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Minnis: We're Still Committed To Free Places At Ub

By RIEL MAJOR

IN wake of the University of the Bahamas’ recently announced tuition and fee increases, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday his government will be known for “providing education from birth to departure”.

Dr Minnis told reporters on the sidelines of a loan signing ceremony that education is a priority for his government.

“. . .It’s essential for our citizens and students to be educated so they can take advantage of all the job opportunities available,” said Dr Minnis.

When asked for clarification relating to the rise in tuition and fees at UB, Dr Minnis said the government has made a commitment for free education for Bahamians at UB once certain qualifications are met.

“…That commitment still holds. We also made a commitment that those students coming from the Family Islands we understand the stress and strain that they and their family undergo in terms of looking for accommodation so we’ve made a commitment that we must help our brothers and sisters coming from the Family Islands and we provide them with $500 per month to assist them with their lodgement.

“The commitment that we have made we will adhere to, you will note that we have embarked on providing preschool education because we know that with preschool education our citizens have greater opportunities become better leaders, they become managers etc so we’re providing free preschool education for Bahamians.”

Last June, Dr Minnis said: “Beginning in September 2019 all full-time Bahamian students who meet certain entry requirements will receive free tuition (at UB).” Dr Minnis reiterated this promise during a recent Family Island town hall meeting.

In a letter to students a little over a week ago, UB’s Office of University Relations advised that as of fall 2018, the estimated real cost of attendance per student attending the institution was between $26,810 and $30,810 annually inclusive of housing, based on figures provided by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

It added: “As of fall 2019, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships estimates that for first-time, first year students, the annual cost of attendance per student will be between $29,180 and $33,780. Whereas at other institutions approximately 38 percent of the cost of attendance is covered by student tuition and fees, at UB, this accounts for merely 20 percent of the cost of attendance.”

The letter further noted tuition and fees had gone unchanged for 20 years with government subvention covering the minimal operational, educational and growth expenditures.

As of this fall late registration fees will go from $150 to $250; application fees will go from $40 to $50; ID card fees will go from $10 to $20; transcripts and e-transcripts will go from $5 to $20; local status letters — inclusive of enrolment, initial review, progression and completion letters (except initial graduation letters) — will go from $10 to $50; international status letters will go from free to $60; add/drop/withdrawal fees will go from $20 to $25; diploma certificates will go from free to $50 and graduation evaluation fees will go from $100 to $250.

Last week, Education Minister Jeff Lloyd referred to these increases as a “small adjustment.” He said despite the move, the Minnis administration is committed to delivering on its promise of free tuition for UB students who meet certain criteria.

“It has to be said, the University of the Bahamas has, for a long time, been operating with a significant deficit. What this is, is a small adjustment of 15 percent to fees and tuition that we hope can go toward lowering that legacy deficit,” he said.

“We, as a government, have proposed our plan of getting students to UB. And once that is the case, we are committed, and this also important to understand, getting them there with free tuition,” he added.

Mr Lloyd said the government would seek to clarify its “free education” plan in the coming months, suggesting that definitive details would be presented during the 2019-2020 budget debate.

Comments

licks2 1 year, 5 months ago

I am still waiting to see how it will be done. . .UP ON TOP OF PRESENT POINT. . .then back DOWN SOON to NOTHING or are we going BACK TO PRESENT POINT. . .can only mean yinna are er er. . .WHAT YINNA MEAN ANYHOW??

Mr. PM. . .Sir we lost. . ."my head spinnin" Sire!! "Mi na know wha yinna er tark bout so" . . .The PLP een gatta open they mouth on this one. . .yinna een looking too smart on this one there chief!! But as we all know. . .Mr. Mitchell will talk some "over-chat and irrelevant nonsense" and lead Mr. Davis follow down a "lookin like a teif" rabbit hole where he can't see a thing or talk like he can't see a thing!!

Where the heck is mudder-take-sick when ya need a " cocked eyed" scatter shot conclusion with all kind of prickle mixed up in there. . .THEN YA LAUGH BECAUSE YA CARN SEE THE CITY FOR THE SMOKE!!

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TalRussell 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes, yes it is comrade PM and his education minister's skillful wordplay around not outright offering "free" College Education while gearing up with 2022 pre-general election promise ..... his Imperialism red shirts regime 'would seek' to clarify its “free education” plan in the coming future, suggesting that definitive details would be presented just in time 2022 general election bell rungs, yes, no........ the money has appear from that somewhere - its whereabouts kept an still uncertain secret, yes, no a crush pockets tomorrows 'working for paycheques' out PeoplePulicPurse, is a coming, yes, no?

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ohdrap4 1 year, 5 months ago

his government will be known for “providing education from birth to departure”.

Whose departure ? His departure?

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 5 months ago

He would be better served not just throwing money at this system ......... but in appointing a progressive thinking Minister of Education who is not stuck in the colonial/1970s model of education ....... gimmicks like K3 education and tablets in schools are not enough ........ the unequal public/private school education system with NO accountability or proper alignment of curriculum and plant to maximize our human capital is just more waste of financial resources ....... But he and the Minister are both SAC graduates from that old mindset.

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tetelestai 1 year, 5 months ago

Care to recommend any names, sheeprunner12?

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licks2 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't think that the major problem at the MOE is its minister. . .he is just the policy arm of the department! They have and has always had a defective, juvenile and spiteful director. . .he is the major reason for the historical broke down of the DOE. . .the PLP placed him there because of who his people are. . .everybody around him knew that he is unable to carry the load of such a fluid and dynamic portfolio with his repressive mind set! This present government seem "bent" on keeping him in that position. . .picking up the debris of his unprofessional disaster administration.

The department of education is at its lowest. . .the first time both PLP, DNA and FNM persons in that department are concertedly complaining. . .THEY ARE IN ONE ACCORD THAT THEIR CURRENT DIRECTOR IS WREAKING THE PLACE IN QUICK ORDER!!

BUT , ACCORDING TO PERSONS WORKING THERE. . .IF RELIEF FROM THE PRESENT DIRECTOR IS NOT GIVEN SOON. . .THAT DEPARTMENT WILL NEED DECADES TO REBUILD AFTER HE LEAVES. It seem as if this current government will continue to ignore the tremendous amounts of staff, unions, public and public service wide complaints about the director!!

I know Mr. Lloyd personally. . .if the reports I am hearing from persons working there are true. . .Minister Lloyd will not communicate with him. . .as his entire staff (except his little circle of friends) are doing. . .he has isolated himself from the entire process. . .yet he remains as director!! Jeffery Lloyd do not abide incompetent lightly. . .

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 5 months ago

Well .......... tell me what has Lloyd done to rein in Dr. Marcellus Taylor in 2 years???? .......... If Taylor is the problem, do the next best thing and get rid of him ........ But, there are few choices to replace him with ..... very few of the ADEs are up to the task .......... and the PSC scoffs at jumping over scales.

Lloyd is an education dinosaur ....... and Taylor is an education rhino. What does that make Mr. Plagiarism Smith at UB??? ............... Take your pick.

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