Minister: $300,000 In Additional Aid For College

August 15, 2017

[Updated] An additional $300,000 has been provided to Bermuda College to increase financial aid for persons who require financial assistance to achieve their educational goals, Minister of Education Diallo Rabain announced this afternoon [Aug 15].

Diallo Rabain Bermuda Aug 15 2017

The press conference, with Minister Rabain and Bermuda College President Dr Duranda Greene, has just concluded and we will have additional information later on, and in the meantime the 11-minute live video replay is below.

Update 2.00pm: Minister of Education & Workforce Development Diallo Rabain’s remarks:

Good Afternoon everyone and thank you for attending,

You will recall that last month the Hon Premier informed the general public that the Government will be keeping our promise to increase financial support available to persons who may wish to attend The Bermuda College this year.

Today, I am most pleased to announce that in alignment with the Government’s plan to increase accessibility to the Bermuda College, an additional $300,000 has been provided to the College to increase financial aid for persons who require financial assistance to achieve their educational goals.

Resoundingly Bermudians have shared with us their expectation to improve public education in Bermuda. In response, the Government will now ensure that enrollment in Bermuda College courses and programmes is accessible.

This increase in additional funding is to encourage persons with limited finances to consider attending the Bermuda College. The intent is also to provide assistance to those students already enrolled in programmes at the College and who are struggling to pay their tuition fees. Therefore, the Government has increased the 2017/18 Bermuda College operating grant of $15.481 million to $15.781 million.

This additional $300,000 will be evenly distributed across the following three categories of study to assist students enrolled in:

  • i) Non-programme and programme academic division courses;
  • ii) Professional and Career Education [PACE] programmes. This is a new benefit for potential students. Currently, the Bermuda College does not provide funding for students enrolled in the Division of Professional and Career Education [PACE]; and,
  • iii) Bachelor degree programmes offered through the Bermuda College.

Financial aid awards will range from 30% to 80% of fees and will be based on the applicant’s financial need. Persons will be required to complete an application form that can be found on the Bermuda College website. This week the Bermuda College will be launching a marketing campaign providing further details and instructions on how to apply. College course registration and payment deadlines will be extended.

This Government understands how critically important it is for all Bermudians to have access to a respected and accredited institution of higher education, like the Bermuda College. We are taking the initial steps to provide a clear pathway to educational opportunities for all.

More specifically ensuring that Bermuda College is accessible to all should they want to improve their job skillset, prepare for transfer to overseas universities, or just pursue life-long learning. This Government is committed to make this happen so that students as well as our current workforce are equipped and positioned to meet the rapidly changing local and global demands of Industry.

With that said, I will now let the President of the Bermuda College, Dr. Duranda Greene provide greater detail on how current students and other interested persons can apply for financial aid to support their enrollment for the 2017 Fall Semester at the Bermuda College.

Thank You.

President of The Bermuda College Dr Duranda Greene’s remarks:

Good afternoon…

Let me begin by first thanking the Minister of Education, the Hon. Diallo Rabain, and the new Government for this additional funding. Bermuda College tuition is very inexpensive when compared to the cost at an overseas institution, yet there are many that still cannot afford to attend. So this funding will go a long way towards assisting those individuals.

This additional $300,000 will allow us to expand our current financial aid programme to include programme and non programme students taking one or more courses. It will also provide funding for students taking courses through our Professional and Career Education Centre [better known as PACE] which is the workforce development arm of the College.

Courses and programmes under PACE are mostly skills based and include programmes such as: nail technicians, major appliance repair, bartending, medical administrative assistant, hairdressing, certified dining room associate, CISCO IT certification, BOMI Facilities Management certification, just to name a few. Most of these programmes are part-time and offered in the evening. They range in length from one semester to 3 years.

The third category of students that will be supported by this additional funding are those completing their undergraduate degree at Bermuda College with one of our partners, Mount St. Vincent University or Georgia State University. In the past funding has not been available through Bermuda College for these programmes.

At Bermuda College, we believe every Bermudian student should be afforded the opportunity to further his or her education. By student we are not just referring to the recent high school graduate but also those non-traditional students who are wanting to change careers or those that may be unemployed or underemployed and are seeking to improve their skills, making them more marketable. This funding is open to all qualified students whether they are traditional [a recent high school graduate] or non-traditional.

