190,000+ Facebook fans; millions of page views every month, locally and worldwide — St. Lucia News Online… still ‘The People’s Choice’ :)

SALCC said increase in tuition and other fees came after “careful scrutiny of our financial resources”

By SNO Staff

 Share This On:

(SNO) – The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) has said the main reasons for the increase in tuition and “other fees” for the academic year 2018-2019 are to better meet its increasing cost obligations, facilitate the transition of the college to “university college status”, and to remain competitive, among other factors.

The increase in fees was announced in a letter posted on the SALCC’s website on July 31. The letter is signed by Merlyn Combie, a member of the college’s interim leadership team.

Combie said despite the increase, the new fees remain “fairly priced and competitive” with colleges within Saint Lucia and the region.

The college official gave hope to students and parents who may need financial aid.

“We are aware that such increase, though necessary may be burdensome to some parents. It is in this regard, that we have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with 1st National Bank St. Lucia Limited for the provision of student loan facilities to our students. Interested students may contact the Bank directly for further information. We also advise of the availability of student aid via the Ministry of Education for qualified applicants. Students may also apply for bursaries available through the St. Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF),” the statement reads.

Below is the full letter addressed to parents and students.

Dear Students/Parents: 

This letter is intended to inform you of the increase in tuition and other fees for the Academic Year 2018-2019. This increase is considered necessary in the context of providing greater long-term sustainability and will allow the College to better meet its increasing cost obligations while maintaining access to resources and excellence at the College.

This increase has been considered within the context of the Board of Governors’ mandate to facilitate the transition of SALCC from a College to University College status, and the need for the College to remain competitive in an environment of increased competition from locally-based and online tertiary educational institutions. It is on this basis, after careful scrutiny of our financial resources, that the Board of Governors of SALCC has approved an increase in tuition fees across the various Departments of the College.

While it is never an easy decision to raise fees, the decision remains a critical component of the financial management of the College. We can assure you that the fee increase remains fairly priced and competitive with colleges within Saint Lucia and the region.

Our goal at SALCC is to provide the highest quality education at a most affordable cost. We have implemented these changes as thoughtfully as we could, and at every step with a commitment to keeping any increases to a minimum. We are aware that such increase, though necessary may be burdensome to some parents. It is in this regard, that we have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with 1st National Bank St. Lucia Limited for the provision of student loan facilities to our students. Interested students may contact the Bank directly for further information. We also advise of the availability of student aid via the Ministry of Education for qualified applicants. Students may also apply for bursaries available through the St. Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF).

SALCC remains resolute in identifying and implementing initiatives aimed at improving efficiencies at all levels. With the additional resources available from the increased fees, SALCC will be in a position to implement a number of initiatives which will assist the College in improving the employability of our students. The initiatives under consideration include:

1. Enhancing the learning experience by improving connectivity and making broadband internet available throughout the campuses, and broadening access to instructional and learning resources to enable the integration of eLearning in instruction;

2. Improving the College’s electronic library collection and providing students with off-site access to learning resources, allowing flexibility with a choice of venue for studying;

3. Implementing a more diverse programme of student life activities on the College’s campuses;

4. Making a critical investment in the training and professional development of the faculty and staff.

We are confident that, working together, we can thrive as a “best-in-class” institution and fulfill our mandate to increase opportunities for tertiary education.

We are grateful for your understanding.

Yours sincerely
Merlyn Combie (Ms.)
Member, Interim Leadership Team

(1)(6)
Copyright 2019 St. Lucia News Online. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

8 comments

  1. Real Talk, let us talk. I mean really talk. First, nobody "transformed a secondary school into a college". The two schools were underutilized and it made sense merging them. Secondly, the college operates with three heads instead of one principal - one person for academic affairs ( a retiree of the college), one for operations and one for financial matters ( A retired senior bank official was brought into that post despite having a bursar who can fulfill that role). And yet you talk about lack of resources? Is it fair that the students should be made to pay for the salaries of persons who are already retired? Is it fair that you are paying three people to do the job of one? These are the facts you should check out and don't blame talk shows and political mischief.

    (12)(1)
  2. I'm not saying that fees can't be increased but it cannot be done a mere 3 weeks before the new academic year. Parents had already budgeted for the upcoming year. It is really unfair and disrespectful to the parents. This increase should have been put out for the latest April so that the parents would have had time to pit things in place. This is St.Lucia where we do things 'vie ti vie'.

    (12)(0)
  3. @realtalk well said

    (3)(0)
  4. Go online. Save on building/maintenance costs Ms. Combie.

    (3)(0)
  5. All this talk going around how the S.A.L.C.C increased their fees and that's unfair and all the other forms of usual uneducated talk coming from the public and some talk shows I would like to ask them how the hell will the school fund itself without such increase in fees. Already there are buildings which can't be used that's why the had to transform a the secondary school into the college and merge two schools for Marigot. Government has it rough when it comes to school maintenance works on schools and I'm not taking about this present Government but Government on the whole. Sometimes we have to be more realistic in this place and stop speaking because we haer it coming from this one or that one or even because we have a voice. Use you brains and find out things as an informed people then talk about it from an informed point of view not just talking about thing we don't have a clue about only because we heard it through the grape vine. And trust me alot of St.Lucians are doing just that nowadays cause when you hear them talk it's always what has been said on the talk shows or people trying to score political mischief points.

    (7)(11)
    • Well my friend not all of us are as rich as you. Some of us struggle to pay daily bus fares to and from school, far less for the increase. How are we supposed to deal with that? And how can the school depend on the students to freaking pay them? WE AREN’T WORKING, HENCE WE GO BACK TO SCHOOL. We go back to further our education in hopes of finding a suitable well-paying job, TO HELP OURSELVES. We don’t go back to school only to find ourselves dropping out or selling our bodies or drugs or doing security and whatever JUST SO WE CAN AFFORD TO PAY SCHOOL. Now you’re here with your barbaric comment, looking like a fool. Saying that we should not listen to what people say and what not. You’re being disingenuous right now. You know damn well that that increase in fees wasn’t necessary.

      (6)(0)
    • Also, I forgot to mention that SALCC accepts 1000+ students yearly, and everyone has to be paying a lot of money per semester. So just imagine, you moron, the amount of money SALCC gets from the students. As--

      (2)(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.