Minister of Education - Bermuda College Promise
Good Morning and Welcome, I am pleased to have Bermuda College Vice President Dr Phyllis Curtis-Tweed and BermudaCollege student Alex Pacheco, join me at today's press conference.
In a few moments, they will both share information regarding the Bermuda Government’s College Promise Programme.
Last month the Ministry of Education announced the new application dates for the Ministry's 2021 scholarships and awards.
Today, I will highlight and provide an update on the Bermuda College's Annual Government Tuition Grant and the College Promise AwardProgram. I will also address why the Bermuda College is a wise choice for our students' college or university education.
The Bermuda College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Bermuda College's accreditation status and international reputation testify to the College's commitment and capacity to deliver a level of education to students that meet rigorous quality standards subject to external review and verification. Students graduating from Bermuda College can transfer course credits to another college or university without repeating them.
The Bermuda College has more than 30 transfer agreements with colleges and universities in the USA, UK, Canada and the Caribbean. These agreements provide opportunities and pathways for our students to pursue higher degrees, starting here at home and saving money during those first two years of a college education.
This Government believes that finding funding to attend the College should not get in the way of any student pursuing and obtaining their academic goals. Access to post-secondary education is an integral part of the continued development and success of Bermuda. We recognise the importance of providing our people with opportunities and will make no apologies for doing so.
Since 2017, this Government has invested over $500,000 each year at the Bermuda College through tuition grants, scholarships and awards for students.
The Bermuda Government Tuition Grant is a needs-based programme designed to off-set the total cost of tuition and fees per semester. Support ranges from 30% to 80% of the tuition and is applied for through the Bermuda College financial aid office. The application process opens on July 1 each year. This program has assisted just over 800 students to date.
MOE Scholarships and Awards
Through the Ministry of Education, Scholarship and Awards can be applied for using www.bermudascholarships.com. The scholarships and awards are as follows:
• Minister’s Applied Science Student Awards (5 Awards)
• Minister’s Exceptional Student Award
• Minister’s Technical and Vocational Award
• Minister’s Bermuda College Book Awards (10 at $500 each)
Each of these awards is worth $5,000 each except the Book Awards, in which 10 are given, worth $500 each.
The College Promise was introduced in 2018 and provides free tuition to attend the Bermuda College for any public school student graduating with a 3.0 GPA.
Now in its second year, there are 70 College Promise students enrolled at Bermuda College. In 2020, there was an 80% increase from the first year of College Promise. We expect this number to increase as students weigh their options and realise how affordable and accessible it is to attend the Bermuda College.
Since 2016, Bermuda College has seen an increase in enrollment from 926 students to just over 1700 in 2020. We are confident; this results from the provision of the removal of financial barriers and the continued success of the Bermuda College to provide attractive avenues to higher learning. The following is data from the most recent Bermuda College Annual report taken from current students to support this narrative:
• 33% of graduates expressed an intent to further their education overseas, primarily to obtain a four-year degree;
• 22% intended to seek employment with their newly acquired skills;
• 19% indicated plans to remain at the College to pursue an affiliate programme through the College's institutional partners;
The return on Government's investment in education at this level is clear; enrollment at Bermuda College is a win-win for Bermuda from an academic perspective and a financial stance.
With so many people out of work, we must ensure that our people continue to move forward in their lives and educational pursuits.
I encourage our not just current students, but all Bermudians looking to further their education or acquire a certification or retool a skillset, to take the wise route, and consider Bermuda College.We encourage you all to expand your horizons and move forward with confidence by attending the Bermuda College, where there are many pathways to discover.
Before I questions, I'd wish to remind all students and those who want to attend Bermuda College to pursue higher education degrees, retool or enrol in certification classes to follow-up with the Bermuda College.