Tuition crisis in T&T

Barbadian law students uncertain of their future after notice of paying full tuition fees

The president of the Guild of Students of the University of the West Indies, Damani Parris is trying to secure a meeting with the Minister of Education Ronald Jones to help avert a crisis for some Barbadians studying in Trinidad and Tobago.

Following reports that students at the Hugh Wooding Law School are being told they have to pay their full tuition fees even though assurances had been given that they would continue to receive Government assistance, Parris said he would be making representation on behalf of students.

President of the UWI Cave Hill Campus Guild of Students, Damani Parris.
President of the UWI Cave Hill Campus Guild of Students, Damani Parris.

He spoke about the situation facing students during the Barbados Labour Party-organised People’s Assembly last night in the Moot Court of the Faculty of Law at the Cave Hill Campus.

This followed a parent’s description of the situation in Trinidad as “not pretty”.

“Students have started with the understanding that their fees would have been paid, or the part of the fees, and I’m aware now of about three students who are already beginning to pack their bags because they just cannot afford to pay if the Government does not fulfill its obligation,” Henderson Griffith said.

In response, Parris confirmed the gloomy circumstances of the Barbadian students at the Hugh Wooding Law School which is one of two institutions where law students must complete a two-year certificate, the other being the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica.

The guild president said that during previous meetings with Government representatives they were assured of the financial support for these students, but “now the uncertainty has settled in and persons are still not sure”.

“We can’t have a situation where things spiral out of control at all campuses and it surrounds the Barbadian students. There has to be some consistency if there is going to be a future in education in the country, and we simply cannot allow the entire system of the University of the West Indies to collapse because of the fact that we were not ready for the implementation of this policy,” he said, as he indicated he would seek another meeting with Jones.

Opposition spokesperson on education, Edmund Hinkson, noted that the Hugh Wooding Law School students were “completely astonished to be told [Wednesday] that they now have to find, as I understand it, about $5,000 for the first year at law school, $6,000 for the second year”.

The MP for St James North said this broadside to the students already in Trinidad and attending classes comes despite assurances by Jones that no eligible student will be unable to attend the UWI, and promises of Government’s guarantee of student loans.

Several efforts to reach Minister Jones have been unsuccessful.

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6 Responses to Tuition crisis in T&T

  1. Frederick Alleyne
    Frederick Alleyne September 12, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Meeting Turns are a time honored Bajan tradition.

  2. Frances Forde
    Frances Forde September 12, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I wish , that is all I had to pay

  3. Kris Julin
    Kris Julin September 12, 2014 at 10:56 am

    It is the University of the West Indies, all students from the West Indies should pay the same amounts…

  4. Kyron Barker
    Kyron Barker September 12, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Unbelievable. TT2,000 crisis!! Jeez…. You guys need to converse with students from the non-campus territories to find out how they make ends meet to deal with rent, food, tuition, transportation, airfare, clothes, stationery etc when they go on any of the 3 UWI campuses. Compare the sacrifices they make versus those of students from campus territories. Talk about bucket bottom falling out at the well…It was all a matter of time…

  5. Carson C. Cadogan September 14, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Bajans have to learn to pull their weight like everyone else. Some Bajans behave as though they are entitled.

  6. kloe September 20, 2014 at 9:04 am

    It is not a matter or bajans pilling their weight it is a matter that we were told the day of registration we had to pay fees after securing loans and finances to reflect the previously stated amount, further more the amount is not $2000TT it is actually $10 820 .95 ($3700 BDS), unlike other persons pursing tertiary education we were not given adequate notice of the introduction of fees to be implemented, as the minister of education stated on July 12th that the Barbados Government would continue to cover the cost


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