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Drastic drop in student enrolment blamed on tuition payments

The Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) is having its worst fears realised in terms of student enrolment for 2014, following the decision of Government to stop paying tuition costs for Barbadian students, effective this September.

Barbados TODAY has obtained official data compiled by campus authorities, which shows a drastic decline in first year enrolment for academic year 2014.

On the whole all five Faculties, including Medical Sciences, Science & Technology and Law, have registered declines, but Social Sciences and Humanities & Education have been the hardest hit.

In the case of Social Sciences, the total number of students accepted to pursue courses this year, has dropped from 1,045 in 2013 to 648 this year — a decline of 38 per cent.

Within that faculty, the Social Science course has also been impacted. The number of registrants for this year’s programme is 67, compared to 137 in the previous year.

Eleven people are pursuing the Sport Sciences course this year, compared to 31 last year while no one has been accepted for the General Management course, which had four people last year and 33 in 2012.

The number of students taking the Hospitality and Tourism Management course has also fallen from 25 to 12.

Only five students will pursue Political Science with International Relations this year, compared to 15 last year while no one has registered for Psychology with Political Science.

Additionally, the number of students accepted to pursue Social Work is 13, just over a third of the 35 students registered last year.

The number of students pursuing Sociology with Law has dipped from seven in 2013 to three while only one student has signed up to do Sociology with Gender & Development Studies, down from the five last year.

In the Faculty of Humanities & Education, the total number of students accepted for the 2014 school term is 90, down from the 219 in 2013, a 59 per cent decline.

Most impacted in that faculty has been the Linguistics course, where only six people were accepted this year, compared to 34 last year. Only 23 students will be pursuing Psychology, compared to the 42 last year, and five Special Education, compared to 30 in 2013.

The History course have four registrants, down from 16 last year, while the History (Special) programme will have one student, compared to eight in 2013. Only six people will be pursuing Creative Arts studies, compared to 16 in 2013 and 20 in 2012.

Even religious studies have been affected, with only two students enrolled in Theology this year, compared to 10 in 2013.

One UWI official, who did not want to be quoted, has blamed the noticeable fall off on the Government’s decision to have students pay their full tuition costs from September, adding that the situation meant that the university had to make some “internal adjustments” and would be relying less on part time  lecturers.

However, the official noted that the Faculties of Medical Science and Law had not seen as significant an impact, with total enrolment of 51 and 147 respectively, compared to 64 and 150 respectively for 2013.

The Faculty of Science & Technology is also reporting a decrease from 331 in 2013 to 289 for this year.

Only 16 people have been accepted for the Information & Technology course, compared to 27 last year and 30 in 2012. This year, there will be three people pursuing the Computer Science and Management course, compared to ten last year and 14 in 2012.


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