Wed | Aug 23, 2017

UWI Mona could announce fee reduction in 2020

Published:Monday | May 15, 2017 | 5:56 PM

Principal of the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Archibald McDonald, says reductions in tuition fees could be announced as early as 2020, as national debate on funding for tertiary education heats up.

Professor McDonald says that decision would be based on investments taking place on the campus that he expects will see cuts in energy costs as well as savings in other areas.

He says public/private partnerships have been used to support campus operations and these have resulted in the institution producing its own water.

In addition, the UWI intends to come off the Jamaica Public Service grid next year.

Professor McDonald says those measures could see tuition fee reductions within three to five years' time.

Prime Minister, Andrew Holness has said Jamaica needs to have a conversation on how to fund tertiary education.

That followed McDonald's concerns about the government's bailout of some of his students who were faced with being barred from final exams this month because they had outstanding balances.

The principal said the help is good, but the government must be careful it does not get into a habit which it cannot sustain. 

Opposition Senator Wentworth Skeffrey recently used Parliament to also demand a new approach to financing education.