CAPRI: Inadequate Financing for Tertiary Education in Jamaica

The Caribbean Policy Research Institute, CAPRI has found that inadequate and inequitable access to tertiary education is a major developmental challenge in Jamaica. Noting that there is no such thing as free education, CAPRI is suggesting an income-contingent loan scheme to facilitate the payment of a tertiary education.

These findings were revealed in a report, Thursday. A recent study conducted by CAPRI, dubbed ‘footing the bill: the hard choices for financing university education,’ points out that the Jamaican government has placed education among its top national priorities, but cannot afford to provide tertiary education for all.

Capri recommends a student loan system that factors in the social and economic realities of all students, even the poorest. The debt would be recorded and linked to the student’s TRN and when the student graduates, or for other reasons ceases studying, they could start making contributions, contingent on their income.

The contribution the study suggests could be collected by the employers. CAPRI’s Executive Director, Dr. Damien King says with a loan system like this, students won’t be able to avoid their obligation. Dr. King says the need to import labour is an indication that the country has failed to educate the labour force sufficiently.