Acting President's Advisory on Plans for Semester 1 Academic Year 2020-21

Dear Colleagues and Students,

In our mission to advance and disseminate knowledge through teaching, scholarship and research in the new Academic Year, 2020-21, we are all mindful of the unprecedented and challenging times resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic.  Over the last several months, our students, members of faculty and staff have been hard at work navigating and adapting to the challenges and opportunities of transitioning to a primarily online teaching and learning environment. We are grateful to all our stakeholders for your continued commitment to excellence in this new experience for all of us.

Delivery Modality for Classes

At this time, the University will continue to maintain measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus in keeping with the current and emerging health and safety guidelines and protocols outlined by the Government of Jamaica.  As such, classes will be delivered using a blended approach (a mix of online learning systems, web-conferencing, in-person classroom, laboratory and clinical setting modalities for practical components of respective modules).

The details of the delivery modality and requirements for each module will be circulated by respective Colleges and Faculties in short order.  Some Colleges/Faculties have already been communicating with their returning and prospective students via webinars, email and other electronic communication.  I take the opportunity to remind all registered students to activate their assigned UTech, Jamaica email to keep abreast of important information being disseminated by the University and to be in touch with the Student Affairs section of your respective College /Faculty to stay connected.

Important Dates

While we work to finalize schedules to ensure the continued high quality of our programmes and a great learning experience for our students, please note the following important dates for

Semester I:  

  • August 13:                                    Pre-registration Forum Online
  • August 16 – 21:                            University’s Orientation – Week of Welcome     (Online)                                  
  • August 17:                                    Registration commences
  • August 17 – September 4:            Add-drop of modules period
  • August 24:                                    Classes Begin

You will be duly notified of any change to this schedule.

Accommodation on Halls of Residence

The Halls of Residence will be re-opened for the start of Semester 1, however fewer than normal students will be accommodated in keeping with requirements for physical distancing.  The Accommodation Office is working to assist students in identifying appropriate off campus accommodation.  Interested students should make contact with the Accommodation Unit for assistance in this regard. 

Access to Campus Internet Facilities

The Computer Laboratories on the Papine Campus will be opened and made available where possible for use by students.  A considerate philanthropist has donated 9 laptops to the University for students’ use.  It is hoped that other benefactors will come on board to assist us in this regard so that students with dire need for these devices can be entertained accordingly.  An Online Technology Support Centre has been established to provide technology support services for remote access (password/log-in issues) and online –blended classes.  The contact email is 

Access to the Library

The Calvin McKain Library on the Papine campus is open for regular business. This includes browsing inside the library (with restrictions), use of the self-check machine, offering of reprographic services such as photo-copying, scanning and spiral binding. Operating hours of the Library are Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. subject to the needs of users.  Users are also encouraged to use the online library resources such as e-books and databases and past examination papers which are available 24/7.   

The Arthur Wint Drive, Kingston and Dome Street, Montego Bay Campus libraries will offer walk-in services for two days weekly.  Please see the University’s website and the Student’s Portal for further details on the University’s library.

Physical Distancing Protocols On Campus

Fellow Knights, I look forward to welcoming you all back to our campuses and to the start of another Academic Year. I take this opportunity to advise you of the physical distancing protocols and guidelines implemented to protect us all from this pandemic.  Please be guided as follows:

  • No more than twenty (20) persons will be allowed to meet at any one place on campus
  • Mask wearing is mandatory prior to entry and the duration of time on campus
  • Please expect a mandatory temperature check to be conducted on each person at the gate before entry to the campus. Persons with abnormal temperature reading will be referred to the University’s Medical Centre/Environmental Unit
  • Hand sanitizing stations are located at the entry to buildings.  Please utilize them
  • Any room to be used for events must be of a capacity to observe 6 feet distancing between persons
  • Physical distancing is to be maintained at all times for the duration of your stay on the campus even while traversing the campus
  • Gathering outside meetings/events, including the car park, is prohibited.

International Students

We are equally excited to welcome our international students for the new academic year.  I kindly ask that you apprise yourself of the COVID-19 protocols outlined by the Government of Jamaica and your respective countries.  Please plan your travel to facilitate a 14-day quarantine period where applicable and COVID-19 tests.  Be reminded that some courses of study may be offered online and may not necessitate a physical presence in Jamaica or on the campus in Semester I. Kindly stay in touch with your college/faculty and the International Students’ Office for updates.

Students’ Fees

Please note the following fee structure for students for the Academic Year 2020 – 2021:

  • Enrolment Commitment Fee for new students: Ja$28, 700 (local); US$225 (international)
  • Enrolment Commitment fee for returning students: Ja$25, 000 (local); US $225 (international)
  • Tuition: The cost per credit for modules remains the same as in Academic Year 2019/2020

Together We Will Get Through This!

As Jamaica and the rest of the globe continue to grapple with the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we will all need to adjust and to adapt. We are mindful of the inconveniences and challenges caused by the situation and ask for continued patience and understanding.  I give my assurance to our stakeholders that all members of our community will maintain the commitment of excellence through knowledge and to the UTech, Jamaica Core Values that shape our interactions.

Yours Sincerely,

Professor Colin Gyles, PhD
President (Acting)

Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299