Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy, Education » UB students upset about fees (lowest in region)
May 16, 2013

UB students upset about fees (lowest in region)

The University of Belize is the only educational institution in Belize which offers degree programs at both the Associates and Bachelor’s levels, and each year enrollment grows. But the institution has not been without its fair share of hiccups, drama and outright controversy. Even now, there is still tension between the office of the President, the Board of Trustees and the Faculty and Staff Association after very serious allegations against and between all parties. And with that pot still bubbling away, today another skillet-full of internal problems was added to the fire. This time, students are leading the charge against the institution for what they are saying is a financial injustice against them even though it is known that tuition at the university is among the lowest in the region. They say that UB is raping them, costing them unnecessary money and time they can’t afford. This morning those students held a press conference in Belize City facilitated by UB professor Patrick Menzies. Mike Rudon has the story.


Nicole Zetina, Bachelor’s Program, UB

“The practice at UB, however, is that some advisors accept these classes while some do not. UB then decides that students must retake classes as a prerequisite and then charges that student a bachelor fee for an associate class. UB is then raping the bachelor students at three hundred percent, the real cost of associate level classes.”


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Nicole Zetina has one more year left at the University of Belize. She is enrolled in the Bachelor’s Program, and is outraged that she not only has to take over courses that weren’t transferred from St. John’s College Sixth Form, but she also has to pay three times what students at the Associate Level pay to take the same classes they do.


Nicole Zetina

Nicole Zetina

“I came from St. John’s College Junior College here in Belize City and a lot of my classes weren’t transferred therefore I had to take associate classes over. Now because I am a bachelor student, they say okay you are a bachelor student so I am going to charge you a bachelor rate period. But not because I am a bachelor student, you are going to charge me bachelor price for associate classes. If I should retake an associate class, you should charge me an associate price.”


And even when students do manage to get courses transferred, there is no structure in place, according to Bachelor’s Program student Lianni Torres. In fact, she claims that there have been instances where students have gone through an entire semester of re-taking a course before the university informs them that it was transferred.


Lianni Torres

Lianni Torres, Bachelor’s Program, UB

“Students come to UB, they enroll and when they are enrolled here, most of their prerequisite or courses that they have taken do not transfer and in most of the cases, they have eighty percent equivalency of the courses to that of UB’s. So in most cases, you are also misinformed and when they file in for their course to be transferred, they are misinformed late. So what happens is that, in the case of a student, he was about to take the exam when he was informed that his course had transferred. So the student had wasted time and money, but most importantly he had wasted his time—the time that he could have taken to take another course. In most cases it pushes them back in that they have to spend more time at UB.”


Mike Rudon

“These classes you are talking about that you have to retake in your bachelor’s program in UB, these are classes that you have already taken at sixth form level?”


Nicole Zetina

“Yes, I already took them at St. John’s College and it is the same classes, only a different course code. Let’s say I am taking research methods at St. John Collage and the course code was RSCH 2013 and I go to UB and the course code is RSCH 2014, it is the same class only the different codes and because they see that; oh it cannot be transferred. They don’t look into the subject and see that it is the same thing, only a different code; so it should be transferred. A lot of courses that I had to take at the university; it is the same exact same thing that I was thought at St. John’s or even more. And so I am doing things that I already know—wasting time—time that I cannot be given back; wasting money.”


Allison Crawford

And these students claim that many other students face the very same problems at the University, and it has been going on for some time. President of the UB Faculty and Staff Association Allison Crawford was also at the press conference, though as an observer and not in her capacity as president.


Allison Crawford, President, UBSFA

“I can’t speak on behalf of the association because I am not here…I am here as a faculty member and some of the concerns we are aware of. It’s concerns from over the years.”


Nicole Zetina

“I have colleagues who came from St. John’s College and some of my classes that were transferred, weren’t transferred for them. And some that were transferred for them isn’t transferred for me. So they don’t take the time to look at these things and say this is standard; this has to be transferred and this can’t be transferred. I have friends from Muffles, I have friends from Corozal Junior College, from Ecumenical Junior College who face the same problem as I do.”


Lianni Torres

“I believe that many of them are discouraged that they might say probably no one will listen to me; there will be nothing resolved at the end. But I am sure that before our time, there had been a conference with board and faculty because the faculty I am sure are aware of the problems that are occurring. So we want to get students encourage them to realize that it is affecting them but also the future generations to come.”


