The University of the South Pacific has assured Kiribati that construction of its replacement campus will begin within a few months.
The USP vice chancellor, Rajesh Chandra, announced last year that Kiribati was to be the first to benefit from an upgrade to tertiary education facilities in the region over the next six years.
The university had budgeted 135 million US dollars for the development, which will also involve new buildings in Solomon Islands and the Marshall Islands, and an extension of the Tongan campus.
Last week USP officials visited Kiribati to re-assure the government the development would go ahead but that tenders were higher than expected.
The USP says while it will still pay for the campus, the Kiribati government needed an additional supplementary guarantee from the Asian Development Bank.
The university says the ADB has indicated its willingness to provide another one million US dollars for the project.