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Bermuda College should have been included

April 12, 2013

Dear Sir,

A feature in the Young Observer section of

The Royal Gazette on Thursday, April 11 provided comprehensive information about the options available for graduating high school students as they contemplate the next level of education. The author, Sarah Fellows, aptly outlines the various factors involved in the choosing of a college or university, and lists the cost factor as one of the most important. In fact, the article goes on at great length to provide tuition, room and board, books and supplies and personal expenses that will be incurred from an overseas institution, ranging from $12,000 — $25,000 per annum at a Canadian university to $30,000 — $40,000 per annum at a US institution, but amazingly enough, neglects to provide any information at all about the valuable option of a Bermuda College education. In fact, Bermuda College isn’t even mentioned once in the entire feature!

Please understand that as the only tertiary institution of higher education in Bermuda, the issue is not one of presupposing a dominant space in the article — although I’m sure such an expectation would not be considered untoward in any other jurisdiction — but most certainly a mention or acknowledgment of what Bermuda College offers, would be a normal expectation. The bias may or may not have been deliberate, but it is certainly suspect, when you consider that Bermuda College, accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, offers a quality education at an extremely reasonable cost that sees 52 percent of graduates successfully transfer to the junior (third) year of a four-year university, and 25 percent successfully transfer to their sophomore year. It defies understanding how in the interests of writing a balanced article, the Bermuda College option that has proudly set so many students on the “paths to success”, would be totally ignored so thoroughly.

The oversight does tremendous disservice not only to the eminently qualified faculty and dedicated staff, but to a far greater extent, the hardworking students who choose to take their first steps with us, for a variety of reasons. Some, with long-held dreams of “going overseas to school” are forced to face the economic reality of the associated costs delineated so clearly in Ms Fellows’ article. Others are confronted with the academic reality of under-preparedness that will see their parents having to fund the additional cost of an undergraduate degree that comes on a five- or six-year “plan”, because of the unanticipated need for preparatory coursework. Some have family or other personal commitments necessitating on-Island study. And others, simply, just don’t know what they want to study, and are more comfortable receiving a solid liberal arts core while they explore career options.

They will all generally attest, however, to the phenomenal value of the quality education received — not just in the academic sense, but in practical, real-world instruction. In fact, nearly 85 percent responded “definitely yes” to the question, “Would you recommend Bermuda College as the first step in completing your educational goals?” * (Bermuda College Recent Graduate Survey — Spring/Summer 2011)

Compare the high costs mentioned in Ms Fellows’ feature to the costs for a full-time student qualifying for discounted tuition at Bermuda College: He or she would pay less than $2,300 per annum for tuition and fees. A full-time Bermudian student that does not qualify for discounted tuition will pay less than $3,500. Hence the first two years of a student’s undergraduate degree will cost $4,600 — $7,000, which is nearly 50 percent less than the cost for just one year spent overseas!

Bermuda College offers the transitional environment that many graduating “millenials” require. They learn responsibility and accountability in preparation for when they’re “out there” on their own. They are also offered free support services to help prepare them for the academic and intellectual rigours of higher education. These include the Academic Resource Centre, the 24-hour online SmarThinking tutorial service, and counselling and career services. Although Ms Fellows telephoned to offer to include Bermuda College in the next issue, her objectivity would have been far more credible if she had been more inclusive with her initial approach to the article. We anticipate the promised Part Two of her feature.


Director of Communications

Bermuda College

Photo by Glenn Tucker A Proud Moment: Graduates gather for group photos after the Annual Commencement Ceremony at the Bermuda College in 2011.

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Published April 13, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm)

Bermuda College should have been included

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