Acting President's Responses to Questions by Students

Professor Colin Gyles, Acting President


Below are responses from Professor Colin Gyles, Acting President to questions which have been posed by students.


Responses to Questions from the Students

1. How does the university plan to solve the issue of technical and practical modules that

cannot be administered over the internet?

a)   The Lecturers would have almost completed the practical requirements by the time of the University officially discontinued face-to-face engagement. Alternative modalities will be utilized in finalizing the acquisition of required competencies and assessing them.

b)   Alternative modalities for delivery and assessment of modules are being utilized.

c)    Some clinicals and practicals will be deferred until face-to-face modality returns.

d)   In the case of finalizing students, they may be allowed to continue and complete certain clinicals, where these can be accommodated in the clinical environments eg Medical Technologist who will require PPEs to complete their modules, will proceed, as this would be the same environment in which they will operate shortly, as employees, on completion of these clinicals.


2. Will a portion of our school fee be refunded?

a)   No. There are alternative modalities being utilized for the lectures and it should be understood that there are costs associated with these, as would be the case for face-to- face delivery and assessment. It will be ensured that students are facilitated to complete instruction, assessment, award of related credits and ultimately certification to which the fees pertain. Some discretionary fee payments have been recently implemented and advertised for semester 2 of AY 2019/20 and these will be applied across the board to all eligible students.


3. Is there an online platform for students wishing to switch faculties? 

a)   The student should immediately make contact with the College or Faculty about the matter.  E-mail requests are being processed.


4. Are assignments dates going to be extended?

a)   Yes. Ongoing and alternative assessments are being done until May 22. These alternative assessments may include online exams, open-book exams, research papers, projects and others.


5. How will students that need work experience be accommodated?

a)   Co-operative education students may not be able to do the work experience portion of the course due to the present social distancing protocol prescribed by the government; such cases will be deferred.  Where employers are able to facilitate, these will continue.


6. Can online classes have a time limit?

a)   Class schedule and duration of the classes will be maintained. As with face-to-face classes, if there is a change, it will be as arranged with the full agreement of the class members and the HOS/PD. No student should be inconvenienced by a change. Therefore, the schedule for online classes remain the same as it is on the official timetable, to avoid clashes and inconvenience to students.


7. For students outside of COBAM and School of Engineering, how can they access online

module withdrawal? 

a)   Students who wish to do a module withdrawal should send an email to the Faculty or College requesting a withdrawal. As a separate matter, a pilot of an online system for managing student requests is being tested in COBAM and SOE and will be released at a later date. For the present situation, in all Colleges and Faculties, the procedure will be by emails from students to Faculty Administrators/PDs and after PDs approval the FA will update the system.


8. What is the course of action for Scholarship Applications?

a)   Apart from the University scholarships there are other organizations giving scholarships which the Scholarship Office manages. So, scholarships would have already been taken up for this academic year and there may not be any new ones for the remainder of the Semester. Scholarships for the next Academic Year, 2020/2021, will be available and will be administered based on the usual criteria and application process. Scholarship information will be provided at a later date for AY 2020/2021.


9. Are students able to access services such as transcript, status letter online?  If yes, what is

the process to gain access to transcript, progress report and outstanding balance letter

seeing that the institution is closed?

a)   Students are unable to access transcripts due to the manual process within the office.

b)   Students do have access to their progress report via the student portal.

c)    Status letters are done manually. The Office is closed to the public and the curfew in Portmore has further exacerbated the problem based on the governments guidelines. In light of the recent guidelines of the government we have suspended these services, until further notice. Efforts are being made to offer some limited services by the Student Records Office in the upcoming week. You’ll be further advised, regarding such limited services, as soon as they become available.


10. Will summer fees be at a reduced cost? 

a)   The University is exploring the matter, inclusive of seeking additional support from the government and other sources in respect of a possible reduction of fees for the Summer.


11. Will all exams be online in summer? 

a)   Alternative Assessments will be utilized.  All delivery and assessments will be done online.


12. For students in SOBA, how will their remaining conferences be facilitated? 

a)   The conference was cancelled due to the protocol of the government; so alternative assessment of performance will be utilized, which might include the writing of a reflective piece.


13. What are the plans for resident students to retrieve their personal items that are currently

left on the dorms? 

a)   A protocol has been developed by the Accommodations Officer and has been published on the UTech, Jamaica Broadcaster and on the Student Portal. The process for allowing retrieval of personal items will be done on April 28 and April 30.


14. Will summer school be facilitated in a face to face medium if the current restrictions by

the GOJ is lifted?

a)    No. There will be online classes for the Summer


15. Is it possible for semester 2 modules to be transferred to semester 1 AY 20/21?

a)   If one withdraws from a module in Semester 2, then this module must be paid for at the next opportunity that one seeks to pursue it.  Arrangements are in place for students to complete Semester 2 without the need to defer completion.


16. The Student Council assured us that students without internet access will be facilitated,

however, what will this facilitation be?

a)   With the zero rating of some websites, the matter is being pursued to minimize the cost of internet access to students. Also, the University has started to pursue various avenues to seek support from our various benefactors in order to provide devices, where possible, for needy students.

17. We appreciate the communication made from the University over the Easter Holiday,

however, will there be an opening of these offices even if it’s done remotely? An example

is the accounts department.


a)   Presently the University will not be facilitating students on the campus. Several offices remain open, remotely, via work-from-home protocols, using email and other available technology.

b)   Student Financing and other offices have been responding to students online.

c)    We await further guidance from the Government of Jamaica, based on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, regarding the social distancing, work-from-home and other protocols before we seek to reopen our physical offices for regular face-to-face delivery of services.


18. Will UTech, Ja. be offering classes online after the resumption of face to face classes?

a)   Yes, online classes will continue.


19.   Are faculties working on a list of modules that will be offered during the summer? and

if yes, when will it be posted?

a)   Yes. Critical mass will decide the process, otherwise the independent study modality will be utilized.

b)   The information regarding modules that will be offered for the Summer will be available by next week.


20. Will hall fees be prorated? 

a)   The University will make a decision on the matter and students will be apprised.



Professor Colin Gyles, PhD
President (Acting)
April 24, 2020


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299 or 876 818-5893