Call for Government to assist UWI students
The University of Independence Square is calling on the Freundel Stuart administration to offer scholarships to students who do not have the financial backing to get a loan from commercial banks to fund their university education.
This was one of the suggestions offered this morning by officials of that pressure group who said that if that call went unanswered, an appeal would be made to Barbadians to dip into their pockets to provide assistance.
Pan-Africanist David Denny told Barbados TODAY the University of Independence Square would do all it could to help those who wanted to further their education at the Cave Hill Campus but were facing major challenges accessing funding for tuition fees which Government previously paid.
“The University of Independence Square is very concerned about the situation as it relates to some students who may have problems and might not be able to access loans or grants or whatever it takes to enter the Cave Hill Campus this academic year . . . Our first approach would be to make representation to the Government of Barbados to ask them to . . . create the conditions for those students who would be coming from very poor families,” he said.
“If the Government of Barbados refuses to taken action, we will appeal to civil society to participate in a fund raising drive . . . Our Plan B will be to set up accounts within credit unions and the commercial banks so that Barbadians can make contributions. We are very concerned about the situation and we do not want any student in Barbados who has the potential and qualifications to be denied the opportunity because of their economic and social position.”
Denny said they were unsure how many students and potential students were facing difficulties.
However, he said, “we will issue a call and we will ask students to register at the Clement Payne Centre or at the Arts Form Shop in Pelican Village . . . We will set up a desk and telephone line at the Clement Payne Cultural Centre where students can make the necessary contact to participate in the process.”
Since Government announced that students attending the Cave Hill Campus would have to pay tuition fees from the beginning of this academic year, many students have complained that they will face a major problem finding the money.
The Government has offered 3 000 bursaries to students while the University of the West Indies has offered a payment plan to those who have proven they cannot get a loan to pay the fees up front.