OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
Friday, July 3, 2020 For Immediate Release
The PUP condemns the decision of this UDP Government to slash the University of Belize’s (UB) subvention by 24.2% from $11 million to $8.34 million.
This severe cut will inevitably lead to a reduction in the programs of study offered by UB and likely, to the termination of members of faculty and staff.
While we recognize and acknowledge the economic crisis facing the country, we view this decision to be misguided and counterproductive. The University of Belize is our National University and the flagship of our education system. In the last decade, funding to UB has increased by only
$1million from $10 million in 2008 to $11 million in 2019. This has severely undermined UB’s ability and capacity to grow and develop which is unacceptable.
For 12 long years, this UDP administration and the Ministry of Education has failed to plan and as a result, unable to put our National University on a sound and sustainable financial footing.
After having blown away over $12 billion, $450 million in Petrocaribe funds, and $500 million in oil revenues, this failed UDP government now declares itself broke. The UDP has failed to set aside a single dollar for an Education Trust Fund to ensure the ongoing, sustainable financing of the University of Belize.
The PUP understands that we must maintain a strong commitment to UB. Ensuring that our University students have access to a quality higher education, is particularly important in times of economic crisis. It is these very students that we must equip and train to be full and active participants in the rebuilding and future growth and development of Belize’s economy.
We are committed to restoring the annual subvention and in fact, increasing it over the next 5 years. With increased resources will come the requirement for greater accountability, better quality teachers, improved student performance and a stronger demonstrated commitment to national service and development.
Finally, the PUP condemns the disrespect shown to the UB Faculty and Staff Union (UBSFU) by the Board of Trustees and the Ministry of Education. The Union must be consulted and given the opportunity to participate fully and meaningfully in all Board meetings and decisions. The Faculty Representative on the Board must be recognised and respected.