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UG to consult on hiking tuition fees in Guyana dollars

UG Pro Chancellor, Dr. Prem Misir

The University of Guyana (UG) will shortly begin consultations about plans to increase tuition fees t cater for the depreciation of the local dollar during the past 19 years.

Outgoing UG Pro Chancellor Dr. Prem Misir preferred to say that the tuition fees would most likely be “adjusted” rather than increased depending on the outcome of the consultations.

“What we are trying to do is make some adjustments. It’s not an increase….and it will not be presented carte blanche on the students. There will be a consultation process,” he told a news briefing at his Pere Street, Kitty, Georgetown.

Back in 1995 when cost recovery was introduced, the fee was US$1,000 equivalent then to US$127,000 but since then the Guyana dollar has weakened against its US counterpart to as much as GUY$211 for US$1.00.

Misir said that no one should be barred from entering UG because they could not pay tuition fees. “Nobody should be denied admission on the basis that they are not able to pay,” he said.

He said adjusting the tuition fees based on the current exchange rate appeared to be a good move due to the “plight” of the tertiary institution. “It’s perhaps a good move to make and I hope that the consultation outcomes could bring about this and that we have some reasonable realistic adjustment to our fees in relation to the currency rate of the US dollar,” he said.

The University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) is already on record as calling for the cost of tuition to take into account currency shifts.

Meanwhile, Misir said he was resigning from the post of Pro Chancellor because he wanted to engage in more public health research such as in HIV/AIDS being financed by grants.

While Misir said he has not been offered a ministerial or ambassadorial appointment, he said he was willing to examine all offers. “I don’t know that. It depends what is presented to you. I can’t just off the cuff say I am going to do this and I am not going to do that. You have to look at all the merits and demerits of the particular proposal that’s presented to you,” he said.

His resignation, which takes effect on June  2, 2014, was dated May 6, 2014. Misir stressed that he was not asked to resign and that he had wanted to do so for some time now.