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Govít to close SLB deal by year-end

Published: Tuesday November 20, 2012 | 9:14 am with audio | Comments 0
Applicants waited outside the Students\' Loan Bureau on Oxford Road in Kingston- file photo.
Applicants waited outside the Students' Loan Bureau on Oxford Road in Kingston- file photo.
Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites - file photo.
Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites - file photo.

Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites says the government is hoping to sign off on a deal by year-end, which will bridge this yearís financing gap at the Studentsí Loan Bureau (SLB).

Thwaites said government officials, including the finance minister Dr. Peter Phillips, held follow-up talks with a group of financiers and bankers last Friday.

While not going into details, he said an arrangement is on the horizon.

It is understood that a loan facility is being sought from a major development bank and other financial institutions.

The SLB has a $2.5 billion shortfall in its budget to meet the $4.2 billion needed for disbursements this academic year.

Following concerns raised by students, universities agreed to allow them to remain in classes until the end of this semester.

Meanwhile, the education minister said the government is moving in the direction of providing tertiary funding only to those who are in need and those who pursue degrees in keeping with the countryís development and workforce needs.

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Education Minister Ronald Thwaites.
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