Enrollment for first-year students at the University of The Bahamas (UB) has increased by about 25 percent, UB President Dr. Rodney Smith said yesterday.
This follows the government’s implementation of a grant to cover the full cost of tuition for most students at the university.
“We’ve seen an increase in enrollment in Grand Bahama as well as here in Nassau,” Smith said.
“If I were to estimate, we normally bring in about 1,200 students for the freshman year. This year we brought in over 1,500 students, and we’re still counting. Our capacity for new students is 1,700.”
The government announced in June that it will spend $19 million annually on the Bahamas Government Tertiary Education Grant Programme at the university. The grant covers tuition, course fees, stipends for teachers and nurses in training and an accommodation allowance of up to $500 per month for students who have to relocate to New Providence to attend UB.
Students who are Bahamian citizens, enrolled full-time at UB and maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA), are eligible for the grant.
Smith said UB has seen a shift in the ratio of full-time to part-time students, with more opting to take a full course load this semester.
“Most of our students used to be part-time, and now it looks as if most of our students are going to be full-time,” he said.
“About 90 to 95 percent of our incoming class, over 1500 students, are full-time.”
Smith said he feels optimistic about the university’s finances.
“Our board of trustees passed our first balanced budget this year, so, I think that everything is looking very, very good in terms of our financial stability moving forward,” he said.
“Our financial sustainability is what we’re working on now for the future.”