Loan not enough for UWI students

With Government directing students to its Student Revolving Loan Fund as a means of meeting their financing requirements, Barbadian students at the three University of the West Indies campuses are crying out that the current provisions are not enough.

The concern was raised during a Press conference today at the Cave Hill Campus hosted by the UWI Guild of Students, the Barbadian Student Association of Jamaica and the Barbados Student Association in Trinidad and Tobago.

The three associations have set up a joint committee on the Tuition Fee Issue affecting Barbadian students and have vowed in the face of the Government’s determination to abandon paying tuition costs, to continue the fight for the worthy cause.

Damani Parris (centre), president of the University West Indies Guild of Students, Javon Webster (left), president of the Barbados Student Association in Trinidad and Tobago and Saashen Sealy, president of the Barbados Student Association of Jamaica during today’s Press conference at the Cave Hill Campus.
Damani Parris (centre), president of the University West Indies Guild of Students, Javon Webster (left), president of the Barbados Student Association in Trinidad and Tobago and Saashen Sealy, president of the Barbados Student Association of Jamaica during today’s Press conference at the Cave Hill Campus.

“We continue to be concerned about the capacity of the Student Loan,” said Guild President Damani Parris, who asked a series of questions of the Government:

“How can it reasonably ask that students fit their expenses into $50,000 for the entire course of study, while having Barbadians studying Medicine locally, and having students who study at other UWI Campuses? What has been the basis of this figure?

“How can the Government insist that the loan only cover tuition, leaving all other expenses to the student, who may not be able to procure other financing solutions due to the fact that they already have that loan? Did they not realise this disadvantages the students?”

Also speaking at the Press conference, Saashen Sealy, president of the Barbados Student Association of Jamaica, said that with the implementation of the tuition fee, Mona Campus students must acquire approximately $5,000 more per year to guarantee their studies and approximately $12,000 per year for
Medical Science.

Sealy said this meant that the costs for Barbadian students studying at the Jamaica campus will skyrocket to approximately $72,000 to complete their degree or approximately $117,000 for Medical Students.

“As my colleague Mr Parris said, it is of great concern that a maximum of only $50,000, can be lent from the student loan to pursue studies at the University of the West Indies especially us at the Mona campus, where our figures suggest that without tuition cost, the average cost, as we have ascertained, so far is approximately $19,000 per year to pay for our accommodation, plane fare and general cost of living in Jamaica.

“The average Barbadian Mona student therefore must finance approximately $57,000 to pursue an undergraduate degree in the faculties of Science and Technology, Humanities and Education and Medical Science,” Sealy said.

Meanwhile, Javon Webster, president of the Barbados Student Association in Trinidad and Tobago explained that to study Engineering, which is one of the courses not offered at the Cave Hill Campus, Barbadian engineering students attend St Augustine where tuition costs average $6,000 a year, along with the same amount in accommodation.

Webster said the Student Revolving Loan Fund, where most students are awarded $12,000 a year, would only cover tuition and accommodation leaving other expenses unpaid, therefore leaving students uncertain as to how meals, stationary and other learning materials will be financed.

2 Responses to Loan not enough for UWI students

  1. Patrick Blackman July 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    This is why we should cut funding to UWI, it produces fools like these guys. Son, when you want something in life you have to work for it , you have to make sacrifices to achieve what you want in life, if you think that things in life are going to be handed to you just to make you happy then you need to refund the government for your education cost as you have learnt nothing….

    Reply
  2. Thomas Bowen July 11, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Mr. Blackman I think you are missing the point of the entire story. They never stated they would not be willing to pay for tuition. They are asking for the loans to be reasonable. So that they can pursue their studies. Last I check you need a work permit to work in Trinidad and Jamaica so that option to work and study is certainly out for them.

    And I don’t know if you took time out to read the conditions of the Student Revolving loan, but it states you cannot be employed throughout the course of study, if you are caught employed the amount borrowed up to that point can become payable in full immediately.

    Education is our only sure way of advancement in our country, we are not america that has a large economy that you can have a living wage by just going up to secondary school. Which job in Barbados offers more than $2500 BBD without a degree from a university pray tell, if you know please direct the future of this nation towards it.

    The sacrifice the future of this nation will have to give is to be laden with tens of thousands of dollars in debt with no way of repaying it. We have to remember the principles that made Barbados great, it has always been policies that take the people well-being into serious consideration. I agree they have to pay, but the amount is ridiculous on such short notice.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *