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UWI bad debt being ‘worked on’

Ricky Jordan

UWI bad debt being ‘worked on’

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THE $150 MILLION owed to the University of the West Indies (UWI) came about as a result of a rising trail of debt stretching back to 2008, but Government is working on a solution, says Minister of Education Ronald Jones.
Stating last night at the St Michael South Democratic Labour Party branch meeting at the Bay Composite School that Government was presently working on lowering the debt without adversely affecting students, the minister explained that between 2004 and 2008, Government’s funds to the UWI moved from $75 million to $162 million. This amount was divided into economic cost of about $128 million and tuition fees of $34 million.
“At the end of 2008 one started to see, at the same time as the global financial crisis, in the first instance a small trailing debt,” he said, noting that the university’s financial year straddled two Government financial years.
As a result, Government went to Parliament for a supplementary provision of $46 million in February 2009, but the full amount could not have been paid in time to start the new financial year in April; so only $22 million was paid by April.