The University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus has reported a dramatic drop in the number of students pursuing graduate and undergraduate studies, prompting principal Eudine Barriteau to make an urgent appeal to Government to re-examine its tuition fee policy.

Assuring Government and the public that the Campus had been vigorously pursuing internal measures to effect cost savings, Barriteau stressed that more critically, there was need to thoroughly examine the effects of the policy on the educational opportunities for Barbadian students who are unable to pay these fees.

Delivering remarks at the Campus’ 2015 matriculation ceremony held in the Roy Marshall Teaching Complex this evening, Barriteau quoted numbers to demonstrate the impact that the Government’s policy, introduced last year, has had on enrolment at the university.

“At the beginning of the 2013 academic year, the total enrolment at the Campus was 8,711 of which there were 1,285 graduate students and 7,426 undergraduate students enrolled. At this same time last year when the policy was first introduced the enrolment of the Campus stood at a grand total of 6,936, of which there were 1102 graduate students and 5, 834 undergraduates,” she said.

However, the Campus head said today there is a total enrolment of 4,772, with graduate enrolment plummeting from 1285 students two years ago to 266 today. Undergraduate numbers are now 4, 516.

“In two years the effect of the policy is dramatic and I urge the Government on behalf of Barbadian students to investigate ways to make it possible for students who wish to earn a degree at the Cave Hill or any other UWI Campus to be able to do so.”

In the 2013 budget, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler stated that the policy would reduce the subventions to UWI by an estimated $42 million a year.

“According to the most recent scale of fees, tuition fees for students in the Faculties of Humanities and Education, Social Sciences and Science & Technology tuition fees are $5 625 for a full time student (half for part-time and economic cost is $28 125. For the Faculty of Law tuition fees are $8,808 and economic cost $44,040, while for the Faculty of Medical Sciences – Clinical tuition fees are $16,618 and economic cost $83,090, and for Medical Sciences – Pre-Clinical tuition fees are $65 000”, he said at that time.

Sir Hillary and Eudine Barriteau
Principal of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus (left) listening to words from Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Sir Hilary Beckles during today’s matriculation ceremony.

Following that announcement, the then Guild President Damani Parris appealed to Government to reconsider the policy, predicting that it would have a significant effect on the campus’ enrolment.

Last year, Government announced that it would provide an estimated 3,000 bursaries to help students attend the tertiary institution.

Barriteau said some of the cost cutting measures the Campus has embarked on included freezing vacant positions, significantly reducing part-time work, significantly reducing the number of substitutes for staff who are on holiday, rationalizing course offerings across faculties to reduce duplication, eliminating course offerings with low enrolment and increasing use of online technologies for the delivery of tutorial support.

She said Cave Hill had also been seeking and implementing energy and resource saving measures across multiple administrative and academic platforms.

The principal indicated that despite the sobering reality of the decline in enrolment, it was not all gloom and doom at the Cave Hill Campus. She vowed that the campus would not be defined by its current circumstances and that it remained committed to working with Government to improve this situation.

“And we are dedicated to returning the campus to a situation of student growth and financial solvency. You have entered a campus with a proud tradition of educating some of the most talented graduates in the Caribbean, and my colleagues and I have every intention of honouring our obligation to providing you with a first class UWI education within the parameters of our resource constraints,” Barriteau said.

Speaking directly to the students, she informed them of the campus’ expectation for them to take primary responsibility for their own learning and development.

“ We expect you to seek advice and assistance when needed. We expect you to demonstrate academic integrity. Most importantly we expect that you will recognize and respect each other’s differences as learners and that you will make full use of the opportunities for participation in extracurricular, co-curricular and personal development activities,” she added.

24 Responses to STEEP DROP

  1. Psi Lara
    Psi Lara August 29, 2015 at 10:55 am

    This drop is just a correction.The graduate in every household push had nothing really to do with developing Barbados. It was just a plot to generate money for the university. The market place in good times couldn’t absorb all of those graduates. Free education wasn’t sustainable indefinitely for an economy as fragile as ours. We were keeping up appearances and when market forces stronger than our facade could withstand intervened it collapsed and our true state was exposed for all to see.

