Beyond ‘Free UG’: Vice Chancellor calls for greater funding from private sector


The University of Guyana (UG), Guyana’s national university, graduates thousands of students each year and increasingly, those graduates are venturing into private sector jobs.

As such, the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Paloma Mohamed- Martin has called for more private sector support to be directed towards the institution even as the government moves towards making tertiary-level education completely free for students.

“We need more and we deserve more and we have to find a way to create a proper mix.

“(The government) is not the only entity that uptakes UG’s graduates. More and more private businesses, and international businesses, uptake UG’s graduates, in fact more now than before.

“So expecting one entity only to fund the university, I think, is not something we should be advancing,” Professor Mohamed- Martin said on Monday morning while on a local radio programme.

The governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), in its 2020 election campaign, said it would make university education free by 2025.

This year, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh said the government would this year start wiping out UG student loans as it moves towards making tertiary-level education free by next year. This move, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said afterwards, could cost about $18 billion.

Professor Mohamed- Martin said she is in no way against a ‘free UG’ since she benefited from free secondary and tertiary education when she was younger.

She, however, noted that certain investments are still needed to allow the university to quality education. This is so because university will be free to students but its more than 2,000 staff still need to be paid and investments to improve programmes are needed.

“So it has to be something we have to discuss, putting all the cards on the table,” the Vice- Chancellor said.

She added, “What they (students and prospective students) can be assured of is that we will continue to do the best we can and make magic out of what we get.”

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.