Deputy Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Services, Professor Richard Coll delivers his address.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) held its first ever Industry Consultation on Short Course Trainings and Global Certifications on 29 September 2016.
This consultation allowed USP to listen to employers’ training needs so that demand driven quality short courses and certifications can be introduced. Representatives from industries also had an opportunity to find out the range of short term trainings that USP has to offer.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Student Services, Professor Richard Coll said that consultations such as these will continue on a regular basis.
Professor Coll talked about USP’s Strategic Plan 2013-2018, and said that it is a guiding document for the University that simulates the activities of USP.
“One of our guiding values mentioned in the Strategic Plan (2013-2018) is to support flexible learners in all locations for success, work life and citizenship,” Professor Coll said.
He further stated that industries play a critical role by informing the University what their needs are and what part of programmes, modalities and delivery will suit them.
“There are also a lot of employees who prefer short courses and global certifications and this is why USP has set up the Workforce Development Training Unit (WDTU) to provide that type of education,” he added.
Director of Pacific TAFE, Mr Hasmukh Lal said that when USP was carrying out its stakeholder consultation prior to the implementation of the Strategic Plan (2013-2018), one thing that was quite eminent was that USP needed to have some kind of skills based qualifications which provided pathways to higher education.
He informed the industry representatives present at the WDTU that qualifications at Pacific TAFE are based on high and sustainable labour market needs of member countries.
In the third year of its existence, Pacific TAFE ended 2015 with over 6000 enrolments and continues to grow.
“And this year, I think we will surpass the enrolment figures by 8000,” Mr Lal remarked.
He added that, “USP is renowned for quality programmes and whatever happens, USP never makes an attempt to compromise its quality.”
The director talked about the three disciplines that Pacific TAFE is made up of and will be renamed to Colleges next year. These are: College of Arts and Humanities; College of Business, Tourism and Hospitality; and College of Science, Technology and Environment.
Pacific TAFE has six (6) international accreditations till date, and has set a target to achieve international accreditations for sixteen (16) of its programmes by 2018.
Mr Lal also talked about Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) award, adding that, Pacific TAFE of USP is the first department in the Pacific to start offering RPL. This award recognises one’s previous learning with combined experience
“If you demonstrate with your prior learning and experience that you are meeting the learning outcomes of a particular course, than you will need to provide the evidence for it, and once you provide the evidence we will give you the RPL,” Mr Lal told the industry representatives.
Statement of Attainment was promoted as another option of undertaking credit courses from approved programmes. This allows participants to choose course/s based on professional interest and exit with Statement of Attainment.
Pacific TAFE is looking to introduce the loyalty scheme for WDTU. The loyalty scheme will come in different levels. For instance, the gold, silver and bronze card. Each short course will come with a certain number of points and those employers who reach the required points for each card will receive discounts on some short courses provided at WDTU.
Mr Lal said that they are also working to offer short courses through online mode. This will include online registrations and online studies for a longer period of time.
One of the feedbacks from industries was that they would like Pacific TAFE to look into providing retail management courses and basic statistics and analytics courses.
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