Nicole Zetina

“I came today because I want to make a change. I only have one more year left, but I want to make a change while I only have one year and for students who are planning to come to UB. This is the first step and we haven’t went to administration before today or before we did this study because they were scared or are still scared. You here them saying that I am on scholarship; I’m scared that they take it away. But students need to realize that we own the university. Without students, there is no university. So we need to stop being scared and we need to step up. I know there are a lot of students who went to their advisors and said okay well if my friend who came from the same school, his classes were transferred, then why wasn’t mine transferred. The advisor would say it is some policy in UB; that’s the rule—I don’t know why. Then they leave it at that. So students don’t really go more and fight for this cause but like I said today is my first step and I want to continue fighting until the problem is changed.”


According to the students they forwarded a copy of a report detailing all these instances of injustices to the office of the Provost two weeks ago, but so far there has been no response. Mike Rudon for News Five.


The students are calling on the Ministry of Education to take action since students on scholarships are facing the same dilemma.

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.

Advertise Here

6 Responses for “UB students upset about fees (lowest in region)”

  1. HMMM says:

    What about Galen University that offers Associates, Bachelors and Masters??????? owned by Luis Zabaneh

  2. HMMM says:

    UB needs to align itself with the rest of the Nation, possibly offer only Bachelor level programs, and maybe Maser level programs and leave the associate level courses to the numerous sixth forms throughout the nation. “CCC, Muffles, St John’s, Westley, SHJC, Ecumenical, TCC and so on

  3. Storm says:

    It’s pretty offensive to me for the student to say she is being “raped” when Belizeans like me are paying for most of her college education! She is not “entitled” to a free or discounted education, because somebody else — you and me! — has to pay for it.

    Whatever tuition she is paying is a fraction of the actual cost of the classes, so I’d rather she shut up and be grateful for what she has been GIVEN. I personally believe that there should be NO taxpayer subsidy for college, it should be paid 100% by the students, through a student loan program that the graduates must repay. Nothing is more fair than paying your own way.

    That said, if UB is unjustified in denying recognition of junior college credits, that should be corrected. But to maintain the quality and value of a UB degree, it is important that the junior colleges actually teach to the same level as UB. It’s not a clear-cut issue today, because the credit issue needs to be investigated.

  4. junito says:

    This is a very serious issue and im thankful that they spoke out about it. UB is gouging students pockets by forcing them to retake these courses. Millions of dollars of hard earned money by parents are being taken by UB by forcing this type of force retake due to not transferring credits. The Ministry of Education if sleeping on this issue and seems not to be worrying about it. All credits from all Junior Colleges in Belize should be transferable. I dont see why they dont accept them.

  5. get real! says:

    The destructive impulse of the UDP… fist they destroy a half a million dollars in rosewood to keep the attention off the corruption of Deputy PM Vega (who is dealing with illegal rosewood). They then make every effort to destroy the integrity of the constitution (Dean Barrow’s stupid amendments – read justice Legall’s judgments). They then destroy – to powder – an ancient Mayan cite. They then destroy the safety of Belize City by interfering with the police and having an incompetent Minister of Police. They then allow the destruction of our boarder and resources by not stopping to illegal gold mining and logging. They then destroy investor’s confidence. They now are destroying the fortitude of the student’s mind having to deal with this bureaucracy. They are destroying the self esteem of Belizeans and the Image of Belize. This UDP crowd has to go. O’ and they want to destroy our barrier reef by oil drilling… All industries were built by the PUP. The UPD only destroys and victimizes. Make Espat and Cordle Hyde you got to come back home- before they put you out to dry. UDP is destroying Belize, UDP is bad for Belize. City folks – a few pave streets can’t feed Belize, the cost of living is too high and crime is too high – don’t let them fool you with a few pave streets and cash around election time.

  6. Lift up your head says:

    It is unbelievable that this madness would be happening at UB. I wouldn’t pay for anything that I didn’t get. I feel sorry for the students, but esp the ones who have lost time because that is irreplaceable. Obviously the person in charge need help. We do not like ouside interference but if we have to get the americans or the british to show them again how to deal with this situation the proper way, then so be it. This would not have happened in the first place if the person in charge had learnt his/her lesson well

You must be logged in to post a comment Login