Costing study to help guide future fee increases at UG - Vice Chancellor

4th March, 2018 0 comments

There is currently the need for a costing study to be done at the University of Guyana [UG]. Discussions in this regard were recently held at the level of the Academic Board and in the company of student leaders. This is according to UG Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, who shared this development on Thursday. Even as he emphasised the importance of costing, he underscored the need to know how much it would cost the university to produce a degree, for instance, in Civil Engineering or Mathematics. He disclosed that although currently the university offers 113 degree programmes, “we don’t have an empirical base for the decision.”

According to Professor Griffith, who was speaking at a ceremony to announce a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank [CDB] for the construction of a new library for the university, while the funding will help to provide critical infrastructure for the library, it will also help to do a variety of other things. Professor Griffith disclosed that he has shared his anxiety with the members of the Academic Board, of his desire to see the costing study be done in the coming year. This move is important since, according to him, “next year will end the third in a three-year cycle of tuition increases.”

“Next year we will need to begin to talk about what might be the increase beyond…I would like that conversation to be grounded in evidence. What it cost for a diploma, for a degree, for a Master’s Degree, for a PhD, and so I look forward to moving this process,” said the Vice Chancellor. Just recently the UG administration had cause to defend a decision to hike administrative fees, a move that the current UGSS body had fiercely condemned complete with threats to take legal recourse.

But the administration, in a statement, underscored that the increase was imperative since apart from tuition and facilities fees, there are other expenses associated with studying at the university. “These are commonly called Administrative Fees, and they cover a wide range of services, including fees for processing applications for degree, diploma and certificate programmes [adjusted from $500 to $1000], and late applications [adjusted from $2,000 to $3,000], late registration [adjusted from $10,000 to $12,000], supplemental examinations [adjusted from $1,500 to $5,000]. “The cost of personal transcripts… [has moved from $3,000 to $5,000],” the administration outlined.

It also noted that “some services that were entirely free, now attract a fee. Included here are the re-sit examinations, which now cost $6,000 and letters for students that are used for visa applications and other purposes; they now will attract a charge of $5,000.” But according to the administration, students will only be required to pay the fees if they access the associated services. It was noted that the new administrative fees will not affect all students. “Indeed, some fees do not affect current students; they affect graduates seeking transcripts and other services. A significant proportion of the requests for transcripts come from graduates residing abroad, and dispatching those transcripts carries additional costs,” the administration highlighted.

In defending its decision, the university sought to inform that administrative fees were last adjusted by the University about a decade ago. “A comparative analysis of administrative fees being paid at other local tertiary institutions reveals that the new UG fees are far from exorbitant. As adjustments to service fees are being made at the University of Guyana at this juncture, it must be underscored that over the past two years, students at the University have been witnessing numerous improvements that directly enhance their learning environment and educational experience,” the administration added.

Vice Chancellor Griffith had said, “While none of us wish to add to the costs of our students’ educational experiences, the practical reality is that running the university costs, and the government subvention does not – and cannot be expected to – cover all the costs.” Meanwhile, Professor Griffith noted that even beyond the proposed costing study, UG must also have in place a statement of economic value. “We need to know what the University of Guyana does for the nation. Every one of the little more than the 1,000 staff we have here, permanent and part time, pays taxes, buys, has mortgages…so there are economic multipliers, we need to be able to calculate what those impacts are,” Professor Griffith stated.

As such he emphasised, “we are looking forward not only for the library to have a tangible manifestation of the CDB support, but for other things that can help us have the rational basis for establishing credibility in what we provide as a resource to the society and beyond the society.”

Article adapted from: 


UG revised Administrative fees were approved by duly constituted body of the University Council

5th February, 2018 0 comments

New administrative rates for the provision of services for prospective and current students and graduates at The University of Guyana were approved at a Special Meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GPC), on Thursday, June 1, 2017. The F&GPC is a statutory arm of the University Council. The Council itself includes representatives from the University of Guyana Students’ Society (UGSS), the Ministries of Education and Finance, the Private Sector, the Trades Union Council, civic bodies, the campus unions, and the Administration. The immediate past president of the UGSS participated in the meeting that approved the new fees.

