President Vasciannie Hosts Reception for UTech, Ja. Alumni

President, Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, CD updates CAST/UTech, Jamaica alumni on developments at the University during a special reception held at the Papine campus on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Over one hundred CAST/UTech, Jamaica alumni came out for a cocktail reception and information sharing session with President, Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, CD, on Thursday, June 1, 2017.  The well attended reception organized by the Alumni Relations Office, was held at the new School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) Hotel, University of Technology, Jamaica Papine campus.

In his wide-ranging talk with alumni, President Vasciannie updated the gathering on recent developments and shared plans for the future direction of the University. 

The President provided updates on the status of accreditation; matters concerning research and scholarships, student-related concerns, changes in senior staffing; status of union negotiations and thoughts related to greater engagement between the University and its alumni community.


Concerning accreditation, Prof. Vasciannie affirmed that the University is getting ready for Institutional Accreditation and expressed the hope that this will be achieved soon.  Prof. Vasciannie further shared that while the process of Institutional Accreditation is in train, there has been a number of courses that have been submitted for programmatic accreditation. 

Student Welfare

On matters concerning student welfare, Prof. Vasciannie said that he was pleased that UTech, Ja students recently benefitted from a portion of the $300M allocated by the Government to support students who were unable to pay exam fees. The President reported that through his intervention with the Ministry of Education, UTech, Ja was granted $100M.  He explained that the funding is being provided under a scheme in which the government will pay a portion and the students will pay a portion through an arrangement with JAMVAT or other community service based programme.

Prof. Vasciannie also provided an update on the status of lobbying efforts to ensure parity for the entry of UTech, Ja students into the Norman Manley Law School.  Responding to a query from a member of the alumni association regarding establishment of a UTech, Jamaica Law School, the President noted that certain initiatives were being pursued for the long term. In the interim, the University has made arrangements for its law graduates to prepare for the entrance examination to the Norman Manley Law School through a series of “boot-camp” style revision sessions being held in June at both the Kingston and Montego Bay campuses.

In the area of research, the President said that the University is paying greater attention to research and in this regard, a number of initiatives have been implemented.  These include the doubling of the Research Development Fund (RDF) to the current $20M and grant/incentives for lecturers who publish their research work.

Prof. Vasciannie further updated the alumni on a number of partnership and income generating arrangements between the University and the public and private sectors.  Among them – a contractual arrangement with the World Bank and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information for the undertaking of the Jamaica Safe Schools Project in which over 971 public schools island wide will be inspected to make their infrastructure safer for children.  The President also mentioned an arrangement with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) which has offered $7M to UTech, Ja to continue the development of the Technology Innovation Centre (TIC).

The President closed with thanks to the alumni membership for on-going support to the University through various activities and encouraged the Association to think of additional ways in which alumni can be “energised.”  He noted that for the period 2012-2017 contributions by alumni amounted to $8.6 M in the form of scholarships, lab upgrades, development of a SMART classroom and cash gifts.

The President’s update was followed by a robust question and answer session.

Among the Alumni in attendance was a group dubbed, “CAST Pioneers” who represent the first set of students who entered the University of Technology, Jamaica in 1958/59 at the then College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) and who graduated in 1961.

PIONEER GRADUATES: Prof. Stephen Vasciannie (right) raps with “CAST Pioneers” Cowell Lyn (2nd left), retired Engineer and Keith Lumsden (3rd left), Architect, who were both part of the 1961 Graduating Class of the then College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST).  Prof. Colin Gyles, Deputy President shares in the discussion.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 970-5299