UWI alumni lending a hand
HELP IS on the way for new and continuing students of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies affected by Government’s new tuition fees policy and it is coming from former colleagues here and in the diaspora.
This was disclosed on Friday evening by Carl Farley, head of the Barbados Chapter of the UWI Alumni Association, one of 15 operating regionally and internationally, during the UWI matriculation ceremony in the Roy Marshall Teaching Complex.
“We have embarked on a series of initiatives designed to provide support in the form of scholarships, grants, contributions and internships to assist those needy students,” Farley said.
He told the hundreds of new students, their families and guardians, they were entering the campus at a time when many of the countries in the region were facing great economic, social and political challenges.
“Accordingly, in this academic year, 2014-2015, for the first time, Barbadian students are required to pay the tuition cost for their tertiary education,” he noted.
“This payment of tuition fees continues to be a source of concern for us in the alumni as we have expressed in a Press release dated August 2013.
“In that article, we stated that we were particularly concerned about those students who will be unable to pay the tuition fee . . . .
“Hence, the members of the Alumni Association are of the view that efficient systems must be put in place to ensure that no qualified entrant is denied the opportunity to obtain a quality tertiary education simply because of the paucity of funds on his or her part.
“For these reasons, we remain steadfast in our resolve that any measure which significantly reduces the intake of students at the campus is not positive for the development of this institution or the society which it aptly serves.
“While this measure impacts the Barbadian students directly, there is an indirect impact on all students as it relates to course options, continuity and variety.
“We in the Alumni Association are therefore resolved and remain extremely committed to the UWI and to the Cave Hill Campus in particular to assist our students.”
Matriculation speaker, president of the Barbados Economic Society, Jeremy Stephen, a 2005 graduate recently appointed a lecturer in finance at Cave Hill, told the students that despite being made to pay for their education, they have the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds he has ever met.
“. . . By paying those tuition fees, to me, that is what I would call a nominal commitment to ensuring, even if you go overseas, and even if another financial crisis does not cause you to run back here, as it did with me, that you understand you’ve got a family, you’ve got a legacy, you’ve got a country, to take care of,” Stephen said.