‘Funding Decrease Will Adversely Affect Students’

June 21, 2013

Shadow Minister of Education Walton Brown today expressed his disappointment at the reduction in government scholarship funding, saying that “there are other areas where money can be found to ensure that our deserving students are not the ones bearing the brunt of the OBA’s fiscal policies.

This afternoon [June 21] Education Minister Nalton Brangman said that the scholarships will institute a ceiling of $35,000 for tuition and accommodation. Previously the scholarship package extended from a low of $17,000 up to a high of almost $75,000 per school year for individual BGS recipients.

Minister Brangman said, “During the budget debate I explained that the Ministry of Education’s budget had been reduced and that a significant area of impact was scholarships and awards.”

Speaking this afternoon Mr. Brown said, “I spoke with the Minister this morning and urged him to reconsider….noting that this is ill advised and will significantly hurt those needing support to advance themselves.

“With respect to the Bermuda Scholarship I urged him to reconsider the devaluation so that it might retain its status as the premier recognition of academic excellence. He unfortunately would not reconsider.”

Mr. Brown feels that the decrease in funding will adversely affect many deserving students. He recognizes the Government’s need to be fiscally prudent but feels that “there are other areas where money can be found to ensure that our deserving students are not the ones bearing the brunt of the OBA’s fiscal policies.”

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  1. RawOnion says:

    Um, the PLP did the same thing when they were in power, lowered the amount and spread it out over another year. Even worse, they (PLP) often didn’t have the funds at all and/or were sending the award monies out late. I know someone who won an award and had to beg the ministry of Education to send the money which was sent months later after having to speak to the person at the top!!!

    The monies/awards/grants/scholarships in Bermuda are very generous plus the free education at Bermuda College is a great start.


    • Black Soil says:

      Blame your PLP bredren for bankrupting us all. If only Eugene Cox remained in charge, PLP would still be in power!!!

      • Ain’t that the truth…Many of us that put the Progressive Labour Party into “power” saw there was hope but of course, when “certain others” took control it was a 180 degree turn about where we today seem to have lost our identity as a people and respect of one another…Today, “Bermuda is another world” indeed :-(

      • RawOnion says:

        My PLP bredren? I gave up on PLP in 2003, long before anyone else. I saw what was coming down the line 10 years ago. After Eugene Cox, Freddie Wade and Lois Browne-Evans passed, I knew what was going to happen when Ewart took over. Today we are seeing a culmination of 14 years of political mismanagement now rearing its ugly head.

        • CBA says:

          Yup. Let’s not forget the warning Dame Lois Browne-Evans gave us about Ewart Brown. How right she was!

    • Award recipient says:

      Who cares who is criticising, PLP member or not. The point is that this decision to decrease funding for students is indeed going to affect those deserving students who may not receive funding from anywhere else and is in acute need. As a student entering my final year, having multiple summer jobs realistically is unfortunately not enough to pay for tuition, housing, living expenses and supplies. Also you can’t always rely on family contruibution. Without receiving Government awards I would not have been able to pay for school. Can’t a decrease be made in other areas that is being over-looked or other areas deemed uneccessay ie. hiring overpaid, outsourced government consultants/advisors. If you consider the tens of thousands that will accumilate and be mismanaged due to mis-spending, consultations/trips etc. you could invest into someone securing their future with an deserving and hard earned degree that no one can take away from them. Thus more qualified, educated, open-minded, go-getting Bermudians into our society and the workforce and less complaining citizens.

  2. CBA says:

    I’m a student so I’m not overly happy about this, but I think the fact that the PLP is giving advice about finances is laughable.

  3. Be Like Me says:

    Walton, if your party hadn’t spent all the money we wouldn’t have an issue…. Get smart man!!!

  4. pwndwg says:

    $35k is a very sensible cap. Must Bermudians go to the US? Like we MUST go on overseas vacations and drive SUVs and have LV bags when there are more affordable and intelligent options? The US is far more expensive than Canada, the UK and mainland Europe and we must learn to cut our clothes according to our cloth. Even within the US: UMass Amherst tuition for out of state students in 2013: $26,645. U Texas at Austin: $31,756. UC Santa Barbara: $12,192. UCLA: $12,692. UNC Chapel Hill: $14,103. Of course housing and food and books cost extra but they’d be far more in BDA. And most of the top colleges ensure that any student that can meet the academic requirements will not be turned away for a lack of funds. So less than straight A middle class and rich kids have more trouble getting into the elite schools than poor smart kids. If a poor BDA student can get SATs in high 600s (vs the usual hurdle of low to mid 700s) he/she can get funding to get into almost any US school. Even if the school didn’t give them a full ride, the Bk of Bda Fdn or a Bda law firm or bank or insurance company would help out any student with a good attitude.

  5. Triangle Drifter says:

    Walton might want to see if some if his family could help out. Maybe take a trip to Marthas Vineyard. There is a very large house, overlooking a pond & beach on one side & golf course on the other. Knock on that door & ask for money. Also try a law firm in LA. Maybe some folks in Turks & Caicos can help out.

  6. SoMuchMore says:

    The pee l pee spent all the money wahhhh wahhhh wahhhh

  7. 32n64w says:

    There are 2,500,000,000 reasons why the PLP’s criticism of funding is both unfounded and hypocritical. Based on one decision alone (and there are many many more), consider how many students could have benefited from $4,000,000 of tertiary education funding vs. a Beyonce vanity concert?

