NEWS

Barbadian "free" tertiary education ends

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in The 2013 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals speech has put an end to "free" tertiary education in Barbados.

2013/08/13 09:37 PM

By: Jeff

"Effective 2014 Barbadian citizens pursuing studies at campuses of the UWI will be required to pay tuition fees from academic year 2014/2015, while the government will continue to fund economic costs.

According to the most recent scale of fees, tuition fees for students in the Faculties of Humanities and Education, Social Sciences and Science & Technology tuition fees are $5,625 for a full time student (half for part-time and economic cost is $28,125.

For the Faculty of Law tuition fees are $8,808 and economic cost $44,040, while for the Faculty of Medical Sciences - Clinical tuition fees are $16,618 and economic cost $83,090, and for Medical Sciences - Pre-Clinical tuition fees are $65,000.

This policy will reduce the transfer to UWI by an estimated $42m a year. The Ministry of Education will provide further details on a Means Testing Mechanism to ensure no deserving person is denied access to university education because of the means of their parents.

The Ministry will also outline adjustments to the Student Revolving Loan Scheme (SRLS) to ensure that adequate access to loans with attractive repayment terms is available while the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs will work with local finance houses to establish a National Registered Education Savings Plan with appropriate tax allowance provisions for savers".

According to the speech made by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, in about 2003/2004 the Cave Hill Campus began a major expansion in terms of the numbers of students and the amenities offered.

"In 1999 for example, there were around 3,568 undergraduate students at the Cave Hill and by 2007 this number had increased to around 6,718 and currently stands at around 7,200 students. The expansion has meant major increases in the Government of Barbados´ contribution to UWI.

For example, in 2007, the financial contribution of the Barbados government to UWI Cave Hill was $79.3million dollars, a $28.3 million over the $51 million required in 1999. However, between 2007 and 2008 the annual contribution required from the Government of Barbados increased from $79.3 million to $120.5 million.

To put things in context, for the entire period 1999 to 2007 combined, the total contribution required from the Government of Barbados to the Cave Hill Campus was $543.2 million, compared to the $636.3 million dollar contribution required for the 2008 to 2012 period.

The reality is that the amount required in the last five years was $93 million greater than the previous nine years combined".

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