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Group Chairman's Blog

Articles & Columns Published in the Jamaican Sunday Gleaner by Dr. Winston Adams

Making Tertiary Education More Affordable

Making Tertiary Education More Affordable

June 18, 2017

Government's recent bailout of hundreds of local tertiary students represented a timely reminder of the imbalance between the potential demand by Jamaican students for the provision of tertiary education and the inability of these students to afford such services.

Recall that in April this year - the onset of the 'exam season' - hundreds of university and college students faced the grim reality of being barred from sitting their final exams because of unpaid tuition fees. This situation has become a recurring decimal each year as more and more students seek to attend tertiary institutions, while being unable to meet the rising costs of such higher-level studies.

Add to this the factor of continuing globalisation, which has driven universities to become business enterprises. Universities everywhere are reducing their reliance on public support and are seeking to become more entrepreneurial. Compare the University of the West Indies, Mona, now to 15 years ago.

Government's injection of $300 million to assist needy students at the UWI, Mona, the University of Technology, and the Caribbean Maritime Institute campuses is a decision that was indeed applauded by the Opposition People's National Party and student leaders.

The Impact Of Recent Tax Measures On Higher Education Sector

The Impact Of Recent Tax Measures On Higher Education Sector

April 21, 2017

Much of the national debate over the past two weeks have centred around the Government's controversial tax measures of $13.5 billion imposed to fill the hole in the budget.

Government has staunchly defended the tax measures which confirm its policy shift from taxing income through the PAYE to the taxing of consumption through the imposition of General Consumption Tax (GCT) and Special Consumption Tax (SCT) on items such as motor vehicle fuels, alcohol and cigarettes.

But how have these tax measures impacted on the higher education sector?

In the absence of a detailed study on the costs of running a tertiary institution, it seems the recent tax measures will cause an increase in overall costs of running these operations. Some of the increased bills that will arise include:

Universities A Growth Imperative

Universities A Growth Imperative

March 19, 2017

"No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated."

- Nelson Mandela

 

Former prime minister of Jamaica Edward Seaga often said, "No poor country is educated, and no educated country is poor."

No matter how it is described, leaders across the world have all pointed to education as critical to the economic and social development of any nation.

The need for greater emphasis on higher education in Jamaica has been acknowledged by the Michael Lee Chin-led Economic Growth Council (EGC) in its September 2016 document Call to Action, which listed "poor human capital and entrepreneurship" as one of the main retardants to Jamaica's economic growth.

But the question arises, has Jamaica developed a higher- education sector to prepare a workforce that will fill all the human-resources needs for Jamaica to achieve developed-country status in the shortest possible time?

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