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Boost for BIMAP

Students seek other options after UWI tuition hike

The introduction of tuition fees for Barbadian students at the University of the West Indies (UWI) has resulted in people showing more interest in pursuing education at the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP).

That’s according to BIMAP’s executive director Dr Sonia Greenidge-Franklyn, who said that the institute had also introduced a payment plan.

BIMAP’s executive director Dr Sonia Greenidge-Franklyn

BIMAP’s executive director Dr Sonia Greenidge-Franklyn

“We are getting a lot more queries, but when you analyze it people still have to pay. People are now weighing the cost of UWI versus the cost of BIMAP, versus the cost of online education because if you notice a lot of companies [in] the US and the UK are now competing with us locally . . . So people have to now look at the cost and the benefits to determine what is the best way to spend their money. But we are getting additional interest,” she told reporters following the institute’s annual general meeting today.

In addition, she said, the institute was attracting more people who had recently become unemployed, adding that there was also an increase in the number of secondary school leavers since the institute introduced courses in the morning.

“You have persons who have recently been made unemployed and those persons need to retool and re-skill, sometimes in the area in which they were working before, sometimes in new areas. But you also find persons – because they recognize the contraction in the workforce – [who] are trying to upgrade their skills and to make themselves more marketable,” Greenidge-Franklyn said.

Adding that the institute was getting ready to offer training in animation courses, Greenidge-Franklyn said a lot more people were demanding training in that area as well as information and communications technology courses.

“We are also finding people asking for a lot of the skills such as event planning, event design, event impacts [and] entrepreneurial skills. Having been made unemployed, people want to develop skills to have their own businesses. So we are getting a lot of demand for the entrepreneurial skills. We are also getting demand from people in marketing. So those are some of the trends that we are noticing in terms of training,” she pointed out.

She said that the demand for traditional courses such as supervisory management and basic accounting remained “extremely high”.

“The demand for some of the other courses have plateaued, but in the newer areas we are finding that a lot of people are interested in those,” the BIMAP official added.

She said the institute was always ready to develop new courses to meet to the demand.

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