Today adjunct professor at the University of Belize Patrick Menzies and students of his Management Information Systems class at UB released details of what they believe is continued misinformation and misrepresentation of credit transfer policy between the University and junior colleges, resulting in students paying thousands of extra dollars for classes they do not have to take. Student Lianne Torres shares details.
Lianne Torres – Student:
We have some students that fight for it, that follow some procedures showing them their course outline etcetera, to see what could be done. And in most cases what happens is that the papers sit there, and they’re not being revised at the time. So when the time comes for the student to register for the course, because there are courses that are not being offered in really scarce times, so the student then decides that since he’s having problems with transfer ability, he decides to take the course, the same course that didn’t transfer. So now as research one of the students he was about to take the exam, when he got to know that his course did transfer. So what does this mean? He has wasted money, and most importantly the student has wasted time. He has taken a course which was transferred, but he was misinformed about it.
The study found that the most common causes of missed transfers include differing course codes between the junior colleges and UB and poor advising. The Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) has a committee which has set an 80% standard for transfers but allegedly, none of the 12 junior colleges and UB are meeting on the issue. Another student, Nicole Zetina, says UB’s policies not only hurt the national university and its students, but also the Ministry of Education, which she says can do a lot more if the policy is reformed.
Nicole Zetina – Student:
The practice at UB however is that some advisers accept these classes, while some do not. UB then decides that students must retake classes as a prerequisite, and then charges that student a Bachelor fee for an Associate class. UB is then raping the the Bachelor students at 300%, the real cost of Associate level classes. There are Bachelor students taking prerequisite classes, sitting in a classroom with Associate students, and paying $270. Meanwhile their Associate classmates are only paying $87 for the same class. Therefore the Ministry of Education is also being ripped off for Bachelor students who they provide a scholarship to. For every one student that the Ministry is paying for, they could have been helping three students.
Zetina says the policy can be easily remedied.
Nicole Zetina – Student:
A simple solution for this problem is, as Miss Torres mentioned, Xenegrade. Xenegrade is an international information system that provides quotes for classes for both Associate level and Bachelor level, and it tells you whether a student is enrolled in a Bachelor or Associate class. All UB needs to do is to send one policy letter stating: If a student is taking one or two hundred level classes, charge that student $29 per class. If a student is taking a three or four hundred level class, charge that student $90 per class. Simple. It doesn’t matter, OK I’m a bachelor student, I’m enrolled as a bachelor student so I have to pay $90. No. If you’re enrolled as a Bachelor student, but you’re taking an Associate class, charge that student an Associate price.
The administration has a copy of the report which can be downloaded online. Menzies suggested a class action lawsuit against the Government and University to make sure past and present students get their monies back. Currently the university only refunds students tuition money if they drop the course at set periods.
[The PowerPoint presentation is already available, please download from www.BeliLeaks.org ]