By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com]– It is unknown whether Government will raise the loan ceiling for students at the University of Guyana in wake of increased tuition fees
The University only recently announced the hike that will see students requesting an increase in the amount they borrow from the Loan Department which is operated by the Ministry of Finance.
Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh when questioned on whether systems are in place to ensure students can access the increased amount said, “The matter is currently engaging the attention of the cabinet we will need to reflect on the fullness of its implication before I can pronounce more definitely on the matter.”
He noted that this new increase has to be viewed in context with the rate of student compliance for repayment of the loans.
“The fact of the matter is that there hasn’t been compliance at the level that we would like there to be and this is equally an issue that is engaging our attention as we confront the issues of the adjustment to tuition fees.”
He said this too is engaging cabinet’s attention and mechanisms will be put in place to ensure students comply with the loan requirements and the honor their obligations this time around since it is not being done voluntarily.
Tuition fees increased effective has become effective from the 2014 – 2015 academic years after the University’s council gave its approval based on countrywide consultations.
Registration this year at the University is no different with its challenges and has not even begun and it is still unclear when this process will begin at the institution. Normally this process starts in the month of June.
Last year the start of classes was delayed for the new academic year and cited the unrest at the University as one of the factors.
The adjusted fee applies to both new and continuing students who are pursing programmes which previously attracted a fee of $127,000G.
According to the University, the increase will be done gradually over a three year period and will see continuing Guyanese students paying an incremented increase beginning with $130,000 in 2014, $145,000 in 2015 and $160,000 in 2016, in addition to the $50,000 Facilities Fee, which replaces the various miscellaneous fees, previously paid.
However, fees for several programmes will not be adjusted which includes a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Science Degree in Optometry, Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Imaging, Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy, Bachelor of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Sciences, Bachelor of Science Dental Surgery.
Additionally, the Masters of Science in Environmental Management, Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management-Climate Change and Disaster Management & Natural Resource Management, Bachelor of Law, Commonwealth Master of Business Administration, Commonwealth Master of Public Administration, Master in Education, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Tourism Studies and the Associate Degree in Tourism Studies.
However, students pursuing these programmes will be required to pay the Facilities Fee.
New Guyanese students are now required to pay $210,000, inclusive of the Facilities Fee for most programmes. The University noted that even though the fees for foreign students have not been adjusted, they will be required to pay the US$ 250 facilities fees instead of the various miscellaneous fees, which were previously paid.