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Money upfront

UWI Cave Hill taking no part-payment

There’s been another major financial blow to existing and prospective Barbadian students at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. Already being asked for the first time to find between $7,000 and $20,000 in tuition fees from August, the administration is now telling students, it will not accept any part-payment –– it’s the full sum upfront, or nothing doing. 

President of the Guild of Students, Damani Parris, told Barbados TODAY he was very worried about this turn of events, saying that it could cause impact even further on the 51 per cent part-time student population and 30 per cent full-time roll. Parris said the state of affairs was so serious the campus management had decided to reopen the application process to recoup the massive drop in income brought on by the dramatic fall in students returning or attending for the first time.

Students' Guild President Damani Parris

Students’ Guild President Damani Parris

“These are issues which critically concern the guild at this time. To be perfectly honest with you, I must say that I am quite upset; and we at the guild are aware of these issues; we are feeling the brunt of the student demands on these issues and we are feeling the effects of these administrative decisions that were taken,” the Guild of Students head lamented.

“As it relates to the reopening of the application process, that needed to be done at a time when the application numbers were so low that, in reality, the campus will not be able sustain itself in the September semester. That is extremely important; it is important for the continuation of the campus itself and for all of us who are seeking degrees from the organization. If the organization cannot support itself because of such a dramatic fall in numbers, then we will be facing much more critical crises at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill; and it could result in a collapse of the campus in its entirety,” he pointed out.

Parris, who conceded that without a miracle, he himself would not be able to continue his studies in September, said the guild supported the reopening of applications, considering the UWI could not survive unless it received additional funds at this time.

“The campus is not immune to the environment in which it exists and it cannot survive ad infinitum in an environment where things are very harsh. They are very difficult, and most Barbadians are aware of the very difficult economic climate that we are facing,” added the student leader.

“The campus,” he asserted, “is also suffering from those situations and is suffering from those situations in an environment where it is owed $185 million; in an environment where students are being asked to find $7,000 to return to school by September at least. These are really critical issues that will result in significant fall-off at the campus already, and an additional attempt to garner more students . . . support for the student body intake to the application process is something that should be natural for a campus who is suffering as much as the Cave Hill Campus. So we will support such a move as we attempt to cushion the blow as much as possible on the general student numbers at the campus.”

Parris also told Barbados TODAY that an earlier decision by the Guild of Students to bring a court injunction against the Government for imposing tuition fees on already enrolled students was still being pursued. When contacted for comment, principal of the campus, Sir Hilary Beckles, was not available, but promised to get back to Barbados TODAY.

2 Responses to Money upfront

  1. Tony Webster April 23, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    The stark realities are now becoming evident, and all the spin and long-talk, lie exposed.
    However, this situation again reminds us, how important it is for us all to remain positive, and find new niches.

    If I was (yet) a banker, or anyone else involved in financial services, I would most likley spot an opportunity: with our banks over-flowing with surplus funds, why not launch a couple of new loan categories:-
    1. “Educational” loans. Some of the candidates now facing a bleak situation, must be able, perhaps with family backing, to qualify for a loan, even if the banks enter new teritory, and creatively try to adequately collateralise such, by accepting guarantees / liens on overseas bank balances, offered by relatives over-and-away? Why not? The banks have already signalled that they are averse to taking on any more government paper!!
    2. Debt consolidation loans. While a bank will be more willing to do this to better manage outstanding loans for a current customer (like a struggling loan and a stuck credit-card debt) there’re also good lending opportunities for NEW loans, poaching customers from the more timid (or un-imaginative) banks. Sure, collateral is required, but one can mitigate risk by many devices, like
    (a) a joining several family members in the loan
    (b) using novel collateral, as in (1) above
    © Accepting say 75% collateral…instead of 100% or 150% !!
    The simple truth now confronts those who aspire to Tertiary education: Yes, you can still gain a degree from Cave Hill, but you gonna have to dance to a different tune. It’s also a good metaphor for real life: even graduates must face the real world, like where to get a job out there “in the jungle”? You know, “When the going gets tough, the tough etc” . If all those borrowers from the revolving Student loan fund..had re-paid as promised, there might have been enough remaining to re-cycle as is now necssary.
    Bankers will accomodate reasonable risks, but they’re not like politicians. You gotta either PAY The Hill, or Re-PAY the bank. Your choice. Just like some of us don’t miss a beat on $36 p.w. for the 60″ flat-screen, but let BWA billings pile-up.
    C’mon Bankers…rise to the challenges…and grasp new opportunities.

  2. À Blackman April 24, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    This is “BS” any sound business-person would not refuse payment in installments, bearing in mind that these payments are really prepayments (you are paying for the product before receiving it). Any such decision to ask for an upfront payment in full is either ill-informed, wicked or both.


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