The funds will be administered through our Financial Aid Office within our Career and Counselling Centre and students can apply using the forms located on the College website at

Awards will cover up to 80% of tuition and fees, based on need, and there are two main criteria: the student much be Bermudian and if the individual is a current student at the College he or she must have a GPA of at least 2.0. The deadline for applications is next Thursday, August 24.

Classes, begin on Monday, August 28, EXCEPT PACE courses which start on Tuesday, September 5.

With just over a week remaining for registration, this funding could not have been injected at a more opportune time; and, I encourage individuals to go to our website [] to see the wide array of courses and programmes that are being offered this Fall.

To accommodate those who are ready to sign up, we have made changes to our Fall sessional dates:-

  • We’ve extended the registration period through to next Thursday, August 24. Students will be able to register for classes and make application for financial assistance at the same time.
  • All late fees will be waived, and
  • Payment for all classes has been extended to September 1.

For more information check out our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter social media platforms, the College website, the newspaper, or tune in this week to hear radio interviews. We will also have our mobile recruitment station at the Washington Mall this Thursday, August 17, from 12 noon – 4 p.m. You can also call us at 236-9000 or contact our Recruitment Officer, Mr. Thaao Dill, at

We look forward to welcoming you on campus this semester.

Thank you.

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Comments (90)

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  1. Bullnoseh says:

    $300k of borrowed money, making foreign bankers rich and Bermudians poorer

    • Breathe says:

      what was the $77m you’d rather we never mention ?

      • estimate says:

        That $77M (was less than that, but we’ll let that slide) will produce income for bermuda for years to come, far far in excess of $77M.

        Perhaps we could talk about the $800M plus that was wasted, as opposed to invested, by the PLP?

        • Hawle says:

          you can also make an argument that a 300k investment in education will produce income for the island (higher education = better job, increased purchasing power, additional taxes for government).

          America’s Cup was a good investment, Education is a great investment

          • Mark says:

            Only problem is it wont. No offence but any degree from bda college doesnt put the slightest dent in bermudians taking IB jobs. Sorry but its the truth.

            • Hawle says:

              Some truth to your statement but also some inaccuracies…I agree that a Bermuda College degree alone won’t prepare someone for the higher positions in IB.

              With that said, Bermuda College has partnerships with the Risk Mgt. & Insurance programs at Temple University, Georgia State University, etc.

              I can think of quite a few Bermudians who are doing well in IB who had their start at the College.

              Lastly, if you look at my original statement, I was not just alluding to IB. It is a proven stat, the higher the level of education, the more one will earn in their respective job.

              • Ringmaster says:

                The $300,000 was probably a small part from the amount earned by Bermuda from the investment in the AC. It would be good if the PLP upheld their pledge of good governance to say where they found the money.

                • The Original Truth™ says:

                  We did not break even on the AC investment so there’s no way the $300,000 was part of the AC. It’s all still borrowed money until we actually clear our debt. Education investments have in most cases proven to increase economic growth. AC is not an event that has been proven to increase growth. AC has even put San Fran in the red the last time they hosted it. It was a pie in the sky and borrowed money should never have been spent on such a gamble.

                  • Ringmaster says:

                    Just because San Fran saw no benefit doesn’t mean Bermuda won’t. Are you privy to the KPMG Report due in October? I’ll bet AC will be a better use of money than $40m to Global Hue or $45m to build Grand Atlantic.
                    AC was part of the Tourism build out. It meant many infrastructure build outs providing local jobs and will generate exposure for Bermuda for many years. Far more than any $ spent on tourism in the past.

                • fu says:

                  “. It would be good if the PLP upheld their pledge of good governance to say where they found the money.”
                  “found”?…we all know where they “found” it :)

          • frank says:

            The Ac was a good investment for a few
            An investment in education will Benefit
            More people

            • Ringmaster says:

              AC created the Endeavour Program that has benefited over a thousand kids, most who would never have the opportunity to sail. A large part of the proram concentrates on STEM so they also receive an education. There isn’t much praise for that from anti AC brigade.

              • The Original Truth™ says:

                A Canadian public middle and high school student has received hundreds of hours more of STEM studies than one of the children who participated in the Endeavour Program by the time they graduate. It was 15-20 children participate each week that were choosen to participate in the Endeavour Program. In total it was close to 700 not 1000 children. So Bermuda pays AC millions to teach local children STEM while Canadian children learn and get a transferable credit for next to no cost.

