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UTT to cut student intake for 2018/19

Friday, December 15, 2017

There will be no new intake of students at the University of T&T (UTT) in the new academic year 2018/2019 in three of its major programmes. The academic programmes were identified as: Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Science and Management, Bioscience and Agriculture and Health Sciences.

The announcement was made to the student body on Tuesday by UTT president Professor Sarim Al-Zubaidy.

In wishing the students a Merry Christmas and “the very best” in the New Year, Al-Zubaidy broke the unfortunate news. He, however, noted that they will be able to complete their respective courses of study, “or if they prefer transition to a commensurate programme within the university.”

“As such, no UTT student will be asked to exit the university and I anticipate that there should be minimum disruption to current students during this time,” Al-Zubaidy said.

Admitting the challenging economic times have made operations more difficult, he said he still believes things are not impossible.

“What the university requires, at this point, is to make the necessary improvements which will allow us to adjust to our new internal and external circumstances. In this regard, UTT’s academics will focus on classroom instruction, as well as research and publication,” Al-Zubaidy said.

In the next three years, he said he expects a quantum leap in UTT’s research ranking and hopes the university will become a global tertiary education powerhouse. He also said greater emphasis will be placed on internationally marketing the university’s academic programmes, “because there is untapped potential for revenue generation from non-national students.”

On November 1, UTT chairman of the board of governors, Professor Kenneth Julien, announced that the university would not be able to continue operations beyond January 2018 if it did not find a way to manage operational costs. He also noted that some of the adjustments would include significant job cuts at both the managerial and academics levels. Julien explained that challenges worsened with the further 11 per cent decrease in UTT’s 2017/2018 recurrent allocation to $200 million.

The Government monthly subvention for UTT fell short of over $6 million in October and those monies were only received last month. UTT usually receives a monthly subvention of $16.7 million, but for the month of October only got $10 million.


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