THE Government is spending $290 million on scholarships to ensure the country____s tertiary students get quality training at the Solomon Islands National University and other tertiary institutions abroad.
This was revealed by Minister for the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), Dr John Moffat Fugui at the USP SI campus open day in Honiara, Friday.
“The ministry has spent $290 million this year on tertiary scholarships as it is our priority to send more students to attain higher qualifications,” he said.
Dr Fugui told students to work extra harder to get a scholarship next year.
The National Training Unit (NTU) through MEHRD revealed on Friday that there will be 500 Scholarship Awards available in 2018.
These are fully and partially-funded scholarship awards by the Solomon Islands Government with the aim of training citizens with relevant skills to support economic and social growth and prosperity of the country.
Dr Fugui encouraged students to aim for good grades so their applications for SIG scholarships can be considered.
“You need to get at least A+, A and B+ but if you get B its okay but you’ll be competing against higher achievers.
“So work hard while you are a student so that you get a scholarship.”
The MEHRD Minister said only 3 percent of the entire Solomon Islands population have had the chance to obtain higher education.
“We don’t have money but our Permanent Secretary is making sure we have money because of the belief that 600 plus new scholarships must be provided annually to meet the country____s growing demand for higher education.”
Dr Fugui said there are only around 12,000 Solomon Islanders with certificates, diplomas, degrees, masters and PHDs now so the Government wants to see more Solomon Islanders graduate with higher qualifications so they can contribute in a significant way to Solomon Islands nationbuilding efforts.
“One of the key strategic goals of MERHD is to ensure increased access to tertiary education for citizens who qualify to undertake university studies.” he added.
There are currently 4000 plus students undertaking tertiary studies at the Solomon Islands National University and various other regional tertiary institutions under the Solomon Islands Government sponsorship.
By SIMON ABANA