Following the tragic events of Hurricane Dorian, Hampton University announced that it will be offering displaced Bahamian students a free term at the university. The agreement is between Hampton University and the University of Bahamas-North.
The university’s main campus in Nassau reopened on the 5th of September. However, the Grand Bahama campus remains closed due to sustained severe flooding and storm damage. An appeal for donations was recently posted on its website.
Under the plan, which was announced on September 5th, students will not have to pay for tuition costs, fees, or for their accommodation during this autumn.
For students who wish to continue their studies at Hampton, they would have to pay regular tuition fees at the beginning of the spring term. Tuition fees for a full academic year at the university come to £22,790.
A large proportion of students at the university come from the Grand Bahama and Abaco islands- the islands worst hit by Hurricane Dorian.
The category 5 storm which devastated the Bahamas between 1-3rd September, struck the two islands with winds of 300kph (185mph) along with sea surges of 26 feet (almost eight metres). As a result, the majority of the 50 people who have lost their lives to the hurricane lived on the two islands. Alongside this, 60% of Grand Bahama is now inundated.
Young Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama who are looking for the tools to rebuild their lives and our home will find them at Hampton
– Lawrence Rigby
Bahama’s Prime Minister, Mr. Hurbert Minnis declared that Hurricane Dorian has left “generational devastation”.
The president of Hampton University, Dr. William R Harvey said: “I think this agreement is something that can be helpful to a great number of students and families and is part of something I’ve tried to do my entire career- helping people to achieve and meet their goals”.
Rodney Smith is the current president at the University of the Bahamas and was previously the Administrative Vice President and Chief Planning Officer at Hampton. The presidents, therefore, have a personal link.
Lawrence Rigby, a former student government president at Hampton University, said that many Bahamians have been students at Hampton University over the years.
“Young Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama who are looking for the tools to rebuild their lives and our home will find them at Hampton,” added Rigby.