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Nov 7, 2019

President Clement Sankat Speaks on Students’ Deregistration

On Wednesday night we told you that over a hundred students will be de-registered at University of Belize for not paying their school fees for this semester. As you heard in our report, the finance director said that they have exhausted all measures to contact the students so that they can settle their outstanding payments but to no avail. Well, late this evening a press release was sent on behalf of the U.B. Student Government. The release says the association of student government denounces the university’s decision to publicly disclose student I.D. numbers on its Facebook page, an act, they claim infringes on students privacy. The release says that the student government recognizes that tuition is a source of income for the university, but that the “conduct was punitive and not conducive to nurturing a healthy learning environment…and creates an intimidating and offensive atmosphere on campus and against the socio-economic standing of our students.” This act, according to the A.S.G., is contrary to its handbook of school rules and call for the immediate removal of the de-registration list from online platforms and other mediums. That release was just issued late this evening but earlier today we caught up with President of U.B. Clement Sankat and asked him about the matter. In that interview, he told us that it is an internal matter and that deregistration of students is not a new issue. He says that it happens every year and the issue has taken legs because it was posted on an online forum. Here’s what he had to say about the matter.


Clement Sankat

Clement Sankat, President, University of Belize

“That’s an internal matter. Students always have to pay their tuition and fees. What is happening this year is the same thing. Every year it is the same thing. Every year it happens. University gives these students as much time as we can. We are very considerate institution. We care for our students. We give them as long a rope as is possible. But you know they say everything has to come to an end sometime. So, people need to be responsible and we want graduates who are also responsible. But we are very considerate.”



“Sir, how do you respond to critics who say that the UB is putting their financial numbers over the best interest of the students?”


Clement Sankat

“Well, I will ask those critics, how do you want the university to run? How do you want the university to pay its salaries. How do you want the university to do all that is happening around here? All of these students had opportunities to go to the finance department to make their arrangements; to develop their payment plans etc…many have not gone. What do you do? These are young kids and we try to help them but everybody has to be responsible.  I know that the government gives a couple hundred scholarships a year and I wish they can expand the scholarship scheme for needy students. The DFC has loans and we engage them and bring them to the campus to talk to students about loans and nobody shows up, it is embarrassing. We bring the banks to the campus to talk to students about loans, etc… It is a part of the education of young people that is required but you got to be responsible. As I said, invest in your education because it is going to pay off in the long run. Everybody has to try and help in this because we do have students in need. We understand that but the university also has income and expenditure and we have to ensure that our income can meet our expenditure. Every month we have huge bills to pay to run this institution.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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