EDUCATION Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly on Tuesday gave the assurance that students and staff at four University of TT (UTT) campuses earmarked for closure, will be filtered into the remaining UTT campuses. Responding to a question from Opposition Senator David Nakhid, Gadsby-Dolly said, “UTT has taken a decision to consolidate its campuses in order to keep operating costs to a minimum in this time of funding difficulty.”
UTT will close its O’Meara, Corinth, Chaguanas and Valsayn campuses. She explained, “Students and staff (frome these campuses) will filtered to the (remaining) seven campuses located nationwide.
“These are Tamana, Chaguaramas, John Donaldson Technical Institute in Port of Spain, ECIAF campus in Centeno East, Pt Lisas, the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port of Spain and Camden in Couva.
When Nakhid asked if students and staff were consulted, Gadsby-Dolly replied, “UTT is managed by a board. The board is cognisant of the details and the financial information that is necessary for this type of decision.”
On Government’s decision to establish a bursary to cater for 500 students as a result of a reduction in the number of national scholarships, Gadsby-Dolly said her ministry will administer those bursaries. Senate President Christine Kangaloo disallowed a question from Nahkid about any discrimination in the selection of students to receive those bursaries.
In response to a question from Independent Senator Paul Richards, Gadsby-Dolly said for the current academic year, “none of the approximately 30,000 GATE funded students will be affected by changes in the GATE policy.”
She assured that 800 post-graduate students receiving GATE funding will continue to be funded until the end of the academic year. Gadsby-Dolly said new post-graduate students would not be eligible for GATE funding.
On 900 tertiary level students studying at UWI campuses in Jamaica and Barbatos, including the 2020 intake, Gadsby-Dolly said they “will be funded at the present level of GATE for the normal duration of their programme”.
She explained, “Future students applying for GATE at those institutions will receive at the cost level of these courses at St Augustine campus.”
Gadsby-Dolly advised senators, this amounted to a reduction in expenditure of $30 million in the GATE programme.