Fri | Nov 16, 2018

Higher education out of reach for many

Published:Friday | September 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Reference is being made to the article 'UTech the poor cousins' published on Monday, September 17, 2018. Ronald Thwaites' desire to double "the output of tertiary training facilities of high calibre before 2030" might prove unattainable if financial aid by the State is to be restricted to "enable the economically weakest matriculants first".

The effect of valuing institutional profit over gaining requisite knowledge should not be ignored by the Government if investment in education is to become a viable strategy in achieving future economic development and growth.

If sufficient resources are lacking from the State to adequately fund the "vital process" of tertiary education, financially marginalised students will be left at the mercy of lenders. With the absence of generational wealth and the competitiveness for a full scholarship, these institutions will become the primary gateway to achieve educational goals.

Astounding benefits can be derived from a good tertiary education, but it might also cost exponentially more to pursue a degree by 2030. With limited or no government aid, accruing crippling long-term educational liabilities might not be an attractive option for many.

If Mr Thwaites' strategy is to become a catalyst of future economic growth, the Holness administration should take proactive action to protect tertiary students against rapacious financial institutions with predatory interest rates.

S. HARE

saraphare@yahoo.com