Sat | Feb 27, 2021

UWI Mona cuts $1 billion in scholarships amid COVID crunch

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2021 | 6:05 PM
Pro-vice chancellor and principal Professor Dale Webber says the development is likely to significantly impact many students. However, he said the university is working hard to support the usual beneficiaries.

The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona has cut $1 billion in scholarships this year as it grapples with the financial fallout caused by COVID-19.

Pro-vice chancellor and principal Professor Dale Webber says the development is likely to significantly impact many students.

However, he said the university is working hard to support the usual beneficiaries.

"We have been trying to find donors, partners, friends who are willing to step in and give scholarships," he said.

Webber was speaking Tuesday at the virtual launch of the Lawrence and Davis Scholarship.

The scholarship, valued at US$100,000, will provide support for Jamaican students in the Department of Life Sciences and the Centre for Biotechnology in the Faculty of Science and Technology. 

"By providing this donation, you are providing access to students who would not be able to afford this tertiary education that you know will make the difference in unlocking their potential," Webber told the two donors, Dr Pauline Lawrence and Professor Carlton Davis.

Lawrence, an entomologist attended the Buff Bay Primary and the Titchfield High schools in Portland before matriculating into the UWI Faculty of Science and Technology.

She pursued further studies at the University of Florida, where she eventually became the first black faculty member hired in the Department of Zoology. 

Lawrence said she has been moved by the financial hardships being experienced by students.  

"This pandemic has really brought to the fore the disparity that exists with many of our bright students, and so it was with that feeling of sadness that we decided we need to try our best to do what we can now, and probably in the future if our lives are spared," she said.  

Meanwhile, Davis, said he was moved to give back after seeing the vision, mission, and core value of the university.  

"We strongly believe that the university has a bright future and we would like to be a part of that future," he said.  

The scholarship will fully fund the tuition for seven students pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science or a Masters of Science degree in agricultural entrepreneurship and plant production and protection in the Faculty of Science and Technology.   

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.