOE. The board should not be part of the day to day operations of the institution. .
Positive consequences: accountability, control of fees which is in the public interest, cost sharing for citizens programs offered
Negative consequences: politics play a major role in higher education and as such there are inconsistencies in succession i.e. as government change plans which causes chaos. There is no office where data is collected and different individuals have access to different information. The lack of hard data, causes the institution to rely on the market to develop academic programs
Assessment of programs. There is a lack of a national development plan to assist the institutions in identifying academic programs that meet national development needs. Financial stability of the college is hampered by lack of a strategy to increase fees
The inadequacy of crucial library, laboratory, and technology resources has major implications the institutions as they prepare for transitioning and accreditation. The current funding of higher education also affects the institutions’ capacities to do long-term planning. The lack of funding also limits opportunities for professional development for faculty. Raising tuition and other fees is a constant sore point
Yes I think they should, in that way they are able to provide an effective and efficient service. Nonetheless there should be mechanisms put in place to monitor performance of these institutions.
Since SALCC was established more than three decades ago the governance approach has remained stagnant due to what I believe is inadequate legislation and government involvement.
Governance approach could be improved by ensuring best practices. Ensuring that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. Consistent monitoring of SALCC’s performance. Ensuring that all stake holders are adequately informed and information is readily available.
The Board of Governors
The government should ensure that there is a national policy on higher education governance that is used to monitor and evaluate the system. Moreover, the government should ensure the board members are skill based and understands the national goals as well as have tha ability to bring in fresh ideas.
The MOE should evaluate the performance of the board and pursue opportunities for improvement. The board should ensure that the strategic direction of the institution is ensued as it pertains to national goals. The board should ensure that the principal hired to run the institution is well versed in higher education policies and governance
Strategic planning, select support and evaluate principal. Set tuition fees, hiring and firing of top management, provide oversight for programs monitor performance of institution.
Positive consequences education is readily available and accessible. Tuition fees are subsidized. Programs are in alignment with national goals. Legislation to monitor institution
Negative consequences Institution is not autonomous and can only make decisions approved by government. Diminished government subvention not able to increase fees.
Reports, financial statements institutional research performance and evaluation, hierarchical accountability.
The lack of an effective and transparent funding formula that makes provisions to allow for accountability without taking away autonomy completely. The lack of institutional autonomy as the institution is controlled by MOE
Yes. That way they the institution is able maximize efficiency and pursue academic freedom responsibly. Institutional governance can then be responsive to the needs of stakeholders. There can also be increased participation by internal as well as external stakeholders
Participation. Because SALCC is in the process of transitioning into a degree granting institution it has engaged the participation of internal and external stakeholders. Realignment of staff structure to ensure the best persons are placed in the appropriate positions
It can be improved by ensuring appropriate legislation is in place, formulate policies that are of international standards, ensure political stability that means not because governments change that the board should.
Ensure that all students can afford quality education, Ensure evaluation and accreditation of programs
The role of MOE is to develop policies and regulations for the institution, identify board members, and hire principal evaluate and monitor his performance. MOE oversee the strategic direction of the institution. The board ensures accountability
The board should assist in the selection of top management. Oversee the use of financial resources, ensure that there is quality assurance of programs. Ensure that needs of the community are met. Work in collaboration with MOE to ensure efficient and effective running of institution
Positive consequences: access to education for all, affordable quality education,
Negative consequences: too much involvement by government causes stagnation as politics get involved,
Monitoring and evaluation of performance, enable forums and discussions with stakeholders, reporting to government on progress through presentations Minister responsible for the sector should be kept apprised and reported to on a regular basis.
Oversight issues, monitoring and elevation of the institution, accountability
No. Unless there is legislation which addresses the issues such as monitoring and evaluation accountability and transparency HEI’s should not govern themselves
SALCC is perceived as a political football and direction of the college changes depending on which political party is in power. However in the last few years there has been a thrust to change a few things such as communication, marketing of programs and involving stakeholders in the transitioning process
By ensuring that monitoring mechanisms are put in place to measure performance. By finding innovative ways to provide quality education at an affordable cost.
Principal, Senior Managers, Board
The government should manage policy development and implementation in collaboration with the HEI and its stakeholders. The government should ensure cooperation between the board, principal and senior managers of the institution and MOE as joint employers
The MOE should provide Leadership to guide the development of higher education. In the past five years, the SALCC has had at least three different principals and in the past year, the institution has been without any official leadership until now. The ACT strongly suggested that the minister of education hire individuals whose loyalty and obligation is solely to the institution but goes against that. The board should be part of the process in hiring and firing a senior member of staff
Oversee the financial transactions of the institution, ensure programs are kept relevant by deleting old ones and adding new ones, monitor and evaluate performance of top persons, ensure accountability.
Positive consequences; There is a vision for higher education. Access for vulnerable persons. Fees are kept minimal
Negative consequences: there is the financial impact when HEI’s are not allowed to increase fees and have to share revenues and expenditures with counterparts.
Politicians and politics are prominent in areas such as the financial assistance and the appointment of important personnel.
Documentation of performance and efficiency. Measuring whether goals are met through Quarterly reports, comparing results against original targets.
Oversight issues such as appointment competent board members, ensuring timely information is communicated, evaluating and monitoring board performance.
Yes. Having autonomy would enable HEI’s to run institutions without government interference.
There are no noticeable changes in my opinion. The institution continues to rely heavily on the government. The board has change many times in the last three years and there is no consistency or continuity.
Higher education policies are determined and ratified by MOE officials sometimes with the participation of higher educator administrators and other education officials. But college and university leaders complain that this participation is often limited to providing feedback rather than input in the formulation of policies.
MOE and the government, Board of Governors.
Development of a national policy for higher education. Ensure that the higher education system is structured, and not haphazard or doing things ad hoc,
The MOE‘s role is to ensure Strategic planning is in place to shape the national goal. Ensure that finances are used for appropriate purposes. The board manages and supervises all activities at the college
Appointment of key personnel. Planning and prioritizing goals, overseeing financial and accounting procedures
Positive consequences fees are regulated closely by the government,
Negative consequences: political factors, supply and demand increase in the number of students accessing education
Audit Reports and statements
A lack of guidelines or structures that ensure accountability. The need to communicate more with the ministry of education
Yes institutions have every right to be autonomous however that autonomy must come with a corresponding level of accountability.
Restructuring of staff more staff employed to meet demands of transitioning
Improved accountability supported by clear policies and consequences
MOE, Board, senior members of staff.