Sun | Oct 20, 2019

Gov’t to fund 47 more UWI medical students

Published:Friday | September 6, 2019 | 12:23 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
From left: Professor Dale Webber, pro vice chancellor and principal of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, greets students Shamarie Collins, Quwayne Howell, and Rashaun Stewart at the press conference to announce the increase in the number of government-sponsored spots at the university’s medical school. The briefing was held at the UWI Council Room at the St Andrew-based campus yesterday.
From left: Professor Dale Webber, pro vice chancellor and principal of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, greets students Shamarie Collins, Quwayne Howell, and Rashaun Stewart at the press conference to announce the increase in the number of government-sponsored spots at the university’s medical school. The briefing was held at the UWI Council Room at the St Andrew-based campus yesterday.

For at least three students at The University of the West Indies, Mona, their dreams of becoming medical doctors are now closer to reality, following yesterday’s announcement that the Government would be sponsoring an additional 47 students to pursue medicine at the regional institution.

Former Cornwall College head boy Rashaun Stewart, who was last month featured in this newspaper for attaining five ones and a three in the recent Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations, told The Gleaner that he was overjoyed.

“I am really grateful for this opportunity, elated that I have gotten the funding to catalyse my dream and goals, and I am pleased that I am now in a position to actually afford to pursue my programme of choice,” said Stewart, an aspiring neurosurgeon.

Another student, Quwayne Howell, shared similar sentiments, having enrolled in the more affordable biochemistry programme at the university as an alternative to medicine.

“I just feel elated. It’s just a rush of emotions, seeing that I’m someone from a challenging community. I’ve been given this opportunity by the Ministry [of Education]. They’ve made a young boy like me and other people’s dreams come true,” he said.

The former student of the downtown Kingston-based St George’s College said that he wants to impact people’s lives by eventually becoming a plastic surgeon.

His fellow beneficiary, Shamarie Collins, was equally happy

“I’m truly grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to do such,” said Collins, who is also a past student of St George’s College.

Karl Samuda, the minister without portfolio overseeing the education ministry, announced at a press conference yesterday that US$1.316 million has been allocated to fund the additional students.

Under the current sponsorship scheme, the Government funds 80 per cent of the tuition for 55 students in each cohort of the five-year Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery programme. The additional students now bring the number to 102.

Samuda pointed out that some students will receive full funding based on their level of need.

Beneficiaries will have to work in Jamaica for five years after completing their course of study.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com