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Barbados to cancel free university tuition plan

August 17, 2013

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) — Barbados says it plans to stop paying tuition fees of local university students in a move to save $21 million a year.

Finance Minister Chris Sinckler says that starting next year, students at the three campuses of the University of the West Indies will have to pay their own tuition fees.

He noted that the number of students attending the Cave Hill campus has increased from some 3,500 in 1999 to more than 7,000 this year. Tuition fees average about $2,800 per semester for full-time students in most programs excluding medical sciences.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said he supports the measure, adding that the program was never supposed to be permanent.

Opposition legislators criticized the measure, saying that a free university education is important to the island’s economic progress

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