The University of the West Indies has made some amendments to how the new $500 Student's Amenities Fee will be implemented.
UWI announced the new fee earlier this week but following concerns by students, the university now says that students will be allowed to pay $250 at the beginning and the rest in the next semester.
That is among other changes the University says it will allow, following student's concerns.
The following is UWI's statement on the changes made today.
"Following the announcement of the introduction of the Student Amenities Fee for the academic year 2016/2017 on August 16, 2016, administration at The UWI St. Augustine Campus noted concerns from students on the new fee. A meeting was convened with representatives of the Executive of the Guild of Students to address these concerns and discuss a way forward in the best interest of the student body. Out of these discussions the following provisions are put into place in an attempt to alleviate any undue pressure on students:
* There is the offer of a staggered payment option with the fee payable in two installments of TT$250, one per semester, to account for the total annual fee of TT$500. It should be noted that this provision applies only to this academic year 2016/2017, as the inaugural year. However, students who are in a position to pay the full annual Student Amenities Fee at the beginning of academic year 2016/2017 are encouraged to do so.
* For students requiring such, an extended deadline for the payment of the Semester I instalment of TT$250 is offered up to September 30, 2016. A commitment is made that there will be no holds on student accounts before this deadline date. It should be noted however that students failing to pay by this date, will be subject to financial holds on their accounts, which will impact their access to learning resources and other services.
* Special provisions will also be made for students who participated in early registration, like those in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, who would not have been informed about the introduction of the new Student Amenities Fee. These provisions will be communicated to applicable students directly.
* Students with special cases of financial hardships are encouraged to consult the Financial Advisory Services section in the Division of Student Services and Development, located in the Lloyd Brathwaite Student Administration Building at the St. Augustine Campus. The section can be contacted at (868) 662 2002 ext. 82360 or via email to [email protected].
* Early in the new semester, the Guild of Students will host a Student Forum to discuss the implementation of the Student Amenities Fee with the student population.
In a Memorandum addressed to all students, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal, Professor Brian Copeland clarified that the decision to introduce this new fee has been under consideration since 2014 and involved extensive discussions with campus representatives, faculty, administrators, and students through its Guild Executive representatives over the three-year period. “Fees on the St. Augustine Campus have not been increased in the past 15 years.
The TT$500 Student Amenities Fee was conceptualized to support the growing need to enhance and improve the facilities offered to students.
There are similar fees charged at our sister campuses in the region and the TT amenities fee is the lowest fee of this kind when compared to the other campuses. It is the feedback from the Guild of Students that informed the priority inaugural projects of the Student Amenities Fund,” he said.
The new Student Amenities Fee is not a Guild Fee, nor is it a second Caution Fee or an increase in tuition. Rather, it is a fee exclusively proposed for the development and enhancement of student amenities as well as to support services provided to students through the Division of Student Services and Development.
It is intended to provide various ranges of amenities that will benefit all categories of students – undergraduate, postgraduate, full-time, part-time and evening. Students, through their Guild representation, are encouraged to propose projects for consideration.
The University Finance and General Purposes Committee – convened on May 27, 2016 – gave final approval for the implementation of the fee for the start of the academic year 2016/2017 with the support of the Guild of Students whose President is a member of this committee.
Further, the campus administration and the Guild have been in continuous consultation on the implementation of the fee, since its approval at the various campus governance bodies."
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