    • Psi Lara
      Psi Lara August 29, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Yes it produced professionals but not everyone coming out of UWI can be absorbed by the market place. That was the point I was trying to make. If supply outstrips demand what do you have? A lot of educated unemployed persons. And some of these persons are unemployable anyways because they would not have acquired skills that the market place wants. How many philosophy, english or history majors are hired by the big firms? How many job advertisements do you see asking for persons who have a degree in psychology to fill “XYZ” post. These disciplines have value yes but the reality is the market place does not have a lot of room to absorb persons who major in such. Those who majored in skills the market place wants have trouble finding employment far less those who have not.

    • Psi Lara
      Psi Lara August 29, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      It was not enough to have a graduate in every household. They needed to have a true idea of what skill sets the economy needed to go forward and then focus on producing graduates with those skills.

    • Psi Lara
      Psi Lara August 29, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      @Charles Alleyne I entered the gates of the university and did very well in my chosen discipline. Just because I choose not to use my real name doesn’t mean that I am not a Bajan. I went through the school system in Bim and know what I’m talking about. I was there at UWI when Hilary increased the numbers of students who were allowed to enrol making the small campus overcrowded and even more congested. I am not elitist but some of the students who were let in weren’t up to the task. They were either disinterested and there for being there sake, emotionally immature and not ready to take on such a task or just plain dull. A vision or idea that may have served a country 40 years ago may not serve it now because conditions have changed. In order to survive we must adapt or perish.

    • Psi Lara
      Psi Lara August 29, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      AS much as we pride ourselves on being educated. There is really very little innovation in terms of inventing new products which can serve the world. We need to look at why we are not creators of new things which add value and improve our lives. Can you imagine how much better off we would be if we were able to develop and market products which had global appeal/use?We would not be so dependent on the fickle industry that is called tourism.

  2. Harry Turnover August 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Re-examine tuition policy what ?…every man jack tightening their belts in these trying times so why can’t those students some of whom ONLY care about themselves and WILL default on their Student Loans postpone their studies for about 4 or 5 years. or until things improve.

    @ Psi are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT and this is another plot to maintain jobs and generate money at the University.

    What the Government should do is to re-introduce SCHOOL FEES until things improve.If Parents and children can purchase expensive cell phones and back packs, a one off Fee at the beginning of each Term will certainly be less than the sum of the top ups on those phones every month.

  3. Kevin August 29, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I was one of those students attending Cave Hill when the massive expansion of plant, students and staff occurred to help realise the ‘one graduate in every house-hold’. I paid $350 in fees every semester for first two years, then $550 for the last two semesters. The year after I left I believe the fees per semester was increased to $750. Now with that expansion came increased cost and government, understandably, could not afford it anymore.

    I do believe government however should return to those ‘minimal’ fees per semester and find other ways in which to save cost. Here are some suggestions: Full time students should be given a maximum of 3 years to complete, part time students should be given about 4-5 years. If you have to repeat a course due to failure, you have to pay. Tertiary institutions such as BCC and other places offering CAPE, e.g 6th forms, should be in more sync with Cave Hill. This is to ensure students will be able to get exemptions and not spend too much time at Cave Hill repeating courses/subjects that they already did at BCC/6th form. I know this already occurs with some specific fields as some of my friends went str8 from BCC and was exempted from all first year courses. This can be expanded to many other disciplines. Students themselves can take advantage of summer school, yes you have to pay, but for me I was able to finish a 3 year degree in 2 1/2. Plus summer school is less stressful than in the normal semester.

  4. Viveean Foster
    Viveean Foster August 29, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    this government clearly wants the young people in JAIL not in UWI sad but true ,the people that have their degree already saying make them pay ,you didnt pay for yours ,why be so unfair now ? every poor child has a right to education too

  5. Bajan boy August 29, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Two short sighted jokers one Harry turnover who really needs to turnover and Psi Lara what a pity u have chosen such a great name with no common sense.. Have you guys realize that when properly qualified the world is your play ground. Do you guys know many BajanS did a first degree here and went overseas to do their Masters and have been employed some even married and some even excellent entrepreneurs in those cities. Many have done even a Phd. And are some of the most respected in their chosen fields world wide…
    If it is an excuse for not educating your children Then shut up. Almost all of the ones in Government are there because they all went to the same University for free. Now they all kick down the bucket…

