I was pleased to participate and give special congratulations to those students attending the Bridgetown International University School of Medicine’s first white coat ceremony.
After receipt of a charter, the Bridgetown International University School of Medicine (BIU) submitted its application for registration to the Barbados Accreditation Council (BAC) in November 2018. Registration signals that an educational provider has met the minimum standards required to deliver tertiary education and training in Barbados. These standards are established by the BAC, which is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, with its genesis in an Act of Parliament in Barbados since 2004.
Any organisation or institution offering education and/or training to persons over the age of 16 years in Barbados is required to register with the BAC, as registration seeks to assure the public that a tertiary education provider meets specific criteria established by the BAC to operate in Barbados. This public recognition is important since it means that the BAC would have evaluated the provider’s operations against its criteria for registration.
You would be pleased to know that this process is extremely thorough, and the BAC provides the technical support and guidance to the provider before selecting an Evaluation Team with the necessary skills and competencies required. The team of international peer evaluators then conducts a comprehensive registration evaluation visit.
In March 2022, based on the outcome of the external evaluation, BIU was granted registration for a period of two (2) years, having satisfied that it has sufficiently met the criteria. In a recent courtesy call with BIU officials and the Minister of Education, Kay McConney, the two entities sat down to discuss the relationship. Dr Ganapriya Kancherla, President of BIU, indicated that they appreciated the rigour and thoroughness exhibited by the BAC in their attempts to demonstrate that they satisfy the criteria.
In today’s globally competitive world, there are unscrupulous tertiary providers who are seeking to offer education and training to Barbadians and residents of Barbados. The Barbados Accreditation Council must remain the tertiary education sector’s guardian by ensuring that current and prospective learners are not taken advantage of by such providers. This means that ALL tertiary education providers must be prepared to show that they are ready to operate in Barbados in an ethical manner by meeting the BAC’s registration requirements. By completing the registration process with the BAC, the BIU has shown its intent to be an ethical provider of educational services in Barbados.
I look forward to hearing more from these students who took part in the white coat ceremony, which was symbolic of the start of their journey toward becoming a physician. As they well know, it is indeed a responsibility they took on as they pledged to make positive contributions to their patients, the profession and their communities. In addition, they are committed to honouring the health profession, having a duty to future patients, and treating them with dignity, empathy and compassion. This was my first such occasion, and I was pleased to join the other education officials on this very auspicious occasion.
Lisa Gale C. Dir.