Saint Lucians and other Caribbean students of the University of the West Indies (UWI) should have no fears about paying increased fees, especially in these COVID times, following a recommendation of a 100% increase in tuition fees by the 2020 Chancellor’s Report on Governance.
The Council of the University of the West Indies (UWI) on Monday (March 7) announced it had rejected a recommendation to increase student fees made in the controversial July 2020 Chancellor’s Report of a special commission, chaired by ex-Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) President, Sir Dennis Byron.
The Commission’s report had proposed a financial model calling for a 100 percent fee increase, with students expected to pay 40% of the cost of academic programmes in a 60:40 cost-sharing model.
Currently, students pay tuition fees equivalent to 20 percent of the cost of academic programmes.
In March 2021, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles had also rejected the recommendation.
“The idea of moving from students paying a maximum of 20 percent up to 40 percent, I’m sure the public will say ‘This is a huge leap’.
“What would that mean for enrolment? What would it mean for access?” Beckles questioned at the time.
The Council held its final deliberations last Friday (March 4), following almost two years of consultations.
A UWI spokesperson said in a press release: “This would pose an existential threat to the University, Caribbean society, and economy.
“The review committee described this recommendation as being outside the terms of reference of the Byron Commission.”
The review committee, however, accepted 93 of the 95 recommendations of the Byron Commission.