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Financial ease for select business students

Prospective students preparing to attend the Cave Hill School of Business (CHSB) and who take out loans at the City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union (COB) will have the opportunity to have their loans converted to grants, as a result of a partnership between the two institutions.

In addition, First Citizens (Barbados) Limited has pledged to offer scholarships for some students.

Speaking this morning at an official launch to announce the strengthening of the partnership between the Cave Hill School of Business and the private sector, Member Relations Executive of the COB Winston Alleyne said the credit union was aware of the challenges members were facing when pursuing higher education.

Member Relations Executive of COB credit union Winston Alleyne.

Member Relations Executive of COB credit union Winston Alleyne.

“What we like about this alliance is that those persons who will take out loans for their study, they stand a chance of having their loan converted to a grant based on their academic performance,” said Alleyne.

He said the CHSB would decide the criteria, as well as the number of students who would be eligible.

Meanwhile, human resources manager at First Citizens (Barbados) Ltd Nicola Harris said the five-year partnership between the bank and the CHSB has resulted in mutual benefits, with the bank offering scholarships and funding for various development programmes at the learning institution over the past three years.

Human resources manager of First Citizens (Barbados) Ltd Nicola Harris.

Human resources manager of First Citizens (Barbados) Ltd Nicola Harris.

Although Harris could not say how much money would go towards scholarships over the next two years or how many have been awarded so far, she said the alliance between the CHSB and the bank had seen the bank assisting the learning institution with approximately US$300,000 so far.

Adding that the bank’s officials continued to be impressed with the work being done at the CHSB, Harris said there was “more to come”.

She said so far the partnership allowed the bank to offer scholarships to “selected participants” enrolling in the Executive Masters in Business Administration and the Executive Diploma in Management programmes, covering full tuition costs for the duration of these programmes.

Additionally, she said, the bank supported the school through a range of initiatives as well as with infrastructure development and case studies for teaching purposes.

Dean of the faculty of Social Sciences at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus Dr Justin Robinson described the partnership with the learning institution and the private sector businesses as a critical one, pointing out that such synergies provided an opportunity for learning from each other.

Dean of the faculty of Social Sciences Dr Justin Robinson.

Dean of the faculty of Social Sciences Dr Justin Robinson.

He explained that having such partnerships would also allow the business school and the organizations to work together to solve challenges, including how to better keep up with changing technologies and ensuring that the school was delivering value for money.

“That value for money debate comes from two sources. One, the cost of providing university education continues to rise quite significantly and Government and individuals have challenges funding it. And then what is the value you get from it, how useful is that education practice. My view is that the usefulness of that education is going to be determined by a strong

synergy between academia and the private sector,” added Robinson.

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