The nation’s university is spending more than what is earns. That’s the revelation made today by President Professor Clement Sankat.  Sankat presented the university’s 2016-2017 Annual Report and Financial Audited Statement. The report shows that the University of Belize has been operating at a deficit for some time.  According to Professor Sankat, the financial gap is in the millions and during this recent 2017-2018 academic year, the university strived to break even from a loss position.

Clement Sankat, President, University of Belize

In 16/17, we immediately took the decision that we have to break the cycle of a loss position at the University of Belize. The accounts show that we are spending more than we are earning. That is bad news for any business, because you can soon become insolvent. We took the decision, we’ve got to break this stranglehold and we had to become more efficient, we had to increase productivity and we had to reduce waste. Now the data that you have in front of you is still not very good because the rest of University of Belize, technically, is still losing two to three million dollars a year. However, it is being reduced year by year. Whether we can actually break even under our current circumstances, where our income comes mainly from tuition and fees; I say our income comes mainly from tuition and fees and from government’s subvention, continues to be a challenge.”

G.O.B. Plans to Increase Subventions to UB

As Professor Sankat explained, the main sources of revenue for the university are tuition, fees, and government subventions. Sankat says that the university has commenced making efforts to tighten the deficit by forming a committee tasked to look for investors. Present at the conference was the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, Deborah Domingo, who announced government’s plan to increase its subventions to the university.

Clement Sankat, President, University of Belize

“There is not that provision of giving back to universities. When you go to the United States and you walk on any campus, you see buildings named after all kinds of people: philanthropies, business people, donors of all kind. We want to encourage that here in Belize also; we want to be able to see people’s names on the buildings at the University of Belize. And so I am appealing to the private sector to come on board with us to help build the human capacity for Belize’s development, like the chairman elaborated upon. And to make a real contribution for making this happen. We are also having discussion with our government and that’s why our C.E.O. is able to say things. we are on the lookout for new funds, international funding also.”

Deborah Domingo, C.E.O., Ministry of Education

“The budget cycle for the government has just started so we have been provided with our ceiling. That’s the first thing you would look at; what ceiling you have to work with and we’ve done our estimation of where the savings are currently being realized and will continue for next year. And so while I cannot at this point announce what the figure is, we’ve seen, as I have said before where it is possible to provide the increased subvention.  I must share that we have been looking for ways in seeing how we can increase the subvention to the University of Belize and I believe that this year is the year to realize some success.”

Channel 5