The University of Guyana has announced that its Council has approved increases in the tuition fees for the next two academic years.
The decision was taken at a March 30, 2017 extra-ordinary meeting of the University Council. That meeting was chaired by Chancellor Nigel Harris and the Council voted to increase tuition fees.
The new fees will take effect from the 2017/2018 academic year. Continuing students will now have to pay a 15% increase in tuition fees, which according to the University, works out to about $2500 per month. New students will have to pay an 18% hike in their tuition fees and that will work out to an increase of $3000 per month.
For the 2018/2019 academic year, UG students will be asked to pay an additional 10% increase and a further 10% increase in the following academic year which will cover 2019/2020/
According to the UG statement, “in making the decision the Council examined the University’s projected budget deficit, the pressing needs of the University, and projected alternative income streams.”
The University said comparative data on private high schools and Universities in Guyana and the Caribbean region were examined and the tuition and fees at all the institutions examined were found to be several times higher than those of The University of Guyana (UG).
“Even with the unavoidable adjustments, fees at UG will still be comparatively lower”
The University Council has also authorised the UG Administration to commence negotiations with the two University Unions for remuneration packages based on what the University could afford.
The Council said it received clarification from the Ministry of Finance that the claim by the unions that the Government of Guyana had provided a fixed sum of money for salaries, which would amount to a 15 percent salary increase, was inaccurate.
“In this context, the UG Administration will continue to analyse the University’s budget to determine the fullest possible extent of affordability. It also was stressed that staff performance will be a key factor in determining salaries and benefits, whether monetary or non-monetary”, the statement said.
Back in 2016, when the University attempted to increase the tuition fees by 5%, there was widespread condemnation by students and that resulted in the increase being put on hold.
The Government of Guyana through the Student Loan Agency will continue to facilitate student loans to cover the tuition costs for students attending the University.