UWI Guild President blasts commercial banks, saying their loan conditions are too onerous for students

Inter-generational theft!

That’s how the president of the Guild of Students Damani Parris today described the current financial packages on offer by some leading commercial banks, which have made available loans to the University of West Indies (UWI) students to assist them in covering their tuition costs.

Parris, who also levelled the same charge against the Government, has rejected the proposed financial help saying the packages are “overly harsh” and the interest rates being charged are both “absolutely ridiculous” and “alarming”.

During a press conference at the Cave Hill Campus, the Guild Presiident said he had been receiving numerous complaints from frustrated students who were now unsure if they would be able to return to school or would have to abandon their studies because they had not qualified for bank loans.

He said there were some individuals, who had actually accepted loans on condition that they must complete their studies. However, the Guild President said many could not accept the offers because they simply could not afford the interest rates, which varied from 2.5 per cent to 16 per cent for commercial institutions.

“To request 16 per cent on a student loan is unheard of in the general student loan market speaking from the experiences of non Barbadian cases,” Parris said.

“The fact that 16 per cent is even considered is a little bit alarming and it seems as if we are being the victims of what can only be described as inter-generational theft.

“It is very unfortunate that not only are we victims of inter-generational theft on the side of the Government, but also on the side of even the institutions that are supposed to offer loans to the future of the country,” Parris complained.

“We are going to be these persons’ future customers and this is what we are being offered now? It is absolutely ridiculous in the opinion of the Guild of Students!”                  he stressed.

Insisting that the current conditionalities for accepting the loans were too onerous, he cautioned students that “if you take this loan tomorrow, by the next month you have to start paying back interest on the amount taken.

“That is simply unsustainable for most Barbadian households. The average Barbadian household would not be able to attain a situation where they are paying 16 per cent on a loan of tens of thousands of dollars. It is unattainable for the majority of working class households in the country, if not all of them,” he said.

Given the current concerns, the president said the Guild believes the commercial banking sector needs to urgently sit with representatives of the student body and the University to discuss tailor-made packages that would benefit the students and the institution.

The Guild President also plans to raise the matter with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler next week during a scheduled meeting.

However, he said they were still awaiting responses from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Minister of Education Ronald Jones to their requests for a meeting.


4 Responses to STUDY BLOCK

  1. Fiona Waldron July 11, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Couple of points come to mind.
    All this angst and yet neither you nor your constituents had the gumption to join the last two protest marches to protest these new gov’t policies.

    The commercial sector screws over the rest of us, welcome to the adult world. Join the pain felt by small and micro-entreprises daily…. Until the Gov’t creates policies which incentivise this type of pro-development lending this will continue……

  2. Nikki Brown
    Nikki Brown July 11, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Dear uwi students welcome to the real world. I know you might find it hard to understand, that the banks and other financial institutions are not your friends. They are not offering loans as a public service. A bank is a business and a business wants to make a profit. With the current climate the banks are already having a hard time recouping monies owed to them by their clients. A student would be deemed as a higher risk candidate, you know not sure if they will finish course of study, pay back ability, yadda, yadda. Plus how do you really expect to get a loan without adequate security? What fantasy world are you living in? You get what you qualify for. This is a good life lesson the world owes you nothing. Find a way to get what you want. A legal way, I did and a lot of others in this country as well as the wider world has.

  3. Patrick Blackman July 11, 2014 at 10:29 am

    You students live in a dream world up their at UWI, welcome to the real world son. Stop wait for hand outs, your destiny is always in your hands. For starters can you tell us how many students have dropped out of UWI, how many students have been expelled from UWI for non performance in their course work, a little insight here would be appreciated so we can see how much money has been wasted on some of you guys.

  4. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce July 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    The students did not realise how good there had it. Now the well run dry. Do what other Uni students around the world do, apply for a student loan from the government or the bank and get a part time job.


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