CMU students await official word on their status

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By Kadeem Joseph

Students at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) are hoping that reconciliatory talks between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the Jamaica based school will mean a return to classes and completion of their degrees.

The students had written an impassioned letter to government officials noting that they felt abandoned after the school’s administration barred them from registering for classes or getting their degrees due to outstanding funds apparently owed by the government.

Currently, there are four students in Jamaica and a few others in Antigua who received scholarships through the government.

After news of the students’ plight broke recently, the administration said CMU had yet to reconcile several of the payments made by the government.

Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister Lionel “Max” Hurst explained that the government had agreed to pay tuition for the students at a specific rate, which was paid during the students’ first two years at the learning institution.

“Now, in the final year, they have tried to change the cost for the Antiguan and Barbudan students,” he added. “So, even though we sent them what we know to be the deficit … they nevertheless are suggesting that we owe them even more.”

Hurst said that while the government and CMU “iron out the difficulties” between them, the students “are allowed to be back in” school.

Observer reached out to some of the students who eager to complete their studies, but they explained that the school has not yet communicated the update to them, and the university official who is handling the matter is off island.

They are, however, hoping for a resolution in the days ahead, since registration for classes closed last Friday and further delays could mean they would be missing more classes.

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