                • The Original Truth™ says:

                  Oh yes I almost forgot. They taught them sailing also.

                  We’ll I guess a child in Canada will just have to settle for Tim Hortons camp where they learn sailing and a heck of a lot more than in the Endeavour Program.

                  • Ringmaster says:

                    So basically you are confirming a Bermudian student who benefited from AC Endeavour is now equal to a Canadian. That proves the benefit of the AC Endeavour program because the Bermudian never had the opportunity before. Good try to say 700 students cost millions. It is a lie and you know it. You can stop the falsehoods, the PLP won the election.

  2. Say Whaat? says:

    Great investment in the people. Thanks PLP!

    • Zevon says:

      Suddenly everyone understands what the word investment means. What a miracle.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        Still you don’t understand what a Great investment is to a pie in the sky. AC is a pie in the sky that even San Fran with a higher turnout than Bermuda couldn’t break even from let alone a roi. Investing in the knowledge of a nation always has a roi.

        • Zevon says:

          Pie in the sky is thowing money at something with no hope of a return. Like giving someone $25m to returf a golf course so it can host a 3-day golf tournament that no one is interested in.

          • The Original Truth™ says:

            I’m sure the golf course made that $25m back over the years after and is still there. AC is gone now and has not made a roi and will not since it is OVER.

            • Bullnoseh says:

              Oh come on. That golf tournament made peanuts. They were giving tickets to schoolkids to make up mumbers. No one was buying tickets.
              It’s nonsense like this, belief in myths, that makes you all look so stupid.

      • rumsoak says:

        I feel you brother, but it really is not worth it.

  3. Mary says:

    Bravo! Pay it forward and invest in our people. Mary Lodge

  4. Just the facts says:

    I wish I had a money tree like theirs.

  5. Me says:

    It sure is easy to spend money but can they also get rid of debt and make money?

  6. VJ says:

    The PLP is already getting things done! Thanks for putting the people first!!

    • estimate says:

      How are they paying for it, out of interest?

      • Onion says:

        No, with interest.

      • Zevon says:

        They don’t have to pay for it. They just borrow more. Seen it before.

        • The Original Truth™ says:

          Are you that daft? Do you think that OBA paid for the AC out of the ministers’ pockets? The millions they used was borrowed money just the same. At least PLP is investing it on an investment that is more guaranteed than the AC.

    • Anbu says:

      Dont thank the plp. Thank yourself lol. Thats where the money came from. Any bets on which ministry will have funding cut?

    • Mark says:

      Like screwing you and me over while doing nothing that will really help the young. Good call ya numpty.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        You are the numpty if you think more funding for educating the young wont help them. There are better post secondary education options in third world countries for their citizens than Bermuda. This is why they can get jobs Bermudians can’t. The boat race for the 1% will only help the young connected to the 1%.

  7. Bermuda Born... Bermuda Raised says:

    Ok….. given the state of our current books, is there any clarity on where these funds were pulled from? Which budgets were streamlined to afford this? What new revenue sources were created to afford this?

    Or is this an increase in public debt?

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      Did you ask the same questions about the millions put towards AC. I didn’t see OBA’s answer to your questions.

  8. aceboy says:

    Giving away money is easy.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Tis nothing more than crumbs off of an already bare table with no loaf in sight anywhere but it will be hailed as ‘the great social conscience of our new government’

    • Tell The Truth says:

      It’s an investment in the future.

      • aceboy says:

        No it isn’t. Chucking money willy nilly at a problem will not make it go away. We need REAL investment in education with real thought behind it and real money. Consider that $300k gone already, it wouldn’t even cover a servicing of the air conditioning systems in schools.

      • Bermuda Born... Bermuda Raised says:

        So was Berkeley Institute
        So was Cedarbridge
        So was the current middleschool system

        My question wasn’t around the purpose. My question was where did the money come from?

      • Zevon says:

        A bit like Grand Atlantic.

        • frank says:

          There is nothing wrong with grand Atlantic
          Folks from the Americas cup were living there
          I would like to buy a few units

  9. PositiveVibes says:

    So this will help about 250 students who wouldn’t normally be able to afford to attend BDA College. Do we know if there was this much demand and can the College cope with these increased numbers at this late stage?

    Thanks for minimizing the financial barrier but hopefully every penny will be accounted for and any surplus will roll over to the next year.

    Do we know where the $300,000 came from? As part of the promised transparency, this should have been disclosed in the announcement.

