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Free University Tuition Plan If Students Meet Criteria

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said in September 2019, the government will provide free tuition for students of the University of the Bahamas who meet certain entry requirements.

Observers quickly noted the government has long given scholarships to Bahamians who meet certain criteria, however last night Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd said this assistance in the past has not covered the full cost of tuition while the government's new initiative will.

Dr Minnis did not say what the qualifications will be under the plan. He also announced during his budget speech yesterday that "qualifying students" from Family Islands will be given $500 per month as an accommodation allowance next year, because many of them cannot afford housing in New Providence.

Dr Minnis said: "I wish to announce at the outset that beginning in September 2019, all full-time Bahamian students who meet certain entry requirements will receive free tuition. The details of these requirements will be announced. Students will have to maintain a minimum GPA to maintain their grant. This requirement will also be announced. This major investment in education will help scores of young people to realise their dreams as we build a more equitable society."

The government of The Bahamas has funded the education thousands of Bahamians have received from UB through the National Bursary Scholar programme, established in 1978. Under the programme, people with five BGCSE grades of C and above, including math and English, can get the scholarship if they maintain a GPA of 3.0.

At a Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) press conference, Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin suggested the tuition announcement is redundant.

"If you go on the (university website) right now, they will tell you (the qualifications). The prime minister indicated you have to qualify. That clearly means criteria. But we already have that now."

Responding to questions from Mrs Hanna Martin last night, Mr Lloyd clarified the plan.

He acknowledged the existing bursary given to those who meet academic requirements, but said it does not cover full costs of tuition.

"First of all there will be no difference in qualifications, there will still be the (entry) requirement of five BGCSEs, (with a) C, at the present moment there is a provision in scholarships to the tune of about $17.3m . . . that provides what is known as a bursary scholarship, that is a $4,500 scholarship. However the actual cost of tuition at University of the Bahamas is approximately $6,000, nor does it cover (certain other costs)," Mr Lloyd said.

"(Under the new plan) that tuition of $6,000 will be covered."

Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper then suggested the FNM was not fully living up to its campaign promise, saying the tuition promise seemed to come with new stipulations.

In response, Mr Lloyd said come September 2019, "Once accepted to University of Bahamas, education is free."

Earlier yesterday, Dr Minnis also said the government has offered a "good paying" position in government to the top four graduates of UB's economics programme. After a year in the civil service, they will be given scholarships to study for a year at Ivy League institutions, he said.

Free tuition at UB was a key promise made by the Free National Movement during its election campaign.

Comments

BahamasForBahamians 2 years, 3 months ago

No news here. This has always been the case.

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licks2 2 years, 3 months ago

I hope you could find where those free tuitions where. . .teachers scholarships, grants in aids and a few technical scholarships were available. . .like any other schools around the world. . .but all the rest of us had to and still have to pay our own tuition. Teachers are the only ones given full tuition, books and monthly stipend of $500 to attend UB and train as teachers and work for government schools for at least two years after graduation. THERE ARE NO OTHER SUCH SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE AT UB. . .PERIOD! YOU ARE OUT RIGHT LYING HERE. . .

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bogart 2 years, 3 months ago

QUESTIONS: How does the Minister of Education define the word "free" as in "free tuition" ?.....dont mean to ask a foolish question but would a recipient have to render a service etc, in return??

QUESTION: How does the Minister of Education define "more", "a more equitable" as in ...'will help scores of scores of young people to realize their dreams as we build a more equitable society.'

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licks2 2 years, 3 months ago

Your answer is according to what is, is! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

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PastorTroy 2 years, 3 months ago

In response, Mr. Lloyd said come September 2019, "Once accepted to University of Bahamas, education is free."

    • Questions: (1) After the top 4 students in economics have gotten a free UB education, job with our Government, and sent off to Ivy league college, what guarantee do we have that they will return to our Bahamaland after being propositioned by Goldman Sachs and others?.

(2) What about the rest of our population who want to better themselves by getting a higher education? We have to offer higher opportunities to all, many Bahamian families started at an early age, right out of, or some before high school graduation, now that kids are grown they want to finally get their 'edjamacation' on too, the single moms/dads, the reformed and the most vulnerable of our society everyone should be able to reap from our success! When I graduated from college there were 20, 30, 40 and 80 somethings getting their diploma. A rising tide lifts ALL boats!!

We cannot be stingy when it comes to uplifting our people our nation, especially when the people whom you're alienating from the "fat of the land" are busy working hours daily paying taxes directly or indirectly into the same pot. Great idea, however with more tax dollars paid into a transparent system we can and must do better than this! After 40 years of our anemic educational system and daily attack from globalization, we have to show our appreciation to those who carry the weight of building our Bahamaland while making peanuts. It's time to Legalize cannabis tax it, use most of the tax for our educational and spiritual systems (I did not say religious), mental health, homelessness; it's unthinkable that in this day and age people are still using outside toilets, not only in some family Islands but in the capital of the nation NASSAU! let's think OUTSIDE the box when it comes to uplifting our nation and our people. Love and peace to you my brother and sisters.

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 3 months ago

Re (1) don't worry, they're not coming back and if they did no one would listen to them. They'd be past the "cute" and "harmless" age.

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licks2 2 years, 3 months ago

The greater part of public service is them who came back. . .multiple thousand of them who have retired from public services are "THEM WHO CAME BACK". . .I am one of them. . .the only place that pops into memory now and again is the eastern Caribbean region. . .Island life and near the sea. . .but no matter where I went. . ."the feeling of Bahamas" was inside of me. . .and I came back home to this people. . . we roam while we are young it seem. . .then we come back home. MANY WHO ARE STILL AWAY. . .THE ONES I KNOW. . .THEY ARE PROMISING TO RETURN TO OUR SOIL. . .BACK TO YOU!

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 3 months ago

You never seem to read... The answer is already there "and if they came back no one will listen to them, they'll past the "cute" and "harmless"" stage. Just like how DAguilar raggy the man from Oxford said he didn't see no great cntribution from him.

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joeblow 2 years, 3 months ago

NOTHING IS FREE!!

Isn't this why VAT is being increased now, because people thought things were free?

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 3 months ago

NO STUDENTS SHOULD BE IN UNIVERSITY DOING COLLEGE PREP ........ THAT IS WHAT THE OTHER COMMUNITY COLLEGES ARE THERE FOR ........ IF YOU CANNOT PASS THE 5-C BGCSE CRITERIA, THEN GO TO THE BAPTIST COLLEGE, ATLANTIC, SOJOURNER, TERREVE, ETC. AND DO PREP COURSES ....... WE CANNOT HAVE GOVERNMENT PAYING FOR CHILDREN TO DO PREP

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BONEFISH 2 years, 3 months ago

This is nothing new.Under Prime Minister Ingraham,all bahamian students who passed 5 BGCSE's with C grades and above were allowed to attend COB then on scholarships.This will be paid out of the taxes, fees levied onand paid by bahamians. Bahamians love to be bribed with with their own tax dollars.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 3 months ago

The students who are on Government bursary(free) scholarships still have to pick up 20% of their semester fees ......... this time, he means ALL fees will be paid.

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BONEFISH 2 years, 3 months ago

Those fees will be paid out of the consolidated fund.Out of the taxes,levies and fees paid by the bahamian people.Out of their tax dollars.

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killemwitdakno 2 years, 3 months ago

I guess the best going all the way is better than more who have half to pay. Idk.

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