18 Nov 2002

University of South Pacific waits Solomon Islands payment

5:18 pm on 18 November 2002

The University of the South Pacific is waiting for a response to the ultimatum given to the Solomon Islands government that it pay 3 point 5 million US dollars in outstanding debts, or find its doors closed to Solomon Islands students.

The USP has asked the Solomon Islands to pay up to 2 point 5 million dollars by the end of this year.

USP's public relations spokesperson, Susannah Thackeray, says under university rules, Solomon Islands students cannot graduate this year while their fees are unpaid...

"We're not a bank, we're not as lending organisation, and we can't keep carrying the cost of this any longer. Unfortunately at this stage we still haven't had any major payment made from the government which means the students will be going back to their countries as soon as their examinations are finished, and then we will have to reassess the situation again I guess, probably following the university's council meeting in December,."

Susan Thackeray says that as soon as the University receives some substantial payment from the Solomon Islands, it will be business as usual.