29 Oct 2002

University students continue protest in Fiji over fee increases

6:02 pm on 29 October 2002

Students at the University of the South Pacific campus in Fiji says they will continue protesting against sharp fee increases planned for next year.

The treasurer of the students association, Vinesh Shankar, says more than a thousand students signed a protest letter which has been delivered to the vice-chancellor, Savenaca Siwatibau.

The letter was delivered after 500 students protested at the USP Suva campus.

Mr Siwatibau is reported to have told the students that the university's cash flow is in dire straits.

Mr Shankar says the association will continue to put pressure on USP because some fee increases are as high as 35 percent.

"The students said that they will be lobbying with various Education Ministers' of the regional countries, and us in Fiji will be asking our own Minister For Education, Hon Rotavuvu Kepa, to help with our concept... if that does not come true then the students will go to the last option, probably they will be willing to boycott classes next year."

Vinesh Shankar says USP will lose a lot of students who have told him they may be forced to attend other tertiary institutions which are less expensive.