Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Gov't to the rescue ... pays $100 million in fees for UWI students barred from exams

Published:Wednesday | April 19, 2017 | 4:59 AM
Reid ... We are intervening on behalf of final year students too.

Jovan Johnson, Staff Reporter

Education Minister, Ruel Reid has announced that the Government has provided $100 million to the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) which will help students facing hardships.

"We are intervening on behalf of final years (students) too," read a post this morning from Reid's official Twitter handle.

Before that, a post from the handle of Prime Minister Andrew Holness said Reid was "reviewing the matter and will make an intervention".

Last week, the president of the Guild of Students at the UWI, Mona, Mikaela Gonzales, said more than 1,000 students including many in their final semester would be blocked from sitting final exams scheduled to start later this month because they did not pay outstanding fees and therefore lacked financial clearance.

Yesterday was the deadline to pay outstanding fees although the guild had appealed to the university for an extension.

"Whilst we understand the UWI's stance, the inability of students to access education due to financial constraints trumps all other reasons," read a statement from the Guild.

The university administration has insisted that students were aware of the policy from the start of the school year in September.

Over the years, students and the UWI administration have had public disputes over policies regarding delinquent students and their chance to sit exams or obtain transcripts.

In 2012, students staged a massive protest, marched into exam halls and allegedly destroyed university property.

Several of them including the guild president at the time were punished.

The total amounts owed by students is not known and the Government has not disclosed details surrounding the provision of the $100 million.

This fiscal year, the Government is giving $8.7 billion in annual subvention to the UWI.

The University of Technology is to receive $1.9 billion.