Less than one year after the University of Guyana (UG) approved a 35 per cent incremental increase on tuition fees, the institution on Wednesday approved increased rates for their service fees, set to be implemented from March 2, 2018.
According to a layout of the increase provided to INews, some of various services were increased by 100 per cent and more.
Service fees for supplemental examinations which holds a current rate of $1,500 will be increased to $5,000, Appeals (reviews) will see an increase from $5,000 to $10,000.
The UG entrance examination fee will see an increase from $10,000 to $15, 000.
Application processing fees for the various branches of studies have also been increased with fees for Ph.D New Students being doubled from $10,000 to $20,000.
However, the most glaring observation was the fact that some of the services which were being provided by the local University for free will now require students to pay.
Services such as student letters, provided by the registry will now cost $5000, while Examination application, write up, review and resubmission services for thesis/research projects will now attract fees of $15,000, $10,000, $10,000 and $15,000 respectively.
Moreover, students looking to re-sit examinations will also be required to pay $6,000, when there was no fee before.
Meanwhile, the University of Guyana
issued a letter to the administration in disapproval of such fees, and engaged the Vice Chancellor, Registrar and other officers as to the basis of the imposed fees.”
“ It is the position of the UGSS Executive which was installed on October 28, 2017 that these budget estimates of income cannot be extended to and approved for the financial year 2018 unilaterally by the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor or (UG) Cabinet,” the entity asserted.
Students have since been urged to stand in solidarity against the fee increases.
“Let us unite and not be divided by this act of injustice that affects over eight thousand (8000+) students of both Turkeyen and Berbice campuses. Students must be respected.”
In April of last year,the University Council had approved a 15 per cent increase in tuition fees, the first step in its move to see an overall 35 per cent tuition increase over a three-year period.
UG announced that following intense discussions, the March 30 extraordinary meeting of the Council, chaired by Chancellor Eon Nigel Harris, voted to increase tuition fees.
The decision, it said, came following an examination of the University’s projected budget deficit, the pressing needs of the institution, and projected alternative income streams.
Comparative data on private high schools and Universities in Guyana and the Caribbean Region were also examined and the tuition and fees at all the institutions examined were found to be several times higher than those of UG, the administration noted.
The University stated that even with the “unavoidable adjustments”, fees at the institution will still be comparatively lower.
According to UG, the Council’s decision will be applied to tuition fees for all programmes and for both continuing students and new students for the 2017-2018 academic year.
However, it said input from the Student Society was considered, leading to an incremental rollout, where continuing students will now pay an increase of 15 per cent (about $2500 a month), and new students will be required to pay 18 per cent (about $3000 a month).
At the same meeting also, the Council decided to incrementally increase the tuition fee by 10 per cent for the 2018-2019 academic year for all students, and by a further 10 per cent for all students for 2019-2020.