Ministry of Education, Guyana

Saturday, 03 February 2018 09:02

UG students bemoan increase to administrative fees

news 20180203 1Although they have grown accustomed to a 35 percent hike in tuition fees that was implemented last year, students of the University of Guyana [UG] are up in arms again over further increases recently instituted by the institution’s administration.

On Thursday, students were notified by way of email disseminated by the university that from March 1, 2018, there will be an increase to Administrative Fees.

With increases ranging from 20 to 100 percent, students now have to pay increases for 28 different Administrative Fees.

According to a representative of University of Guyana Students’ Society [UGSS], the increase was approved by the then-President of the Student Body, Ron Glasgow, (under the previous Council) on June 1, 2017, at a meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee.

Some services that did not require fees previously such as Re-sit Examinations, Examination Applications and Reviews for Thesis Research, and Student letters, among others, now attract fees of $6,000, $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

Fees that have been raised include transcripts, leave of absence, late registration and affiliation, among others. According to the UG’s Office of the Registrar, the UGSS was involved in the decision-making process.

The UGSS representative further stated that the current reps for UGSS were only made aware of the intention to raise fees on January 8, last, and thus the decision taken by the Administration is viewed as “disrespectful”.

The rep noted that the current UGSS had fully disapproved of the raise of administrative fees at a meeting on January 25, and thus they are disappointed in the decision taken to go ahead with the increase. The meeting on that occasion included Professor Ivelaw Griffith, Vice Chancellor; Dr. Nigel Gravesande, Registrar; Ms. Holda Poonai, Bursar; Norwell Hinds, President UGSS; Kobe Smith, Secretary UGSS and Shaquille Bourne, Assistant Secretary UGSS.

The representative also stated that the act to raise the fees is “unconstitutional” and violates Article 12 of the Statutes of the University of Guyana. Article 12 states that such decisions cannot be made unilaterally by the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, the UG Cabinet nor the Registrar, who is also Secretary to the Council.

UGSS has made a commitment to students to keep them engaged on the issue as they plan to take “legal action”. In trying to fight against the implementation, a few students took it upon themselves to protest against the raise in Administrative Fees at the UG’s Turkeyen Campus yesterday.

They noted that the raise in fees will be a strain on students attending the University. One student stated that while the University is increasing its fees, it is not making an effort to increase the quality of its services and the buildings on campus, and this is where the problem lies. Although the protest action saw a poor turnout, there has been assurance that it will be continued until moves are made to appease students’ concerns.


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