The Nation’s Online Editor Sherrylyn Toppin looks at What’s Trending today in Barbados.
The roll at the University of the West Indies (UWI) has fallen sharply.
According to NATION investigations, officials at UWI are saying the number of registered students has fallen from just over 9 000 last year, to fewer than 5 000.
For new students, statistics also indicate that 1 225 students had accepted places, but only 421 had registered to date.
It is believed that students being required to pay part of the costs of tertiary education has been the main reason for this sharp decline.
It has been one of the main topics of discussion today.
Caroca Cabrinie: All the freeness done so what you all expect?
Marsha Peppa Fly Hinds-Layne: It was not free...we paid taxes for it....It was never free...
Anika Lewis: Paying taxes and wasting time don’t add up though!!! Not saying everyone wasted time, buy majority did, taking eight years to do a four-year programme. “Peter pay for Paul and Paul pay for allyuh”.
Roslind Codrington: After fifty years of free UWI education those who benefited have cut the tree down. As a parent of a student in her final year I have to find the money. It is hard out there for most students and a lot of my daughter’s friends who are also in their final year have had to defer as they cannot pay. The banks are not lending any money. I tried and was unsuccessful. I am not against paying but, you just cannot wake up one morning and impose fees on poor and middle class families and expect that will have it. They will need a few years to save some money.
Felicia Marshall: No money, many are unemployed or under employed. The costs of basic necessities are rising daily. Increased taxation on the middle class. People are unable to secure financing for tuition fees being mindful of all their other financial responsibilities.
Wyn Carr: Most of them are probably the ones who were up wasting tax payers’ monies.
Michael Ess: Cheaper alternatives are the Community College, the polytechnic, BIMAP, and trade schools. These will become more viable options as professions not requiring BSC qualifications are becoming more popular. Blaming the “government” in or out of power alone is definitely not productive. However it is important to acknowledge those supporting you in your corner, and those working against your better interests.
Nikki Bayley: Well even in first world nations, where people PAY taxes, university is NOT free. Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall BEFORE the last election ...but this government STILL got re-elected.
Tamika Sheena Harpee: WAIT, all the money in taxes were to continue the non-hike in fees. It could not have been business as usual, and don’t read party politics to me, something had to give, taxes cannot pay for everything. It is a matter of give and take, come on now, I don’t have to like it, but I can see why. I have family members still paying student loans from ancient times, UWI students were taking it for granted. I want the powers that be give back subsidies, tell me what happen next?
Alex Fenty: The truth is this… Unless you are studying law or medicine or even accounting, it isn’t that necessary to attend UWI. You absolutely do not need a degree in philosophy or history or film studies. Even higher degrees aren’t commanding job positions. It is all about using your brain now and enter a field that is in high demand.
Gibson Jethro: We are now destroying our human capital and the future development of our country by limiting the access of students to the UWI by asking students to pay fees. An education tax would have been the best option.