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