UG students protest tuition increase; Final announcement to be made tomorrow

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Students of the University of Guyana on Thursday gathered outside of the Education Lecture Theatre to protest the proposed 15%increase in Tuition, while members of the Council were meeting on the matter.

The News Room spoke to some students who noted that they reject the increase for various reasons. However, the major reason is because they cannot afford the “additional burden.”

Marissa Tucker

“I don’t agree with them because as a loan student that is going on cash, (because last semester I had a very hard time to access a loan, so my plan is to pay cash now), so with an increase of 15%, how am I gonna get that money? And the thing about UG is, we don’t have part time jobs being provided on campus so that the students can be able to work and gain, so you gonna have to work harder and it’s going to be harder on us, 15% increase, we can’t take that,” one first-year student, Marissa Tucker related.

Another student who is a Teacher said it would be harder with an increase since Teachers are already not being paid a large sum of money.

Winston Maynard

Winston Maynard told News Room that “being a Teacher, working for a meager salary, well I speak on behalf of all the teachers, to get an extra 35% (proposed to be implemented over a three-year period) or a 15% to pay for UG fees, is very difficult and a lot of teachers will not be able to continue their studies if these fees are raised, because as it is, many teachers pay cash and they take loans from commercial banks to do so and with this increase, I doubt most of them will qualify.”

Romel Roopnarine

According to another student, Romel Roopnarine, the Vice Chairman of the University has not been clear with the reason for such an increase. “All we’ve been having is general statements. We need some answers from the VC. We’re hoping that the Council is not led astray, is not manipulated…it is a struggle on campus to get an education and why is it that the UG administration is trying to make it more difficult,” Roopnarine stressed.

News Room also caught up with the President of the University of Guyana Student Society, Ron Glasgow who is also a part of the Council. Glasgow noted that consultations were hosted with students and in one line, the responses from students have remained “we want no increase.”

Asked when a final pronouncement can be expected on the way forward, he noted that this will be done “as early as tomorrow.”

The University of Guyana Administration had proposed a 5% increase last September. However, that was recently increased to 15% following a proposal from the university’s Vice Chancellor, Dr Ivelaw Griffith.

Also discussed at today’s meeting (Thursday, March 30, 2017) was the matter of salary increases for staff.

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