UWI Guild President Sujae Boswell and UWI Mona Registrar Dr. Donovan Stanberry
Sujae Boswell, President of the UWI Guild of Students, says the university's administration is to be blamed for the tension which has existed among students whose fees are quoted in US dollars. He says the UWI needs to end the problem it created.
The matter is again in the public domain as some students in faculties such as Medical Sciences, Law, and Engineering are facing increased fees due to the movement in the exchange rate.
The UWI Guild and the school's administration met this week to discuss the concerns.
The administration is to meet again next week to look into the complaints.
Speaking Friday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106, Mr. Boswell said some students are of the view that if their classes will be online, the fees can be reduced.
"...Many students will be working from home as well. So they will not be utilising the campus' space so the operations on the campus will be limited because of the COVID pandemic and because of the need to not have everybody on the campus... So we will not be expending the energy of the campus as we normally do. And so we have to take those considerations into thought," he argued.
The university has not increased school fees for the new academic year.
Dr. Donovan Stanberry, Registrar at the University of the West Indies, Mona, said the UWI will adopt a blended approach to teaching.
Dr. Stanberry said classes will be face to face, with virtual teaching utilised where necessary.
He rubbised the claim that online teaching is cheaper to produce, saying that thought "is simply not true."
"Any form of online, even in a blended mode, requires a very very robust IT infrastructure which cost a lot of money and the protocols that have been imposed on us all in our various areas of life, whether in school or at home or the university, requires a huge outlay of expenditure," he contended.
Mr. Stanberry said a serious discussion is needed on a funding model for tertiary institutions.
"The truth is that the university has costs that we have to recover, if not from students from some other sources, and the cost will not go away if we just simply say ok, let us reduce the fees. We still are going to have to face these costs and we have to maintain the university as (an institution) that can meet its expenditure as and when they are incurred. That is a larger question that nobody seems to be focusing on you know," he pointed out.