It may not be a major talking point at the moment but tuition cost remains a sore subject for the Guild of Students at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.
“This year we are not hearing as much commentary about it this year as maybe we did last year, but the effect is there; we can see from the reduction in enrolment,” Guild president Dalano Dasouza told Barbados TODAY.
The new semester starting September marks two years since Government imposed tuition fees on students attending the campus.
Back in 2013 Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced that beginning academic year 2014/2015 students would have to pay 20 per cent of their tuition costs while Government would continue to pay all of the economic costs.
“This policy will reduce the transfer to UWI by an estimated $42 million a year,” Sinckler said in his budget presentation.
However a year after its introduction Dasouza revealed that this remained a sore point as it had led to a huge dip in enrolment.
“Maybe they are grumbling silently but I think a lot of them have resolved themselves that they will wait another year or two, or taking a break before coming back, or before embarking on the task of university education and that’s a concern for us . . . Because education is one clear way to upward mobility and social mobility in this life and it is something that we always encourage in terms of upliftment of our population. So it remains a concern for us at the Guild,” he explained.
He revealed that the Guild was not resting on its laurels and was trying to help “would-be students or prospective students” financially.
“ We are giving away $20 000 this year in tuition grants to students . . . We are aware that this is just but a drop in the bucket but of course it is within our resources and we are trying to help,” he added. (FW)