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$2.5m in Donations to The UWI Mona

(L-R) President of the Guild of Students, Christina Williams; Deputy Principal, Prof. Ian Boxill; Prime Minister, Andrew Holness all pictured at the Handing Over hosted at The UWI Mona Campus, in the Council Room on Thursday, November 21, 2019.

$1.5 the JLP Education Fund; $1m from the Positive Jamaica Foundation

Kingston, Jamaica. Thursday, November 26, 2019: The Most Hon. Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party and Chairman of the Jamaica Labour Party Education Fund visited The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Mona Campus on Thursday, November 21, 2019 to present the institution with a contribution from the Jamaica Labour Party Education Fund and the Prime Minister’s Positive Jamaica Foundation; the collective value of this donation was $2.5m.

The donation is a grant to The UWI and will assist students who have been 'means tested' or otherwise established as needing support with food, transport, books and other necessary living expenses.

According to the Prime Minister Holness, there were students who would not be captured in the scholarship approach, and in this regard a Grant may be more appropriate. The Grant, he noted, would not have the conditions of scholarships, it would simply require, among other things, that no one student receives assistance valued at more than $150k; and that the focus be placed on students at risk of de-registration. He added that the Grant should assist students with tuition, provided that the assistance amounts to 60% of their fees. This, the PM said, was a fair and effective approach designed to help students who have demonstrated that they are trying to help themselves.

Paying it Forward

Students, he said, will also be asked to “pay it forward” in voluntary service, the specifics of which will be at the discretion of the University. Finally, students will be asked to commit to making a contribution to a Student Assistance Fund when they enter the world of work, in this way they would be paying it forward by assisting other students who took a chance to come to University.

Responding to the donation, The UWI Deputy Principal Professor Ian Boxill thanked Prime Minister Holness and said that it will go a far way to assist students to complete their studies. Professor Boxill also said the gesture represented an important symbolism in respect of giving, not just from a Government standpoint, but from a political party. He acknowledged the important example set by the JLP. “We are grateful for this contribution both in terms of what it will do to assist our students, and also the symbolism, that is, the importance of giving, not only from the government standpoint, but also from the Party. We certainly hope this example will be followed by others, Prof. Boxill said.

Guild President Christina Williams expressed gratitude on behalf of the students for the gesture which, she said, is an indication that the Party was living up to its mantra of Building Our Nation Through Education. “I think this is the perfect mantra. Not only have you contributed, but the act of giving is also a symbol that you believe in us, and want to invest in us as the future. Your contribution says you believe in our dreams and ability to advance these dreams.

Ms Williams added, that as a student who also faced de-registration, she took it as her personal mission, that within her tenure as Guild President, she will focus on de-registration and student welfare.


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