    • harry turnover August 29, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      I may be short sighted but YOU… blind as hell and dumb too.I don’t know if you are deaf ,but someone needs to tell you that the University recently had trouble paying its staff and that job cuts are imminent .
      As short sighted as I am,it is possible that the Prof.could have been making a plea for the Lecturers through this re-examination of the tuition fees policy.
      ……but you….blind to facts and common sense feel comfortable with producing your OWN rhetoric.
      Look,drink some breast milk and get back to me…but remember to burp before you lie down,otherwise the same rhetoric gine come back up.

  6. Bajan Girl August 29, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    The greedy Lecturers are pulling down the institution as well. Look at their response to the withholding of increments when they are quite aware of the Institutions’ financial woes. They get big salaries, plus some $9000 every year for study and travel which accumulates if unused – perfect opportunity for them to go on vacation with their families and claim they are researching; $3000 book grant every year which most of them abuse by buying expensive gadgets like iphones and macbooks, and not to mention, their children’s school books. Then they are those who serve in leadership roles and live on an airplane in this day of technology when a skype meeting could be just as effective. In plenty and in time of need… stop thinking of your own greed and do what you can for the benefit of the UWI and help build it back up.

  7. harry turnover August 29, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Bajan BOY…. you are not only the BIGGEST joker here,you are a qualifies IDIOT too.
    I never said that education was not important.I never said that Bajans don’t hold down important jobs overseas.

    You present YOUR topic, comment on it and then proceed to give yourself pats on the back and high fives and you might be probably skinning ya teet too.

    All I said with the Country the way it is….WHY can’t the students hold on until things improve. ..but you decided to come with your own brand of rhetoric

    The time you took out to write that tripe you could have spent drinking some breast milk.

    @ Psi Lara..just ignore that BOY..he cannot dispute ANYTHING.He prefers to comment on topics he bring up

    • not so bajan boy August 30, 2015 at 12:52 am

      I am just curious what they will hold on and do for the 4, 5 years you suggesting, cause finding a a summer job is hard enough in this current economy let alone a full time one. As much as you two want to insult each other fact of the matter is that for alot of people UWI was the only way of social mobility and now well not so much anymore. I mean look at the numbers and imagine the thousands of young people trying to enter the workforce how well do you think that is going to go. Yea UWI has it’s issues it always had issues but this was never really that great of an idea either. :/

      • harry turnover September 2, 2015 at 12:13 pm

        Hold on and do ?? Every other person is holding on,including 100s of school leavers this year.
        You saying that the GOVERNMENT or the Private Sector must find something for the students to do ??
        They MUST hold on and wait LIKE EVERY BODY ELSE.
        You think that the Government enjoyed raising those fees ?..the Government looking for money FROM ALL ANGLES

        • not so bajan boy September 2, 2015 at 4:03 pm

          I apologise if you somehow misinterpreted me and thought I was asking the government to provide something for those students to do. I am not. I am simply pointing out the fact that while holding on in theory is all good and fine in theory in practice it is foolhardy to say the least. As far as I remember waiting never brought in any money to pay bills, provide food or contribute to a household in any way whatsoever. It is in large part because of the hold on and wait mentality that you see all the young people on the streets that you see people loitering and doing nothing and not contributing to the society. Holding on and waiting is never, has never and will never be an appropriate response. Holding on and waiting is the exact same thing that you thought I meant, holding on and waiting for the government or private sector to find something for the students to do you are contradicting yourself so I ask you to say something worthwhile provide a meaningful alternative to simply holding on and waiting.

  8. Joel C. Payne
    Joel C. Payne August 29, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Well CARICOM people need room there too I guess. Then again how close is Grenada to opening their new UWI campus? As well as T&T’s expansion of the UWI campus in South Trinidad?

  9. Marcia Clarke August 29, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    We all need to be patient; everything cannot be done at once.

  10. Ju Ju bones August 30, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Psi lava,
    Just a few small addendum to your comments

    Tourism , I feel you misjudge.
    It is not fickle, it is strong, constant and expanding in the same ratio as World population expands.

