• 03 AUG 2016

Post Cabinet Briefing Summary – Wednesday 3rd August, 2016

Changes to GATE

The Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education, addressed members of the media during a special Post Cabinet Press Briefing today (Wednesday 3rd August, 2016) at the Office of the Prime Minister, St. Clair, Port of Spain.

The Cabinet held a special sitting to discuss the recommendations of the task force mandated to review the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) programme.

Some of the decisions taken are as follows:

  • Effective August 2016, students presently enrolled will continue to receive funding for their entire programme;
  • Students registered to begin programmes in 2016, will receive funding for the academic year 2016-2017;
  • Effective for the academic year 2017-2018 and beyond, a means test will be used;
  • Effective August 2017, students whose household income falls under $10,000.00 per month will be eligible for full funding;
  • Students whose household income is above $10,000.00 will be required to pay 25% of tuition fees;
  • Where the household income is above $20,000.00 per month students will be required to pay 50% of tuition fees;
  • Effective August 2017, funding for post graduate degrees will be available to students whose programmes are in alignment with the country’s development needs;
  • Only institutions and programmes accredited by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) will be funded;
  • Effective August 2016, students should only be funded for one undergraduate and one post graduate programme;
  • Continuing students will be allowed to complete post graduate programmes for which funding had previously been approved;
  • Effective August 2016, the loan ceiling for students at local institutions will be raised will be raised to $35,000.00 annually;
  • The loan ceiling for students at regional institutions will remain at $75,000.00 annually;
  • The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) will review its policies with respect to being the sole guarantor of loans and the subsidisation of interest rates;
  • Effective August 2016, persons over the age of 50 years old will no longer be eligible for GATE funding;
  • Continuing students over the age of 50 years old enrolled in undergraduate programmes will be granted funding to complete their programme;
  • Effective August 2017, students enrolled in medical programmes in regional campuses of UWI that are offered at the St Augustine campus will only be funded to the equivalent level of funding at the St Augustine campus;
  • Effective August 2016, the GORTT will discontinue funding of new students in the medical programme at the St George’s University in Grenada;
  • The GORTT will consider additional funding options including offering education saving bonds;
  • The GORTT will establish a National Education Savings Fund – Private sector organisations will be encouraged via tax incentives to make fund contributions on behalf of the children of their employees or to engage in other philanthropic initiatives that build the fund;

The GORTT will consider fiscal incentives to insurance companies and credit unions to invest in the development of education savings products.