30 Dec 2011

Tonga's King promotes a private university for the Kingdom

2:33 pm on 30 December 2011

The King of Tonga, George Tupou the 5th, wants to establish a private university in Tonga, focussing on renewable energy and the environment.

Matangi Tonga reports the king envisages a university enrolling up to 320 students each year.

He is seeking funding from private foundations, but is also anticipating backing from the US State Department.

It's thought the university project might be supported by the U.S. military in return for Tonga's participation in US military operations abroad.

Matangi Tonga also reports that the king thinks Tonga could tap into the Copenhagen Environmental Fund for such an education project.

Tonga has made a major commitment to renewable energy.

It has announced plans to produce half of its energy needs from renewable resources by 2012.