by Benjamin E. Flowers
The Ministry Education has made good on its word to discontinue the subsidizing fees for new University of Belize students.
Effective January 2013, all new students registering with UB will have to pay the full amount of the required fees, while the Government of Belize will continue to pay for those who are already enrolled.
Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber had indicated the M.O.E.s’ intention to discontinue the subsidy during the budget debate on Thursday, July 7.
The Reporter spoke with Education Information Officer Arlette Gomez, who confirmed that the subsidy cost GOB $1 million per semester, something that could no longer be afforded.
She clarified that UB will not be raising its fees, because the fees had been raised in 2006.
Examples of the raised fees are: the fee for the computer lab went from $75 to $165; a Campus development fee of $100 was added, and a wellness fee of $20 – a total to $410 in basic fees.
The Nation Builders movement has openly opposed the approach GOB has taken to its finances, and has raised its voice to stand with those students who will be affected by the increase in fees.
The movement says that the idea of paying more for education is “outrageous” at such a difficult economic time.
Faber said he not only agrees with the discontinuation of the subsidy, but also that, in his opinion, the low prices Belizeans pay per credit hour for a degree is more than reasonable.