JLP Education Fund/Positive Jamaica Foundation Donate $2.5M to UTech, Jamaica for Students in Need

The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, MP (3rd left), Prime Minister poses for a group photograph with officers of the University of Technology, Jamaica and Students’ Union following his presentation of two symbolic scholarship cheques for $1.5 M and $1M from the JLP Education Fund and the JLP Positive Jamaica Foundation respectively, at a special handing over ceremony held Friday, November 26, 2021 at the UTech, Jamaica Papine Campus.  Participating in the happy occasion (from left are) Dr. Haldane Johnson, Acting Deputy President, Mrs. Marcia Jennings-Cole, Vice President and Chief Business and Finance Officer, Professor Colin Gyles, Acting President and Miss Robyn Murray, President, UTech, Jamaica Students Union.  

The Prime Minister and Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, ON, MP on Friday, November 26, 2021 donated J$2.5 M to the University of Technology, Jamaica to assist students in need, to close the gap in the tuition fees.  The Prime Minister presented acting University President, Professor Colin Gyles with two symbolic cheques – one for $1.5 M from the JLP Education Fund and the other for $1 million to the institution from the Prime Minister’s Positive Jamaica Foundation.

In presenting the donation to the University, the Prime Minister said that “our universities are very important institutions in the development of our society.  It is through our universities that we build the human capital of our country and this human capital is so important for growth and development.”  In this context, the Prime Minster also noted that “it has always been one of my commitments to ensure that whatever I can do outside of my position as Prime Minister and outside of government, and whatever I can do personally and as leader of a political organization, that I would do it to support our university students.”

The scholarship to the University of Technology, Jamaica is being offered for the third consecutive year by the Jamaica Labour Party Education Fund and the JLP  Foundation. The Prime Minister explained that through this continuing scholarship donation, “what we are trying to do is to show to the people of Jamaica that the political party is not just vote-getting machinery, but that our political party has to serve the real needs of the people, not just in policy but also practically.”  In this regard, he added that “we are corporatizing our efforts and ensuring that as a political organisation that we are not just carrying political messages, but that we are fulfilling our social responsibilities as well.”

Prime Minister Holness also underscored that a deliberate effort was made to offer financial support directly to the University rather than to individuals, so that the assistance given to students identified as having the greatest need, would be a transparent and non-political process.  He noted that under the terms of the scholarship, the funds should continue to be awarded to students who are performing at a good academic standard and to close the gap in honouring their tuition fees.  Recipients should also be participating in the life of the University and in national life.

Professor Colin Gyles in expressing gratitude to the Prime Minister for the generous donation, noted that the University continues to be mindful of the financial challenges faced by students and continues to seek ways of providing assistance through scholarships and grants, many of which are funded by the private sector.  “Despite this assistance, many of our students still find it very difficult and so we are grateful for the kind assistance offered to our students,” he said. 

Professor Gyles outlined some of the various fee payment arrangements implemented by the University to minimise the challenges faced by students.  These he noted include allowing students to complete their registration after paying a minimum of 30% of tuition fees. The Acting President also reported that 35 final year students from across Colleges and Faculties benefitted from the Prime Minister’s donation made in November of last year.  In the previous year, 24 students benefitted from the scholarship fund.

Professor Gyles also advised that in “paying it forward” by helping others through volunteerism, all students have begun or are in the process of completing structured community service projects as part of the terms of the scholarship.

UTech, Jamaica Students’ Union President, Miss Robyn Murray also offered words of sincere appreciation to the Prime Minister, noting that despite sustained efforts to assist students financially, there remains “ a great cry for assistance from our constituents and so we know that this donation will certainly help.”


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299 
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm