No Tuition Increase – UWI Says Recent Top 5% Ranking Won’t Affect University Fee
The leadership of the University of the West Indies (UWI) is insisting that there will be no increase in tuition fees to reflect the regional institution’s recent placing among the top five per cent of the world’s best institutions as published by the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
Additionally, the UWI was the only institution in the Caribbean region to be listed in the 2018 Latin America University Rankings published in July.
The UWI was ranked among the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean, fourth for its international agenda, and 26th for its research impact.
It placed 37th overall out of 129 universities rated .
Addressing a press conference in St Lucia yesterday, UWI Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles said that the majority of students attending the university would not be able to afford increases in the current fees.
“To move in that direction would be subversive of all the good things we want to do,” Beckles said in response to a question on the issue.
“There is no relationship between our rankings or standing and our request of students to participate in funding the cost of their education,” he added.
The UWI vice-chancellor said that the funding model would continue to rest on “the capacity to pay”.
He noted that the university was grappling with a situation where poverty was increasing in many communities, and the number of people matriculating into higher education from the secondary level continued to drift in the wrong direction.
“So we want to launch an access revolution. Unless we double the number of young people in higher education in the next 10 years, we will not achieve that level of economic growth and that level of social stability we are looking for,” he reasoned.
There was a slight increase in the cost of some of the programmes the university offered for students who started in September over the previous year.
Beckles indicated that the university’s ranking was “not by chance”.
He said that in pursuit of the university’s “RRR” (Reputation, Resilience, Revenue) strategy, the UWI had been steadily building out its reputation as it seeks to increase revenue.
“All of these rankings will enable us to rise in respect of our reputation, our resilience, and the pursuit of greater revenue. This is why we do what we do. This is why we are going to pursue this even more aggressively in the years ahead.”