Career & Education

Education key to growth, economic development – UWI principal

Sunday, February 17, 2019

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Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Professor Dale Webber is encouraging parents to start saving for their children's college or university education as soon as they are able to, arguing that education is an investment in the individual as well as the country and is therefore key to growth and economic development.

Prof Webber made the comments at Heritage Education Funds International's 2019 Sales Kick Off awards ceremony on January 21 where he was guest speaker. He hailed the fund's Education Savings Plan (ESP) for “helping families in Jamaica to save for their children's tertiary education in a safe and affordable way.”

The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan is primarily a fixed-income, US-dollar denominated savings plan which has to date over US$125 million in assets under management and has benefitted over 20,000 students attending post-secondary institutions in the Caribbean, United States, Canada, UK and other parts of the world. The plan is sponsored by The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Foundation, a not-for-profit Canadian corporation recently acquired by Knowledge First Financial Inc.

Webber, himself an investor in the Heritage Plan which he said has benefitted his two daughters who are now attending university, noted that parents universally want their children to accomplish more than they did and advised: “Buy early — it pays off later down the road.”

He said that “…post-secondary education is changing and is being desired by everyone. At the UWI our strategic plan rests on three pillars — access, alignment, agility. We have a wide portfolio of courses to choose from and within the next two years all courses will have an online or blended option which will give even greater access to many more students. We want more students and Heritage is a great way to get there.”

Agency director Kameka Clarke echoed Webber's recommendation that parents start saving for their children's tertiary education sooner rather than later.

“The Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan is designed to encourage parents to save as much as they can comfortably afford now to reduce that financial burden when the time comes,” she said.

Clarke and her team are working to broaden the reach across Jamaica.

“We want more families to be aware of the Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan and, more importantly, we want to make the plan available to more parents and grandparents allowing them the comfort of knowing that through proper planning and prudent investing, funds will be there when they need it most.”

The Heritage Education Funds International Kick-Off Event saw awards being presented in a range of categories at the international and local level including Top Sales Representatives and Top Sales Managers.


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