    • Politricks says:

      It will actually help around 100 students as per the estimates.

      Whilst a good gesture it probably won’t be utilised by the public.

      In their last term the PLP made BDA College free and yet the enrollment numbers did not change (believe they actually decreased). As a result they had to reverse the ‘free’ (nothing is really free) tuition promise.

  10. sandgrownan says:

    So, here it starts….spend spend spend…Christ, they never learn do they…

  11. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Well that’s $300,000 taken from my pocket already smfh…

  12. johnt says:

    Ok people on both sides let’s put things into perspective here. In the 2017/18 budget statement estimated spend for the Department of Education was $128m, 300k equates to less than 0.23% of this number. Finding the money’s hardly going to break the bank for all those “where’s the money coming from” and from the other side it’s hardly going to revolutionise education in Bermuda which is desperately needed (although I admit every little helps).

    • Lol says:

      I agree its not going to revolutionize but its a start. A start that was never given under the ubpoba but was taken from the students and put into an elitist cup! All this fake outrage from these hypocrites who are crying about 300k mean while their govt doubled the debt, pulled millions out of no where while lying at the same time claiming they dont have it. These trolls are ridiculous and have no sense of logic.

      • johnt says:

        Can I ask Lol, were you this outraged when the debt quintupled between 2006 & 2012 under the PLP. You do understand this started the cycle of having to borrow more to pay off existing debt leading to the continual increase in debt? Whilst the OBA had many faults refinancing the debt to achieve lower interest rates was not one of them.
        Whilst managing debt is crucial, Bermuda also desperately needs to boost its GDP. As has been pointed out many times our GDP has suffered since 2008, so how do we boost this? By increasing consumption, increasing private investment, increasing gov expenditure (where possible), increasing exports…… queue the AC. The teams invested in our island, tourism (an export) received a boost and the island received fantastic publicity/advertising which should increase tourism in the future. No the AC was not a permanent fix, it didn’t improve the lives of the majority of Bermudians, but just like the story above it’s a start, the first truly proactive step I’ve seen the government take to encourage economic growth. Now we need the next step and then the next to create a continually expanding economy that will eventually benefit the entire island.
        In among all of this we of course need to educate our children to a standard that enables them to take advantage of the best opportunities this island offers and to positively contribute in turn. Let’s be honest about public education, in its current state money alone is not the solution. We need to create a culture whereby the importance of education is understood by students. Students need to be able to see there is an equal opportunity for all to succeed irrespective of background (I’m not arguing this currently exists), this way they’ll be willing to invest in their education. Teachers need to inspire, IB needs to engage with schools and highlight the path required for success, political parties and unions need to come together and recognise this is about the students and not political point scoring, parents need to hold schools, the government and their children accountable for their performance.
        There’s a lot in the above, but ultimately we all need to somehow put aside our differences for the benefit of this island.

  13. Mark says:

    Amazing. The decay has already begun by wasteful spending has begun. If they wanted to so it right, they should invest heavily in public schools and scholarships to bigger and better universities so that bermudians can get the education and experience they need for IB jobs. So stupid.

  14. Coffee says:

    Hell , Grant Gibbons spent $300,000 on the first AC Front Street party … Only he and a small cabal know how much in total they spent on the combined related parties over the two/three years of AC ……

  15. Bermy bud says:

    Once again AC35 was an investment in Bermuda tourism! U people are thick and ignorant!

    • Coffee says:

      Yup and Bernie Madoff approved it

    • VJ says:

      @Bermy bud:

      “U people”

      Why do your choice of words sound so familiar?

      • fu says:

        “Why do your choice of words sound so familiar?”

        plp speeches. Same old propaganda as last time. plantation questions!

      • fu says:

        “Why do your choice of words sound so familiar?”

        plp speeches. Same old propaganda as last time. plantation questions!

    • Coffee says:

      Didn’t U people also invest with Bernie Madoff ?

    • frank says:

      The Ac was a bad investment that’s why Sf did not want it again

      • Politricks says:

        Then why did so many other cities bid to hold it?

    • Once Upon A Time says:

      Tourism makes up a relatively small amount of our GDP. Investment in IB education would’ve been smarter than AC.

      • Zevon says:

        But you wanted jobs for people in tourism and service industries. Has that changed now?

  16. Jose says:

    Lawd where this money come from?

