UG implements Graduation fee; penalty for lecturers delivering late grades


From November 2016, all eligible University of Guyana’s graduating students attending the ceremony will be required to pay a graduation fee of G$10,000, while students not in attendance will pay a fee of $7,000.


This was a proposal made by Vice-Chancellor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith and approved by the University’s Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GPC) at its statutory meeting on Monday, July 11 to improve the university’s financial condition and services to students, a statement from the University said on Thursday.


“This new fee will cover the provision of gowns to the relevant students; rental of chairs and public address system for the ceremony; the Chancellor’s reception for students; the provision of diplomas; and the publication of graduation programmes and convocation booklets, among other things,” the statement explained.


The proposal noted that UG has been financing the graduation exercises from its scarce resources throughout its life, while the expenses incurred by the ceremonies have been increasing over the years.


“Convocation-related expenditure for 2013 was $3,036,052; for 2014, it rose to $5,158,510; and in 2015, it grew to $8,340,766” the statement pointed out.


Moreover, for the first time, graduating students will be provided with diploma covers to safely store their certificates.


According to UG Registrar,Dr. Nigel Gravesande, “A recent survey of institutions of learning locally, regionally and internationally, revealed that a Graduation Fee is mandatory.” Graduation fees are paid at all levels in Guyana, from nursery to secondary, and they range from G$3,000.00 at nursery schools to G$5,000.00 at secondary schools.


Additionally, the F&GPC will be moving to penalize lecturers for the non-submission of grades on time.


The Meeting, at which a representative from the staff union was present, agreed on a regime of sanctions for non-compliance by lecturers. These include, but are not limited to, non-renewal of contracts, disqualification from receiving salary increments, and the inclusion of the timely submission of grades as an integral part of performance appraisal.


Letters will also be sent to all defaulting faculty members urging them to submit all outstanding grades by July 15, 2016.


Over the years, students have complained about not getting their grades on time; however the Examination Division said this is as a result of the lecturers failing to submit the grades on time, which in term resulted in the Division being unable to post grades on time.


This has had several negative impacts on students, including the delay in finalising prospective graduates’ profile; students being unable to matriculate from one programme to the next; unnecessary delays  in processing official transcripts for students; delays in student course registrations and delays in the sitting of supplemental/resit examinations.


The Vice-Chancellor voiced his commitment to ending this disservice to and disrespect for students, and he pledged to implement fully the decision of the F&GPC.


The sanctions take immediate effect.


As part of the pursuit of greater transparency at UG, the major decisions of the F&GPC now will be published at the end of each meeting. Vice-Chancellor Griffith also proposes to recommend the same course of action to the University Council, the governing body of The University of Guyana.


Finally, the F&GPC endorsed a recommendation from the Administration to settle an outstanding labor-management dispute over salaries and benefits.


The decision entails paying the relevant staff members as follows: 23 percent increase to the nine 9 employees over whom there was a dispute related to their being already paid at “market rate’’; Traveling allowance increase for UA category workers to $17,000 per month for all those workers who have been receiving less than $17,000 per month; Traveling allowance increase by 90 percent for UB category employees; Increase in uniform allowance to $10,000 per year for all female UG employees to assist with the preparation of uniforms.


All payments will be retroactive to January 1, 2016, and will be made during the month of July 2016.


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