UWI Chancellor matches Prime Minister's donation to Mona students

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UWI Chancellor matches Prime Minister's donation to Mona students

Friday, January 17, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Thirty-four students studying at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus benefited from a donation by the University’s Chancellor, Robert Bermudez, during the last examination period in December 2019.

The Chancellor’s donation, which matched that of the Prime Minister Andrew Holness, increased the pool of funds available for students in need of financial support.

According to a statement from UWI, Bermudez officially presented the Mona Campus with his donation of $1.5 million at a ceremony today; however, the funds were received by the Campus on December 5, last year, to facilitate examinations.

The university said that 33 Jamaicans and one Trinidadianbenefitted from the donation. It added that four of the Jamaican students currently study at The UWI Western Jamaica Campus.

The Chancellor explained that the donation was a grant to the university which was intended to support students who were at risk of being de-registered.

He further indicated that the donation to Mona specifically was due to the unique challenge of students facing de-registration as a result of non-payment of tuition fees, noting that other students of the UWI are fully sponsored by their respective governments.

According to Bermudez, “one of the things we know too well, particularly in the West Indies…the reality is we have brilliant people who come from every circumstance in life …therefore those of us who have been successful in life really owe our debt to those who are coming after us.”

This, he said, will ensure that “as many of them as possible can maximize their talent by getting themselves a tertiary education if they decide that that is what they need.”

Meanwhile, Campus Principal Professor Dale Webber described the assistance as substantial.

“For us it was a substantial contribution, not just in terms of dollar value; the fact that it came in the middle of the examination season gave us the opportunity to assist students. The funds were directed specifically toward students who were about to complete their studies, needed one or two more courses, just to get through that door of opportunity,” Professor Webber said.

President of the Guild of Students, Christina Williams, added that the fact that it is coming from the Chancellor’s personal funds that made the contribution even more meaningful.

“We hope this will be an inspiration to others to contribute as well. I think if everyone including Alumni and other stakeholders would contribute, young people would be even more empowered to go out and seize opportunities, to make a real difference, not just in our school, but in our country, in the Caribbean, and in our world,” she said.

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