About 200 Kiribati students have not been offered tertiary scholarships this year because there is not enough money to go around.
In a letter to the President, the affected students have asked Anote Tong and his cabinet to increase the number of scholarship awards to cater to the growing number of eligible students.
The Kiribati government is only sponsoring 50 students at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, and another 40 at the USP's centre in Tarawa.
The students say they have met the criteria but the government doesn't have the budget to pay the fees and other expenses.
Seven years ago the Kiribati scholarship programme was embroiled in controversy with revelations that only unqualified students had been given scholarships while others who had passed the relevant tests missed out.