Apart from tuition and facilities fees there are other expenses associated with studying at the university. These are commonly called Administrative Fees, and they cover a wide range of services, including fees for processing applications for degree, diploma and certificate programmes (adjusted from $500 to $1000), and late applications (adjusted from $2,000 to $3,000), late registration (adjusted from $10,000 to $12,000), supplemental examinations (adjusted from $1,500 to $5,000). The cost of personal transcripts will move from $3,000 to $5,000.

Some services were entirely free, and now attract a fee. Included here are the re-sit examinations, which now cost $6,000 and letters for students that are used for visa applications and other purposes; they now will attract a charge of $5,000. Importantly, these fees are only payable if use is made of the services to which they relate. Thus, the new administrative fees do not affect all students. Indeed, some fees do not affect current students; they affect graduates seeking transcripts and other services. A significant proportion of the request for transcripts comes from graduates residing abroad, and dispatching those transcripts carries additional costs.

Further, it is to be noted that the administrative fees were last adjusted by the University about a decade ago. A comparative analysis of administrative fees being paid at other local tertiary institutions reveals that the new UG fees are far from exorbitant.

As adjustments to service fees are being made at The University of Guyana at this juncture, it must be underscored that over the past two years, students at the University have been witnessing numerous improvements that directly enhance their learning environment and educational experience. These include, construction of a modern Student Social Complex that would be commissioned by the start of the 2018- 2019 academic year; air conditioning of the George Walcott Lecture Theatre (GWLT) and the Small Lecture Theatre (SLT) and the installation of new bathrooms in in the GWLT; improved Wi-Fi access at Turkeyen, Tain, and the Dennis Irvine Hall, new PA systems in the lecture halls, and placement of fans in classrooms; extended service hours of the Registry and the Bursary, including opening on Saturdays, and partnering with GTT to offer Mobile Money to enhance services to students; provided G$100,000 each to 13 students (and three staffers) who were fire victims in Cummings Lodge and in Berbice.

In addition, the University started the Etiquette Training Programme for Student Leaders, paid for from the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund, with 56 student leaders being the first beneficiaries; created the Undergraduate Research Programme; hosted successful inaugural student research conferences at Turkeyen and Tain, and funded students to travel to attend conferences in Trinidad, Florida, Georgia, and elsewhere.

The University also began processing and dispatching transcripts for current and past students within 72 hours of request, opened a new Registry Building with larger space for the delivery of enhanced student services, and opened a fully-airconditioned new classroom building, called the SEBI Building; began offering Counselling and Medical Services monthly to students at the Berbice Campus and the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education Centers at Anna Regina, New Amsterdam and Linden; and improved the facilities at the Denis Irvine Hall of Residence at Goedverwagting and the New Building Society Hall of Residence at the Turkeyen Campus.

The new administrative fees were approved by the F&GPC last year with the understanding that they would be instituted during the 2017-2018 academic year. It is envisaged that with additional resources, student services at The University of Guyana will be further enhanced during this year and beyond. Vice- Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith noted that “while none of us wish to add to the costs of our students’ educational experiences, the practical reality is that running the university costs, and the government subvention does not-and cannot be expected to-cover all the costs.” He added, “for instance, when the new Student Social Complex is opened later this year, the university will have to bear additional costs of utilities for the facility. Moreover, that is not the only new or renovated facility for which we have to cater.”

Finally, it is to be stressed that at no point did the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar or any other senior official act unilaterally in instituting the revised fees. The new rates initially were to take effect from January 1, 2018, but they were deferred to be effective from March 1, 2018 after formal and extensive engagements with the current UGSS President and Executive Members in a spirit of genuine and transparent collaboration.

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UG IN BRIEF

With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, The University of Guyana (UG) has graduated more than 20,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally. The University is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. Established in 1963 on a part-time basis with shared space at Queens College, UG moved to its own campus at Turkeyen in 1970 and expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus. It now offers more than 60 Under-graduate and Post-graduate Programmes including Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Business, Entrepreneurship, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Optometry and Nursing. Several online programmes are available and UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE). The UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities.

