VINCENTIAN STUDENTS studying across the regional campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI), will, over the next academic year, receive at least a 50% reduction in fees; while Open Campus students will benefit from at least a 25% reduction.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves revealed this on Friday, May 14, after receiving the go-ahead from Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies(UWI); who was on-island last week.
Speaking from the Cabinet room, the Prime Minister informed that: “They(UWI) have taken a decision to make some special provisions for Vincentian students that in respect of students who are going in for the new academic year and students who are already there at all the campuses, they will provide relief on fees for the next year, generally up to 50%.”
He added that “they may well go higher in specific cases, which they would address on a caseby- case basis.”
In relation to those students at the UWI Open Campus, they would allow for a 25% reduction of the fees there. On a caseby- case basis; this figure could be higher.
“I should point out, not only the University fees, but they would also do the same thing in relation to the campus accommodation,” that is concerning those that are owned and operated by the University.
“This is gonna be a big help to our students,” Gonsalves commented.
The Prime Minister also spoke about the students at Cave Hill who have raised with him a matter concerning staying in Barbados over the holiday period. Those who “for one reason or the other would like to remain there,” he informed, “that they would get the same 50% off.”
Some students may not have a decided location to return to since the explosions of La Soufrière.
Speaking to an individual from the St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Students Association (VINSA), Cave Hill, who had written to him, the Prime Minister also noted on air, “…And in relation to the specific student who you asked about, who was not well and who has to remain there – that person can get further relief.”
In relation to students who want to return to St Vincent over the holiday period, “…I don’t think hardly any of them would have been vaccinated because of that…the policy which has been used in Barbados- and they have to quarantine, depending on their situation, for 7 or 14 days,” he noted, adding, “…we would provide some relief too, the Government.”
“…I don’t know the actual numbers(of students), and I would have to find that out,” from VINSA, the Prime Minister said. He clarified, “…These are people from the red zone and the orange zone, these are students who are returning and who don’t have any access to their homes. And, of course, there are those who are in a situation where the protocol will say that they have to, that they need to go into a quarantined establishment. We’ll have to help.”