    Because of the manner in which most Black majority population, countries are governed, I. e. Quasi dictatorships, where self engrandisment and personal enrichment are paramount.
    Tourism is raped and then ignored as sated politicians, see Themselves as successful and ignore the fact that they were elected to promote and protect the value and wellbeing of
    the country and it’s people.
    BARBADOS of course being a prime example.
    Pristine beaches now filthy and the ruling political group on a 5 star retreat.
    As just one example of the
    sated arrogance of the ruling political group.

    WHICH brings me to my second point.
    As most of the members of the political groups are products of our University, it must be blatantly obvious that something is seriously awry with the UWI system that is products are so seriously flawed.

  11. seagul August 30, 2015 at 6:49 am

    The isle of Barbados is tropical alluring
    enchanting, but an economic conflict is just under
    the horizon. In this tropical suspension—sweet dreams are made of these…but the concepts of these dreams must be materialize across the water.
    Stop that train: I’m leaving I said
    Some goin’ east; and-a some goin’ west,
    Some stand aside to try their best.
    Some livin’ big, but the most is livin’ small::
    They just can’t even find no food at all.
    Deeper Soul

  12. seagul August 30, 2015 at 6:58 am

    That’s all the politicians do in B’dos–they sneek off in the night through the back entrance of these boutique hotels — to do their royal King begging, and selling their folk.

  13. harry turnover August 30, 2015 at 7:17 am

    ” Having thousands of persons with degrees doesn’t automatically generate wealth and prosperity for a nation. As it is there is a glut of educated persons out there with no opportunities to grab hold of.”

    Well said again Psi Lara !! but a certain Bajan BOY is saying that the tuition fees should be reversed and the intake of Bajan students resumed so that when they graduate they can go overseas and get good paying jobs since none might be available here and with some also REFUSING to pay back their students loan.

    That way,according to a certain BOY,the economic situation will
    improve in Bdos .

  14. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole August 30, 2015 at 8:12 am

    It was through tertiary education that the Barbadian middle-class was created. Any move that negatively affects the delivery of tertiary education will also negatively impact the already over taxed middle class. If not corrected, there will only be the rich and the poor in Barbados. Errol Barrow must be doing cartwheels in his grave.

  15. maxjustina August 31, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Vivian Foster

    I do believe that you had learnt to type on a typewriter many years ago. Did you type on a typewriter for this article? Would you purchase a typewriter now?

    Your foreparents paid for their education. They did their best also to help us to understand the importance of being “educated” and gave us the opportunity to attend school and tertiary institutions. Some of us were not able to do so until we began to work.

    Each year for the past 20 years only 20% of our secondary school children seem to be taking their education seriously. Of the 80% that are labelled as unsuccessful among them could be found a percentage with mental deficiencies that retarded their educational growth, then there were those who were plagued with ignorance who decided that education was not worth it because they were told that many persons who lived luxuriously were those who could not read but that they knew how to make money. Actually, many of them were told that the money they could make in one (1_ day, was what monthly workers took one (1) month to receive and so, they focused on “making money instead of focusing on their school work to gain knowledge (which in turn was supposed to transpire in power).

    This category of students contained those who had taken to cursing the teachers, having SALT with their female counterparts and sold drugs on the school premises.

    Ms Foster, of the 80% (I know that you could not have been referring to any of the 20% when you commented about payment at UWI ) how would they have been able to get into UWI?

    Let me inform you: it is the 20% of students that seek to further their education at every opportunity, not those from the 80% category. The 20% usually have parents who can pay for their education. Student Revolving Loans and Bank loans are available to the parents of the 20% category of students. Some of them may not even need loans!

    Ms Foster, Stop criticizing the government’s policy for the sake of showing opposition. Go out there and do your own survey and see if it would be worthwhile to continue free education for all students – even up to the tertiary level. In today’s day, I think you and others are asking a bit too much of the government.

    Vivian Foster, let me add: those 20% who succeeded always were those whose parents were able to pay for lessons and to purchase the electronic gadgets for them to complete their homework and other projects. They were those who showed some measure of interest in becoming educated adults of tomorrow.

    Many of the 80% were parented by many who could not read and cared nothing about whether their child/ward had learnt the art.


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