August 16, 2013

Barbadian students to start paying tuition at UWI next academic year

Fri Aug 16, 2013

FROM NEXT YEAR, Barbadian students at campuses of the University of the West Indies across the region will be digging into their pocket for their tuition fees.{{more}}

This was revealed by Minister of Finance in the Barbados government Christopher Sinckler, as he delivered the 2013 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals in the House of Assembly Tuesday.

Starting in the academic year 2014/2015, full-time students entering the university’s Faculties of Humanities and Education, Social Sciences and Science and Technology will pay tuition fees of Bds$5,625. Those entering the Faculty of Law will pay Bds$8,808, while those entering the Faculty of Medical Sciences will pay Bds$16,618 for clinical tuition.

Government, said Sinckler, will continue to pay the economic cost of each student, which is much higher.

The Minister said that while the Democratic Labour Party remained committed to, and fully supportive of, the continued growth and development of UWI, the island’s contribution to the UWI had outstripped its funding of all of Barbados’ nursery, primary and secondary schools, as well as contributions to the Barbados Community College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.

However, he revealed that measures were being put in place to ensure that those without the financial wherewithal could still pursue a university degree.

“The Ministry of Education will provide further details on a Means Testing Mechanism to ensure that no deserving person is denied access to a university education because of the means of their parents,” he said.

There will also be adjustments to the Student Revolving Loan Scheme, while the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs will soon be working with financial institutions to establish a National Registered Education Savings Plan “with appropriate tax allowance provisions for savers”, Sinckler reported.

“We appreciate that this is a major shift in policy, not just for this administration, but for the country as a whole, and it will meet with its fair share of criticism,” he said.

“However, my hope is that the discourse that will no doubt ensue will also take cognizance of the reality that the Government simply cannot continue to contract such huge amounts of expenditure for which it knowingly has no sustainable means of meeting.” (HLE/ Midweek Nation)