University of the West Indies: “It was Al all the time…”

They used to tell me I was building a dream…

From the Nation article Pay Talk

DESPITE THE ECONOMIC CHALLENGES facing the country, the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) will soon be seeking a pay increase for public workers.

Its president Cedric Murrell announced this yesterday during the 71st annual delegates conference of the Barbados Workers’ Union at Solidarity House in Harmony Hall, St Michael…

From the Nation article UWI Unease

Hundreds of Barbadians offered a place at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) are facing the prospects of having that offer rescinded in the wake of dire financial developments at the university, which senior sources there describe as “the campus’ worst nightmare”.

According to the top level sources, who only spoke on condition of anonymity, the jobs of hundreds of employees at the campus might also be in jeopardy after Government’s level of indebtedness to the institution rose to over $150 million recently and campus officials were told the debt would be settled through a four-year repayment plan of $40 million annually, starting in July next year.

The Sunday Sun has learnt that the university recently received a letter from the Ministry of Finance acknowledging the amount owed and setting out the repayment schedule on behalf of the Government.

But UWI’s legal advisers have cautioned that the letter, because of its origin, might not be binding on a returning or new administration.


Filed under Barbados, Economy

10 responses to “University of the West Indies: “It was Al all the time…”

  1. RLL

    It looks like so many bills are coming due in our society that we can no longer pay them. We’ve had a good ride, we who have benefitted from the largess. Some day the bill has to be paid and that day is now. Free education for Bajans is about to end. Won’t be long.

  2. robert ross

    For the UWI leadership the spectre of nemesis is on stage – and not before time.

  3. passin thru

    We keep hearing that education is free in Barbados. No it is not.

    We have the largest bunch of highly educated do-nothing shop clerks the world has ever seen! We got our degrees to serve margaritas to tourists because gawd knows there’s little else happening on this stone.

  4. Annette Baker

    I paid $20 000 to read for a Master degree. I was almost kicked out becaue I could not pay my fees as was expected but eventually after being failed 2 times in one subject (that half senile non-nationals in their 50’s were given passing grades), I eventually got the funds from the SRLF. I did receive an increment of $123.00 on my salary but am presently repaying $212 to the SRLF. Worst of all, I was told by a Council in the MOH that UWI did not prepare me well for the Profession and therefore was threatened that should I refer to myself as a “CP” (name of M Sc) that they would take me to Court. I am poorer with my M Sc and am prohibited from applying the knowledge and skills that I have gained from that course of study.

  5. tedd

    free education is not largess
    free education eliminates the “culture of poverty” where persons born poor have to remain poor as they cant afford the education that will bring them out of poverty. For a poor person who has nothing to inheret or no relatives or family friends that have a business to get a management job in, the only soution is to become educated and work for a good salary.

    this has created a stable society with easy social mobility.
    the vast majority of politicians managers, and professionals could not have gotten there without free education.

  6. just want to know

    Ted I agree with you 100%, even the same finance Minister. They should all be ashamed of themselves for putting the poor people of Barbados back in time, the poor get poorer, and the politicians who benefitted from free education now want to do away with it.

  7. wstraughn

    @Annette Baker

    I’m sorry to hear of your experiences… there is a saying ‘buyer beware’… clearly it applies to educational services as well as material goods… having said that, do you know if there are others from the same program with the same experience or is this issue limited to yourself?

  8. robert ross

    @ A Baker

    I have a difficulty in your mentioning the passing grades of non-nationals. What exactly are you implying? Nationality is not a guarantee of success and, as you say, you sadly carried a record of failure in a subject.

    But on the status of your Degree…is it a Pass Degree or an Honours Degree or simply a pass or fail one? See, any Degree entitles you to use its short form designation if from a legally recognised university. But, of course, to avoid any suggestion of passing off you conventionally put the place of award after the letters: thus M.Sc (UWI). In your case or simlar, Does your employer require an Honours Degree for it to count and you have a Pass only? In any event, my guess is that you cannot possibly be sued for passing yourself off as someone who has the Degree or other qualification if you really have it irrespective of whether it qualifies for employment purposes. But then if the fees haven’t been paid to the University, they would not award it till you have. In that case you cannot be up front that you have it and the employer would have to be kind to take it into account.- though any reasonable employer should once satisfied that you really have passed. So: if all the caveats here are satisfied – use it and let them try to sue you.

  9. robert ross

    The UWI problem has arisen because of massive expansion in student numbers over the past five years coupled, as a result, with wilfully reduced admission standards and with relatively fewer and fewer jobs at the end of it all. Couple that with equally massive capital projects to justify the numbers and vice versa and we have ended up with a bubble which is about to burst. Point the finger not at Government but at those responsible for this madness.

    Mad Mullah: you might have a go at this one.

  10. what will they think of next.

    The closing of American academia

    In most professions, salaries below the poverty line would be cause for alarm. In academia, they are treated as a source of gratitude. Volunteerism is par for the course – literally. Teaching is touted as a “calling”, with compensation an afterthought. One American research university offers its PhD students a salary of $1000 per semester for the “opportunity” to design and teach a course for undergraduates, who are each paying about $50,000 in tuition. The university calls this position “Senior Teaching Assistant” because paying an instructor so far below minimum wage is probably illegal.