Members of the University of Guyana Council yesterday afternoon (Thursday, 30, 2017), approved the motion of a tuition increase at the institution. This comes in the face of cries from students about their inability to afford an increase.
At a meeting hosted at the Education Lecture Theatre on Thursday afternoon to discuss the UG Budget for the 2016/2017 academic year which shows that it was operating at a deficit.
According to the University of Guyana Student Society’s (UGSS) Public Relations Officer, Christina Basil, the council agreed to on an increase of 15%, 10%, and 10% over three academic years; 2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2019/2020, respectively.
However, it was noted that the student body remains of unsupportive of the measure but has promised to be aggressive with the UG Admin with respect to accountability and transparency of all monies spent.
Students of the University on Thursday gathered outside of the Education Lecture Theatre to protest the proposed increase in Tuition. They noted that the process to access a loan from the University is already strenuous, and with an increase of tuition, many persons will be forced to discontinue their education.
A first year student, Marissa Tucker told News Room that “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.”
Another student who is a Teacher said the increase would not guarantee a bank loan which is what is used by teachers to pay their tuition.
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.
Additionally, the Administration is expected to begin salary negotiations in the coming week.