Mixed reaction to UWI fees

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler making his way into Parliament.
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler making his way into Parliament.

Yesterday’s Budget announcement by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler that Barbadians attending the University of the West Indies would now have to pay their own tuition fees, amounting to thousands of dollars per semester, has met with swift and mixed reaction.

In fact, since we started simultaneous live monitoring of readers on our various platforms, no news item has attracted as much attention as this announcement. Following is a sampling of the comments they posted.


Malina Juvi

People in Barbados shouldn’t complain about the DLP 2013 budget. They had the opportunity to change them last election, and they thought they were doing such an excellent job that they return them to power.

Sonia Patrick Forde

No Veronica, the poor people in America do not pay, they get pel and tap government grants, so they want to what government concession is in the Budget for kids with similar situations…

Al Hunte

That is a major blow. What about the students who can’t afford to pay. Many of the same individuals who are for this policy are former students of UWI. That sucks.

Veronica A. Piggott

People in the US were always paying through their teeth for their children’s education and I wonder why a place like Barbados, with no resources, would get the money from to foot free education, bus fares, health. People, wake up and stop playing retarded, stop looking at party and look at the interest of the country

Sonia Patrick Forde

Yes economic times are tough all over the world. Obama just signed a bill not to increase student loans or the rates in a country with money because he know the student that needs the education will not have the money to pay, so where does the Barbados government thinks students here will get the money.

Dave Holder

We now get rob. I don’t think people really understand what I now read. I had to read this thing again. Barbados officially downgraded. I read recently a concern about youth leaving the island and not coming back because it seems brain dead. Tourism ain’t all that let me tell you… This is a really bad idea, student loan debt is what helping ruin North America. So I guess we can now join the club…

Veronica A. Piggott

Work first and get the money to pay, at least the civil servants still got their jobs. Some thing have to give in these tough economic times, whether it be Dems or BLP, lots of them go up there and play the fool, when they have to pay, I sure that they do not want to lose their money.

Cat Rock

People paying for their own degrees will put more effort in and value it more.

Dave Holder

This sucks so bad…

Serina Hector

Nothing is free anymore and I am quite surprised how long it has taken [Gov’t] to implement the new fee paying structure. This is nothing new in the States or the UK and I believe with a good student loan structure many Barbadians will still be able to attend UWI. It will also make those who are time and money wasters who wish to attend UWI, realise that they are now paying for further education from their own pockets and so friggin about will only be at their own detriment and not the Barbadian taxpayers!!!! Just Saying.

Cat Rock

It was inevitable and world world is still comparatively one of the cheapest degrees money can buy

 From Website:

Brerlou L. King

I sincerely hope that the government will also rush post haste to put mechanisms in place whereby a system of scholarships, bursaries, and loans will ensure that no talented student will be deprived of an education because of his inability to meet the tuition fees.


I really don’t think that the minister thought about the students who are currently in the system and barely able to make payments. I honestly think that the fees should be imposed on those persons wishing to attend UWI for 2014 seeing that they would have adequate time to plan ahead and look at other options and those who are currently in the system should have been allowed to continue at the current fee that they are paying until they are phased out.

The children are our future

One word — regression.

Concerned teacher

As a teacher I see plenty of children who are from lower income or middle class families with amazing academic talent, are they now to fall by the way side simply because they don’t have the economic support that more fortunate students may enjoy?

This is simply perpetuating the cycle of poverty by removing education as a viable way of progression, what’s left? Drugs? It is truly a sad day in Barbados, where is a student who has demonstrated amazing academic potential supposed to find $65000 per year to fulfill the dream of becoming a doctor.

Simply put, the rich will remain rich and the poor will remain poor. The middle class will be eradicated. Barbados will become and island of haves and have nots.


Not all UWI students are time wasters and with the drastic measures taken by the DLP, most serious students can no longer afford to continue to pursue their education because they simply cannot afford it — especially those who work to put myself through school. The time wasters are usually the comfortable ones not the poor ones who knows how hard things are.

How do you pay a student loan with a degree and no employment ?


It’s sad. Students won’t be able to afford this. More people are going to stay home rather than get educated. Crime will rise.


I was happy to read this headline. This is a brave step in the right direction. More tough decisions ahead but I am confident Barbados will prosper with time and dedication. Education is the backbone of our nation, but not the responsibility entirely of the government to fund. I agree that efforts for interest free or low interest loans and bursaries are better more sustainable options, practiced globally.

Reality Check

Suck it up! Poor unfortunate people in every Caribbean country except Trinidad and Tobago, not only pay higher tuition but high cost for room and board. Its not a crime to pay for what you want. Take some responsibility!

C’est la vie

I agree 117.5 per cent (VAT INCLUDED).


Face the reality people, this was an option of now or future it’s better to happen now than later. For long we have been dependent on government to fit the bill but the truth is that things can only happen for sooo long. Yes it was a privilege to have free education but time to move on from here.

One suggestion that should be noted that student that are of great academic talent and low income backgrounds should be awarded with a scholarship. In contrast, students who are academically talented and are of a high income background should foot the bill. For too long in this country the rich have been given a pass and the poor are made to pay things must change!


This is a step backward. Free education has helped so many poor Barbadian — but I guess some of those Barbadians are now politicians and forget how they managed to get their job in the first place. Wow, now we are following the example of crime-ridden poverty-stricken islands (unnamed but known by us all) who already do not educate their people.

C’est la vie

For years Eastern Caribbean students have been bearing the weight of paying full tuition fees to a regional university.

UWI, Cave Hill had become a “Bajan university” — crowded with lazy Bajans, some at UWI for seven and eight years switching from faculty to faculty.

Bajans, stop whining and start valuing tertiary education by paying for it just like all other islanders do. You live in a country where there is a university. You don’t have to pay rent, ya drive ya madda and fadda car, ya eat their food. Stop complaining !!!!!


There goes the dream of our forefathers. Errol Walton Barrow must be turning in his grave. Wasn’t it the DLP who ushered in free education? Yes we understand that costs are escalating but couldn’t the DLP have found a kinder gentler way to do this? Couldn’t they have used graduated scale up to 100%; maybe starting out at 25% so that the burden would be easier to bear?

Nikki Jonas

It is time this was done and it is not the Government’s fault. UWI is now taking in 16 year olds straight out of secondary school who end up spending six and seven years there, wasting our taxpayers’ money. UWI is bursting at the seams so it can collect “free money” from the different Caribbean governments.

The amount in tuition fees is insignificant compared to what students in other countries have to pay. Note the minister said the students only have to pay tuition fees, the Government will still pay the economic cost. So for a Humanities degree the student will pay $5,625 while Government will pay $28,125. Leave out the latest iphones, ipods and ipads and I’m sure they will be able to afford it.


I am disappointed by this move. I maintain that despite assertions that Bajans are lazy, it cannot have been mere luck that has made this country one of the most economically, socially and politically stable countries in the Caribbean. Subsidised education and health care are essential to ensuring the only resource this country has — its people — can flourish. I fear this is a huge step back.


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