Thursday 29 October, 2020

UWI Cave Hill contends amenities fees are needed for student services

At a time when many students were hoping for price reductions but were met with a $10 hike in university fees in Barbados, University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus has responded defending the increase.

Addressing a virtual town hall meeting with students on September 3, Professor V Eudine Barriteau said the campus’ expenses have increased as a result of COVID-19.

Responding to students’ queries about the $10 increase in amenities fee per semester, she stressed that Cave Hill is operating on a reduced budget this year, and the increase in amenities fee is a contribution to the range of services being provided by the campus for students’ benefit.

“Everything we do for you is extremely heavily subsidised and we will continue to do that because we have to. But the funding available to the campus is drastically reduced. So the amenities fee becomes a small drop in the bucket of maintaining a package of services to you,” Principal Barriteau said.

President of the Guild of Students, Thatcher Loutin also defended the increase, acknowledging that a portion of the amenities fees is paid to the guild which needs the fees in order to maintain its services to students.

“At this time … we actually need the amenities in order to operate,” Loutin said.

“If we don’t get that $60 (per student) then we can’t give scholarships, we can’t fulfil our welfare drive, we can’t fulfil our financial grants obligation; we can’t fulfil our financial aid … so everybody will be at a disadvantage.”

Most students contended that they reacted to the $10 increase negatively, not because they deem it unfair in particular but because for many they only discovered the hike at the cashier's counter when they went to pay.

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