  17. steve says:

    Hey that 300k has plenty of merit. Lets not b!t@&h about it. If they plan to spend like fools this time around, it will surface soon enough.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      It surfaced last time too but it’s obvious that it’s a trivial matter to 60% of the electorate.

  18. Lol says:

    Look at all these disgusting comments on here. Same ppl never questioned where they pulled 77 million from on an elitist cup that still saw hotel workers laid off due to hotels not being filled, temporary employemnt and not fulltime or near any thing close to the 2000 jobs that were promised. But 300,000 dollars that is really nothing at all allocated to Bermudian students to prepare them for a work force that is not being told to them before they graduate from our broken education system caused by your ppls the UBP now OBA or who ever they will be next election. Disgusting comments. At least the plp is investing in the future of Bermuda because the OBA and their track record on education within their short time was more appalling then the plp’s entire tenure. And we speak off of facts not lies and propaganda like u oba trolls do with no merit what so ever. P.S. YOUR PARTY LOST BY A LANDSLIDE SO KEEP THINKING MINDLESS TROLLING IS GOING TO WORK FOR YOU…OUR EYES ARE OPEN

    • fu says:

      “Look at all these disgusting comments on here. ”

      I know! PLP supporters are a hateful bunch!

  19. mixitup says:

    Since when is investing in your PEOPLE, investing in their EDUCATION become such an issue? We are ok with investing 77 million in a sailboat race but not a mere $300K in the Education of your people?? You people need to be called out for who you really are.

    • parent says:

      So true like people shut the hell up it a not much money and its a great investment but remember for everyone that hates what is being done only shows their hand and it’s clear an educated person is a threat so thanks for the compliment u

    • Jose says:

      Love the way dumb folks refer Americas cup as a sailboat race lol” the stupidity of some “

      • Toodle-oo says:

        The flip side is that the same people refer to a 20 sq mile atoll as a country . . LOL

        • PBanks says:

          Nauru and Tuvalu are smaller, but they’re independent nations. Why are we hung up on the nomenclature of a self-governing region based on its size?

          • Toodle-oo says:

            a) we’re not independant
            b)any intelligent person knows that 20 sq miles being surrounded by water makes us nothing more than a very tiny island

            And even if we were independent we’d still be a weenie island .

            The delusions of grandeur are costing us dearly .

            • Coffee says:

              Over 800 people attempted to squeezed through an even smaller loophole to become a citizen of the impoverished atoll . Try telling them about ‘the delusions of grandeur .’

            • Ringmaster says:

              c) Bermuda is bankrupt. Until we can start to pay down the debt everything else is meaningless. $300,000 for Bermuda College? Where are the jobs for these people to fill? The PLP was smart in the election. Not a word about jobs.

  20. Frosty says:

    Why are you guys wasting your time arguing with Bermuda’s privileged class? They will never get it. Not in a million years as they drink their champagne on their yachts…

    Thank you Government for creating opportunities for those that need it! Not everyone can get a thousands of dollars free of charge from daddy dearest.

    • bee says:

      er… the $300,000 is not being dropped from the sky dude. it’s coming OUT of some other ministry! or maybe our taxes will go up. Payroll Tax (income tax) is already at 7+%. how much more do you want to give up? that said, i hope the money goes to send 3 people to proper universities. We could use some MIT graduates to push Bda in to the 21st century.

    • Jbda says:

      The only allowance “daddy dearest” gives me is a roof over my head, hot meals, and an education both high school and university. I don’t take handouts from anyone and anything I’ve achieved is through my own hard work and ambition. Not all of us “privileged” class Bermudians are as arrogant as you think we are.

    • Bullnoseh says:

      The OBA allocated $128m to education. Now the PLP allocate $0.3m to education and you think they’re heroes. You’re just suckers.

  21. cpm says:

    What is the budget for the college per student before the new allocation

  22. cpm says:

    The Budget gave the College over 15 million so given that most students pay, where does the money go?

    • bee says:

      it goes to professional desk sitters at the Dept of Ed and they are backed by the BUT. where else can people get fired and re-hired – twice! i ask you! and the PLP would rather just throw money at it then deal with the BUT.

  23. Just the facts says:

    I thought Bermuda College was free?

    • Bullnoseh says:

      Er no. That was a 2007 PLP election promise that they didn’t keep.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mate, where have you been? They reversed the college being free like 6 years ago.

  24. Bermudian says:

    No applause from me. Its easy to give money away!