The Barbados government defends its decision to make changes to the Student Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) by noting that the restructuring is necessary if the fund is to survive at least 45 years.
“As a result, the SRLF will soon be restructured to allow it to transform into a more customer-centric and agile organisation. This must be achieved by ensuring that the SRLF is a pleasant place to work for its employees because the first customer is the internal customer. It’s about ensuring that excellent service is provided because management and leadership are ‘in service’,” said Education, Technology and Skills Training Minister Kay McConney.
Speaking at the Fund’s 45th anniversary awards dinner last weekend, McConney assured the government was aware that for the Fund to continue to exist for another 45 years and beyond, it would have to make changes to its operations.
She said she was happy to champion the restructuring effort at the Firm, noting that new innovative loan products would be introduced and that the Fund could expect greater use of technology.
“We certainly believe that if the SRLF can be transformed in this way, it will serve Barbadians for another 45+ years,” she said, noting that all Barbadians “owned” the Student Revolving Loan Fund and had a vested interest. to ensure its viability.
“I want you to spread the word about the Student Revolving Loan Fund,” she said, adding that providing student loans was an inherently risky business.
The Minister said that the SRLF would soon be called upon to operate as a “commercial public enterprise”, with practices that would not simply be government-focused, but oriented and anchored in that of a “true viable and sustainable commercial entity”. . ”.
McConney said many student loan agencies, regionally and internationally, have suffered severe financial setbacks or closed entirely.
“The Student Revolving Loan Fund is still active in Barbados, 45 years later. It is able to generate, and I am so proud of it, annual profits, and for 12 years it has operated without the need for annual government subsidies.
“This is a testament to the careful oversight of successive management committees, and the dedication and commitment of the Student Revolving Loan Fund management and staff,” she added.