Being A Student In Jamaica: 2016 vs 2017 – What Has Changed?
In the space of a year, the Jamaican government have brought reforms and changes to the universities and they have fulfilled their promises about making tertiary institutions more student-friendly and accommodating. In 2016, students had a lot of restrictions placed upon them which hindered effective learning and full participation in educational activities. Some of these reforms and changes will be explained in subsequent paragraphs.
More enrolment to the university
In 2017, more students began to enrol into the university than in 2016. This came out of the fact that the tertiary fees of universities in Jamaica were reduced and they became more affordable. In 2016, the amount in percentage compared to 2017 was a ratio of 33.8 to 28.4 which meant that tuition fees dropped immensely and more students had the opportunity to attend the university. This was part of the government’s promise to the educational sector and it was fulfilled.
Reduction in the student loan refund scheme
Another great effort of the Jamaican government towards investing in human resource in 2017 was the reduction in the loan refund scheme, where the loan interest percentage was reduced to a flat rate of 6% and encouraging a lot of borrowers. This in turn also affected the number of students that enrolled for the university.
More accredited course
As at June 2017, the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) added to their list of courses a new set of accredited courses. This would surely bring about an increase in the availability of careers for the students to pick from. This also brings about increase in the gross number of students applying for the university compared to 2016.
The CMI finally becomes a university.
In 2016, the Caribbean Maritime Institute became a university as a bill was passed in favour of the establishment. In 2017, the CMI was granted university status meaning that the students produced by this institute will now get a degree just like an average university student provided he or she passes the course. The CMI situated in Jamaica has now become the CMU, giving the student a viable alternative for enrolling in a university.
The University of West indies raise commitment fee.
The UWI has increased their commitment fee for the 2017/18 admission. It was stated that an amount of $20,000 is to be paid by any aspiring student to the school to show readiness and interest in the admission offered by the university. The amount which is non-refundable is said to be a prerequisite for registration for new students before they can get enrolled into the university.