Talks on increasing the fees have been in the pipeline for some time now and Vice Chancellor Jacob Opadeyi had told Demerara Waves Online News last September that it was a government decision.
“Increasing fees or not is a political decision, is not an economic decision. It’s a question of do we want a high class university,” he said at the time. But last month outgoing Pro Chancellor Dr. Prem Misir stated that there would be consultations on fee “adjustments.”
The university tuition fees were pinned to the US dollar in 1995 when the exchange rate was US$1 to GUY$127 and he suggested that this approach may be replicated.
On Friday students were informed about the likely change in their fees via email from the Deputy Registrar.
“Please be advised that registration for the 2014-2015 academic year will most likely commence in July 2014. This is because of the impending increase to the tuition fee, which has to be finalised before your registration commences. Any inconvenience caused is regretted,” the mail read.
A response was not immediately available from government officials on the announcement.
Uncertainty over the fate of the $400M allocated for student loans in the national budget may also have been a factor in the latest development. The money was disapproved during the consideration of the budget estimates because it was tied to several allocations with which the opposition parties were unhappy.
Both the AFC and the APNU, which have a combined majority in the House, have indicated that they were prepared to approve the funds in a supplementary paper if they were separated from the contentious allocations.
The government has so far stuck to its position that all of the monies must be approved.