29 Jan 2003

Fiji government runs out of money for scholarships

3:28 pm on 29 January 2003

The Fiji government has run out of money to pay for full scholarships awarded by the Public Service Commission at the University of the South Pacific and the Fiji School of Medicine.

A spokesman for the commission says they will only pay tuition fees but not food, accommodation or books for the 100 university and 25 medical scholarships to be awarded this year.

He says the government can only afford tuition fees because their budget has been decreased and the students will have to meet the other costs themselves.

The president of the Fiji Teachers Union, Bal Ram, says the decision is shocking, and unfair and unjust to students who come from poor families because the cost of food, accommodation and books is substantial.

Mr Ram is calling for the restoration of full scholarships so that poor students are not deprived of education.