Letter to Returning and Finalising Students

17 July, 2020

Dear UWI Mona Student,

We hope that you and your family are safe and well.

On Friday July, 3, 2020 we completed Semester II for Academic year 2019/2020. We are happy that as a University, we were able to successfully navigate the challenges we faced. This was achieved by having all hands on deck, working together to provide solutions for the campus, the country and the Caribbean region.

We thank you, our students, for your patience and resilience as you adapted to the significant changes over the last couple of months. We are aware that we should have communicated with you sooner. We apologize for this, as we assure you that we have been working assiduously to navigate all the issues that have arisen due to Covid-19.

Given the stress associated with COVID-19 and additional factors such as internet connectivity issues, we have made a provision to ensure that any failing grade received in the recent Semester II exams, will not negatively impact your GPA. In such instances, your record will reflect 'Fail Minus Penalty' (FMP).

Congratulations to all students who would have finalised studies here at The UWI Mona in Semester II. This last lap for you would have been perhaps the most challenging, but you did it. The University has not yet finalised the dates for Graduation as consideration has to be given for the University's four (4) campuses, and the dates selected will certainly guide whether we have a virtual ceremony or face-to-face here on Campus. We will communicate this information to you as soon as decisions are made.

Returning Students - How we will deliver courses while prioritising your health and safety

At this point, we are actively planning for the new academic year whilst adapting to what our 'new normal' will be on campus. Please be reassured that the health, safety and wellbeing of all students is our absolute priority and the University is taking the necessary measures to equip and configure our spaces to ensure your health and safety.

The UWI Mona Campus will commence teaching on September 7, 2020. Physical distancing protocols will be critical to keeping you safe while on Campus, as such, the campus has taken the decision to offer a blended delivery mode, with some programmes/courses to be offered in a face-to face mode, while others will be offered remotely/online. We are currently re-imagining all our teaching/learning spaces to see how best we can accommodate face-to face-learning whilst keeping you safe.
The details of programmes/courses to be offered face-to-face is currently being worked on and will be largely dependent on the class size for the courses; as managing the numbers in our teaching and learning spaces will be paramount. We will communicate the details of this and how you will register for the upcoming semester by July 31, 2020.

On-Campus Housing
In keeping with physical distancing requirements, we are reviewing all our spaces on our halls to ensure that the physical distancing protocols are observed. This may result in shared/double room options being converted into single-dwelling spaces. This therefore limits the number of rooms available on campus for the 2020/21 Academic Year. Priority will be given to those students who: are required to do face-to-face based on their Programme (and need accommodation based on distance from campus); reside outside of Jamaica or have internet access challenges (reside in areas with little to no network support).
All other students wishing to reside in a Hall of Residence will be accommodated if the space is available.

Financial Arrangements

Like many organizations globally The UWI Mona Campus is grappling with the financial effects brought on by COVID-19. No one knows how long this pandemic and the associated economic disruptions will persist and we have been doing the best we can to adjust in light of these difficult circumstances. We are also mindful of the challenges that our students and families are facing and it is against this background that we want to do our part to ease the strain on our students by assisting to the best of our ability.

The Campus is pleased to announce that there will be no increase in Undergraduate Tuition as previously intended based on concessions given in the last academic year. In addition, Halls of Residence Fees except for those Halls developed by 138SL (George Alleyne Hall, Irvine Hall and Leslie Robinson Hall) will not be subject to an increase. There are however, a few Post Graduate Programmes that will see an increase in Tuition for the 2020/21 Academic Year.

We encourage students to take advantage of the new concessions being offered by the Students' Loan Bureau as one option for the financing of your degree. Applications are still open and the application fee has been waived.
Our Office of Student Financing (OSF) is ready to provide guidance and assistance where possible to those students that will require financial support.

We look forward to welcoming you back, as together we strive to overcome the challenges of this pandemic.

Dale Webber, Professor
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal