18 Aug 2009

44 Solomon Islands students lose scholarships at USP in Suva

2:15 pm on 18 August 2009

The Solomon Islands education ministry says it has terminated the scholarships of 44 students at the University of the South Pacific after they failed to meet new, higher standards.

It's the second time a group of students from the Laucala campus in Fiji's capital, Suva, have had their government scholarships revoked, after 80 students lost their awards at the beginning of the year.

The recent terminations means the number of Solomon Islands students on scholarships to the USP in Suva has dropped by seven percent to 543.

The ministry's permanent secretary, Mylyn Kuve, says it is getting tough on monitoring the scholarships and has lifted the pass rate of the students overall unit standards from 50 to 80 percent.

She says the students' living environment and social lives are the main issues to have surfaced.

"The majority of our students reside off campus. And I think once students leave campus they don't monitor their time, they don't monitor their allowances and so they have all sorts of problems."

Mylyn Kuve says the Education Ministry will now focus on providing effective support for the students to prevent more students from losing their scholarships.