UWI STUDENTS DESERVE CLARIFICATION: by Edmund Hinkson, St James North MP
Many students who attended the University of the West Indies last semester and their relatives have been contacting Barbados Labour Party Members of Parliament and constituency caretakers expressing their very serious concern over whether they will be able to continue with their courses this semester in light of the fact that they have heard nothing further from Education Minister Ronald Jones on the question on the funding of their tuition fees or on the bursaries.
They want to know whether there is any policy to allow them to register this semester in the case where they owe tuition fees for last semester. They want to know whether they will still be allowed to register for their courses if they are not in any position during the registration weeks to pay tuition fees.
Ministers of Government, including the Education Minister, had said that no qualified Barbadian who applied would have been refused entry to UWI due to financial constraints.
We in the BLP are calling on the Minister of Education and the UWI administration to clarify whether or not Barbadians who attended any of the UWI campuses last year will be allowed to continue their studies there if they are at this time unable to pay their tuition fees for this semester. The public needs to know whether the position of the Barbados Government and the UWI administration is that these students, predominantly of working class background, will have to discontinue their tertiary education simply because they genuinely cannot afford to pay.
These mainly young citizens are only asking for an opportunity to improve themselves educationally. It is totally unconscionable to have them in a state of complete uncertainty as to what is going to happen to their lives in the immediate future.