Thousands of university students in Papua New Guinea are in limbo with more than US$13 million in scholarship funding yet to be released by the government.
With only a few weeks till the start of the academic year, the Post Courier newspaper reports that at least 7,400 students could be affected by delays in the release of the tertiary education scholarship assistance scheme funding.
The head of PNG's Department of Higher Education Research Science and Technology says the outstanding payment is part of almost US$20 million allocated under the 2016 budget for tertiary scholarships.
Professor David Kavanamur says so far only around US$9 million has been paid, and the shortfall is a concern as it covers compulsory tuition and boarding fees without which students cannot register for the 2016 academic year.
The secretary of the Treasury Department, Dairi Vele, told the Post Courier that Government scholarship commitments will be met but declined to comment on when the funding would be released.