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Norman Manley Law School to increase fees to fund expansion

Published:Wednesday | March 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Norman Manley Law School is set to increase fees significantly come next year.

The increase in fees was confirmed by principal of the law school Carol Aina.

Fees for students going into the second year of the programme will see an increase of 28 per cent and those students going into the first year will see an increase of 48 per cent.

This increase, Aina said, is necessary to facilitate the expansion programme that the school has been undertaking.

"We have seen an increase in the number of students, and as such, we have had to expand to accommodate the increase," she said.

The law school has been in the process of constructing a new building to accommodate the current numbers.

"The building is well on its way to completion and will facilitate the 540 students that we now have in a building that was built for 120 students," she added.

The Gleaner has learnt that the building is being constructed at a cost of US$5 million.

Aina disclosed that the law school had been able to initiate the expansion programme through the payment of funds that were owed to the school by the Government.

"The Government of Jamaica has been making good on payments ... owed to us. We have received about half of that, and the Government has committed to paying the rest over the next couple of financial periods," Aina said.

When the new building has been completed, it will be used to house students who are in year two of the programme, while the current building will be used to house year one students.

The construction of the new building will also incorporate a new home for the legal aid clinic. The old building that housed the clinic was demolished as it was termite infected.

The law school has also been facing issues collecting fees from students. This, Aina says is a significant problem for the school, noting that she has had to meet with students to encourage them to make good on payments.

"Students at the law school currently owe $79 million in fees. Students in the first year owe $24 million, those in the second year owe $33 million, and the difference is owed by students who have completed the programme," she said.