Public Relations Division
February 3, 2018 


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UG & GTT sign MOU for students to pay fees via MMG app

16th July, 2017 0 comments

University of Guyana (UG) students can now pay their dormitory, application, general and graduation fees using the Guyana Telephone Telegraph (GTT) Mobile Money application. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today, between UG and GTT is a new initiative to improve services, Vice Chancellor(VC) and Principal of the University, Ivelaw Griffith said. Professor Griffith added that there are a number of benefits to this new initiative. He explained that the service is a convenience factor for the student. Additionally, there is the benefit of financial savings for students who have to travel to pay tuition fees, which has a transportation cost attached.

The VC said that with the university’s increasing overseas population, the service is a timely one. He highlighted that 60 percent of current students at the University are cash paying students. GTT’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Nedd said, all current and past students have to do to repay their tuition loans is to enter their UG registration number, the amount they would like to pay and press send after the application would have been downloaded from thee Goggle Play Applications Store. “It is easy as 1, 2, 3,” Nedd added. The University of Guyana continues to launch and implement a number of initiatives to improve and enhance the quality of education and services offered.

Article adapted from: http://gina.gov.gy/ug-gtt-sign-mou-for-students-to-pay-fees-via-mmg-app/


UG Students can now repay loans using MMG App

6th June, 2017 0 comments

The Ministry of Finance has partnered with the University of Guyana and the GuyanaTelephone and Telegraph Company to offer current and former students, an easier option to repay their student loans. The partnership is described by Minister of Finance Winston Jordan as another in a series of initiatives, to have students repay their debts in a fast and secure manner.

The Minister noted that during the Jubilee Independence Anniversary celebrations, several options were put in place to have errant loan defaulters repay their debts. He said it was regrettable that many did not take advantage of the offer. This has resulted in the Government being left with a huge number of outstanding student loans, he explained.

At the launching of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph’s (GT&T) Mobile Money Guyana (MMG) system that will allow the repayment of student loans by cellular phones, the Finance Minister said that approximately G$10 billion worth of 28,936 loans issued since 1994, 20, 301, remain outstanding. He is hopeful that loan defaulters would take advantage of the new payment option.

He stated, “I don’t think there has been a significant dent to what I gave at the last time….There was some exuberance at the offer but it didn’t get the kind of response that we were hoping for where a significant dent would have been made. We did get some money in but it’s not significant to what is owing.”

The Jubilee Offer gave defaulters a 75 per cent reduction in the accumulated arrears of interest if they had paid their indebtedness, no later than August 31, 2016 or a 50 percent reduction in accumulated arrears of interest if borrowers had brought their accounts up to date by September 30, 2016.

The Finance Minister says he is currently working with Western Union to facilitate payments for those former students residing overseas and this will be launched soon. The criteria for issuing loans and potential guarantors, is also being restructured, so as to facilitate easier payments.

The MMG agreement was described as a very simple process by GT&T’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Nedd. He explained that, “All current and past students have to do to repay their tuition loans is to enter their UG registration number, the amount they would like to pay and press send. The new option adds to the facility already being used by thousands to pay various utility bills. The GTT CEO described the new plan as just one of the many ways the company is using technology to improve the lives of Guyanese. The Mobile Money Guyana Application, is also in keeping, with a call by President David Granger, to use technology to extend the reach of financial services to underserved and un-served communities.

Among those present at today’s event were Minister within the Ministry of Finance Jaipaul Sharma, University of Guyana Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith and staffers of UG and GTT.

Article adapted from: http://gina.gov.gy/ug-students-can-now-repay-loans-using-mmg-app/


FINANCE MINISTER DEFENDS 35% INCREASE IN UG TUITION FEES

18th April, 2017 0 comments

Finance Minister Winston Jordan is defending that 35% hike in tuition fees at the University of Guyana. Quality comes with a price, he says. The details in this report below:

 


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