The five per cent increase in tuition fees and being notified by email

What students of the University of Guyana say about…

Fees at the University of Guyana have been increased by five per cent. Students found out via an email that was sent out by the UG administration. We asked several students how they felt about this. Their comments follow:

20161003lalita-chetramLalita Chetram – ‘I am very upset to learn about the 5% increase. There was never any indication to students we would have to pay an increase and to be informed by email I think is very unprofessional. I do not see the need for an increase in fees at this time because in Berbice we are yet to be registered for courses for our second year. There is no internet access on campus and we paid a miscellaneous fee and still have to pay to photocopy course outlines. I just think it is unfair to us at this time.’

20161003kendra-ramKendra Ram – ‘Informing students of an increase in fees through an email is unethical especially from an organization like the university. They should have consulted us or made the announcement before the academic year started. The university needs to show us that they are using the increased fees to make changes. They are only saying they are making changes but we are not seeing the changes. At Berbice campus we are treated like a stepchild, very unequal. We don’t have lecturers for courses, and we can’t access the library because we are not fully registered. So at this point I don’t think UG should increase any fees.’

20161003chevy-devonishChevy Devonish – ‘The University of Guyana advertised one set of tuition fees prior to the commencement of the 2016/2017 academic year. Students applied to the university, and registered for courses, under those fees. It is beyond unreasonable to now, more than a month after the semester commenced, and with no prior notice, declare that fees have been raised, and demand payment of that increase. This decision breaches administrative law and contract law principles, and must be reversed, at least until done in a proper way. Some of us have already paid our fees. Some students budgeted based on the old fees. Some of them are not in a position to find this added amount, as small as it may be perceived by others.’

20161003shareefah-parksShareefah Parks – ‘I can see why they want to raise the tuition fee but they need to show us some sort of improvement first. The library does not have the books you need, the interior of classrooms are deteriorating and there is not enough furniture and the toilets are not working. The last increase in fees they said we would see improvements but still we cannot see that. They need to show us what they would do with this five per cent. Informing students through email I do not think it was the best decision. Not everybody reads their email. They should have made a public announcement or sought an audience.’

20161003ron-glasgowRon Glasgow – ‘I am disappointed in the announcement by the administration. As president of the student society we would be seeking to meet with them to find out the reason behind the increase. Students have already paid their tuition fees and for the university to announce in the fifth week an increase in fees it shows their unprofessionalism. If there were plans to raise the fees they should have indicated so before the semester started. Many students are disappointed at this move by the university.’

20161003dellon-murrayDellon Murray – ‘I honestly believe that the time would come for UG to increase tuition fees if students are to experience a world class education in a world class facility. However, two years ago facilities fees increased with the promise of better facilities, to date that promise is yet to be fulfilled. Now comes an increase in tuition with no justification. Should I be contented with paying more for the same substandard facility and never ending campus hassle of pursuing higher learning? This is ridiculous. I’m saying give us the world class facility and hassle free campus then we’ll pay for what it’s worth.’

20161003chris-ann-grahamChris-Ann Graham – ‘I don’t have a problem with the increased fees. But giving students a November deadline to pay the increased fees doesn’t seem fair. If it was January students could have been able to budget the fee into their expenses. Persons have already budgeted their expenditure and this increase would just throw everyone off. The university could have done a better job in notifying students of the increase not everyone checks their email regularly. Also they did not give a reason why they are asking for the increase in tuition. There are universities with lower tuition but yet they have better and standardized facilities but people still choose to go to UG. The university needs to show that they are improving the facilities and then students would not find it difficult to pay increases. If the university wanted to increase fees they should implement it next year.’

20161003ravin-singhRavin Singh – ‘I believe that the 5% increase was arbitrarily done notwithstanding the justification by the Registrar of it being an incremental increase which was announced in 2014. When new fees were imposed that year, continuing students were told that we would have to pay the incremental increase – a move we were not consulted on before it was made. For new students entering that year, they would have to pay a new fee which would remain constant for the duration of their programme. As such, the incremental increase was introduced to have continuing students pay the same amount as new students, after they would have completed their years of study. What must be understood is that most of those students who were required to pay that incremental increase have left UG. To now impose this 5% on new students who are already paying higher fees which were introduced in 2014, is basically the administration showing its anti-poor nature and non-consultative approach in dealing with the highest form of education in this country. In my view, it is grossly disrespectful to email students, without notice, one month into the new academic term to say they need to pay more and this needs to be done by next month. We vehemently oppose this and consider it total disregard for every student, considering the fact that there has been no improvement to campus facilities despite increased fees in 2014 and the introduction of $50,000 facility fees which is being paid by each of the over 6,000 students.’

20161003brian-smithBrian Smith – ‘The need for improved student relations at the University of Guyana has once again raised its head. At the bare minimum the students should at least have had some sort of information session which would have relayed firstly the reason for an increase and then secondly at what increment for how long. Essentially this creates a dangerous precedent since we can wait for another such release indicating another 5 or even 10%. What is also alarming is that there is need for a stronger student body, such decisions being made when the UGSS has a seat at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meetings. It would be testament to the inability of the current UGSS to keep students informed and lobby on their behalf. In 2014 when the first adjustment was initiated there was much consultation and information surrounding the intentions of the increase? What has been done so far? I have spoken to a number of students at Turkeyen, Tain and Johns and they all echo the same sentiments – we recognize the need for resources but since the resources have been garnered there have been no changes. If the university sees it fit to be contemptuous of students and apparently of their elected representatives then I would join all students in denouncing the increase and calling for students across the board not to pay these fees. This arbitrary action affects us all and can be a sign of worse to come.’



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