The Student Revolving Loan Fund will be recapitalised to ensure that students who have to borrow funds to cover the cost of tuition fees, funding will be accessible.
St. James South MP, Donville Inniss, gave Barbadians this assurance today while speaking on the 2013/2014 Budget in the House of Assembly.
“The Student Revolving Loan Fund has been recapitalised and restructured to ensure that any Barbadian student entering any of the three campuses would not be denied access. And we have gone a step further and stated that in the few cases where one did not qualify to borrow money the state will pay. So no Barbadian can come and say that they were being denied access to the University of the West Indies.
“We are not so cruel and inhumane. Political hacks have gone out there and said that we have pushed down the ladder. We have gotten our degrees and we have pushed down the ladder and stopped others from having access to tertiary education. I would leave the Democratic Labour Party if that was its position and I am not going anywhere. I am not moving,” Inniss stressed.
Inniss pointed out that the DLP has gone a step further and has approached financial institutions with a view of providing funding to students.
Citing statistics to bear out his argument that tuition fees were minor when compared with the economic cost, Inniss pointed out that if a student pursued a four-year degree programme in the humanities or the social sciences, he or she would pay $22,500 for tuition fees.
“That is what the state is asking the student to pay to have access to a university education. That is 50 per cent of the cost of the cheapest motor car in Barbados. Beyond that, let me say the State pays the economic cost which amounts to $112,500. In spite of what the Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley, is saying, we are saying to the student that this level of underwriting the cost of tertiary education is unsustainable,” Inniss said.
Inniss pointed out that under the new arrangement where the student pays $22,500 in tuition fees, the Government was still underwriting 80 per cent of the cost of his education at the university. (NC)