The University of Guyana takes this opportunity to respond to Ms Martin’s letter, ‘Will those graduating students for whom there were no gowns get a refund?’ published in the Stabroek News on November 14, 2016.
The university deeply regrets the unavailability of graduation gowns for 88 of the 923 bachelor degree students (less than 10% of those who were eligible to wear gowns), who indicated that they would have attended the 50th Convocation of the Turkeyen Campus on Saturday, November 12, 2016. These graduates will be given a refund of $3,000 from the $10,000 graduation fee students (other than diploma, associate degrees and certificate recipients) who attended the ceremony, were required to pay. This process has commenced and a number of persons have already collected their refund.
It must be noted that the UG graduation fee of $10,000, not the economic cost, included payment for the provision of gowns for the bachelor and master degree students (UG’s graduation wear does not include a cap and diploma, associate degree, and certificate recipients were not required to wear gowns); the rental of chairs and public address system for the ceremony; the Chancellor’s reception for students; and the publication of graduation programmes and convocation booklets, among other things. Additionally, for the first time, graduates will be provided with diploma covers to safely store their certificates.
For the past 49 years, UG has been financing the graduation exercises from its scarce resources. Our research has shown that graduation fees are paid at all levels in Guyana, from nursery to secondary, and they range from $3,000.00 at nursery schools to $5,000.00 at secondary schools. A survey of the Caribbean showed that fees range from US$55.32 for university certificates, diplomas and associate degrees to US$86.92 for a bachelor’s degree.
In a news release issued on July 13, 2016, the university announced that the Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GPC) of The University of Guyana, at its statutory meeting on Monday, July 11, 2016, took the decision to implement an annual graduation fee at the university with effect from November 2016. Present at the meeting was a representative of the Students’ Society and the University Council. All eligible graduating students who attended the ceremony were required to pay the graduating fee of $10,000, while those students who did not attend were required to pay the fee of $7,000.
The University of Guyana takes this opportunity to again congratulate the Class of 2016 at both campuses. We are proud of their collective achievements.
Public Relations Officer
University of Guyana