Why Adopt An Alternative System Of Assessment?

The University of Technology, Jamaica in its adaptation of the PLA system, as an alternative for admissions and module exemption, is providing access to higher education for a larger segment of the population in the region who in the past, have been unable to access higher education. This thrust is in keeping with the concept of being the “people’s University” and simultaneously fulfills the commitment embodied in the Strategic Plan to provide flexible access to university education.

The University receives hundreds of applications annually from applicants who wish to pursue courses of study for which they do not meet the stipulated matriculation requirements, but have worked in the relevant field of study for several years or have pursued post-secondary certification at recognized/accredited institutions. The University strongly believes that there is value in the knowledge these individuals have gained and has therefore developed a rigorous system of assessing the prior learning of these applicants.

The PLA system poses no threat to the integrity of the courses of study, modules or institutions who have bought into the concept of alternative means of award of credit. Applicants for module exemption via PLA do not automatically receive those credits; assessment follows the same standard as that of students who pursue their courses of study through the normal channels. There is no ‘quick fix’ available and there are procedures and processes that must be adhered to before credits can be granted.