    When will the PLP apologize for their numerous errors in judgement which have now burdened our children and grandchildren with a financial obligation that will restrict current and future opportunities for generations to come?

    • Vote for Me says:

      Did the PLP spend $4m on a Beyoncé concert? Please provide details.

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        What’s your point? That it was ‘only’ $3m? Enlighten us.

  8. Sandy Bottom says:

    How many scholarships could have been funded with the $60m plus wasted on those empty slums on South Shore?

    • Ships Ahoy says:

      Or if we could just “find” the 100′s of millions of “unaccounted for monies” during the PLP reign we could fund everyone’s education. Can someone from the PLP let us know where they left it please! Geeesh

  9. Muff diver says:

    More PLP fallout!

  10. Computer Guy says:

    It is understandable that OBA would have to cut the scholarship awards. As a recent Canadian University graduate, after reviewing the tuition fees for international students in Canada, that $35,000 cap would still provide more than enough to cover full tuition, room and board (both on and off campus) for a year as well as books. As stated I’m only speaking for students studying in Canada. It’s understandable that this may not be as much before but let’s not twist it to make it sound like students are being screwed over.

  11. gmsgms says:

    Walton Brown,

    Please do us all a favor and don’t simply say that “there are other areas where money can be found to ensure that our deserving students are not the ones bearing the brunt of the OBA’s fiscal policies.”

    Please provide us with a detailed list of these other areas, and not just ministry names, but actual programs and priorities, with exact amounts of funding that you would remove from them. Absolute numbers of dollars you would move, and the proportion of the annual funding for each program those cuts represent, would help us better judge the benefits of your suggestion.

    Many thanks,


    • Sandy Bottom says:

      Excellent questions. Let’s see Mr Brown’s detailed answer.

      • Ad says:

        Don’t hold your breath waiting for a response from this armchair politician

  12. Second says:

    Walton is talking out of both sides of his mouth. The government announces they have to borrow and he’s saying they can find money in other areas to keep the government education funding as is? What planet does Walton live on? Time for PLP members to stop grandstanding and get down to help the OBA rescue our island out of the mess they put it in.

  13. @gmsgms I agree, “show us Mr. Walton Brown, otherwise you are “adding fuel to a fire” that need be be extinguished…If Bermuda is to regain its self respect and dignity amongst others then we first must be honest with ourselves “mate”

  14. Huh? says:

    I think covering tuition and accomodation to the tune of 35k max is very generous. According to the article living expenses were also covered. They can get a summer job and save for their spending money. They will appreciate their education more if they invest some of their own money in it and learn how to budget while they’re at it.

  15. Vulpes says:

    Perhaps if all MPs were themselves tax compliant, i.e paid up to date, there would be a little more money to spread around. Perhaps Mr. Brown could comment on this.

  16. Bermuda Boy says:


  17. longtail says:

    It would be interesting to see what courses of study at which universities warranted a grant of $75,000 pa. I recently put my daughter through medical school in the UK – the cost was about $30K pa including room and board. When I did not receive a bill for her final year’s tuition I inquired why… and was told that the NHS was paying!! The point is, Mr Brown, that rather than simply throwing money around like there is no tomorrow, education expenses should be invested wisely and with the best possible return on the investment – something the previous government clearly lost sight of after the passing of Eugene Cox.

  18. Argosy says:

    Mr. Walton Brown. Please remember that the majority of us voted your “party” out so please take your medicine and stop complaining.

    We didn’t hear any complaints from you when your namesake was spending the larder….

    You are a very tiresome individual.

  19. Triangle Drifter says:

    And to to think this guy was once on the Government payroll teaching our children.

  20. John says:

    We pay over 50000 a year to house a prisoner but can’t spend the same or more on our children who are our future!? Sad

    • justMYopinion says:

      Actually John it was last estimated at $80,000.00!!!! which is beyond ridiculous!!! I totally agree with you…..it’s a crying shame……

    • Victor says:

      And there would likely be fewer prisoners with better education.

    • frank says:

      it only shows how much the new oba care about the future of are children

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        Gimme a break. The PLP left 500 teachers being overseen by 700 civil servants. Absolute madness. Our kids are being taught by incompetents who can’t be sacked and got their jobs only because they are Bermudian. 11 Education Ministers in 12 years. It’s no wonder they achieved nothing.

    • Pay attention says:

      My sentiments exactly!!!

  21. god1st says:

    This is a strategy by the white supremacy clan to try and economically castrate Balck Peole.

    Black people take heed we need to teach our children money science, we are money illiterate people. Our children need to be taught stock market,realestate,resource investments,and we must grow out of the old mold of education.

    Public education for blacks is an education for blacks to fit in and work for white people. They don’t have any jobs for us anymore.

    The new education is education acquisition ,challenge the white men and take their businesses.

  22. previous bermuda scholarship recipient says:

    Previously the cap for Bermuda Government Scholarships was about 40 k per annum. 5k per year will not prevent a student from being able to continue their education.

    • Don't be so quick to judge says:

      You never know, that 5k could be a blessing to someone who for what ever reason or circumstance may be unable to raise that last bit of money for schooling.