USP holds back students’ grades due to arrears
By SIMON ABANA
HUNDREDS of government-sponsored students’ final grades are on-hold due to unpaid arrears incurred in semester two of the 2017 academic year.
Severely hit are students studying at the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Laucala and Honiara campuses.
USP released semester two grades this week and most students could not be able to see their final assessment marks.
The Solomon Star understands Fiji-based students’ outstanding allowances are yet to be settled and the unpaid dues have just added more frustration to the whole situation for the scholars.
A senior officer working with the USP Laucala finance office revealed around 60 per cent of SIG sponsored students are on the “hold list”.
“I can’t give you the actual number of students but it’s around 60 per cent of the Solomon Islands students both in Suva and Honiara,” the staff explained.
“This is due to unpaid tuition fees and accommodation rentals for students living on campus.
“They could only access their grades if those arrears are paid in full by the government or sponsor.”
Meanwhile, Solomon Islands Students Association (SISA) president Lawrence Ini has collected students names affected by the situation to put more pressure on the Education Attaché (EA) to Fiji Samantha Tiete for consideration.
Most students are calling on the National Training Unit (NTU) through the Ministry of Education Human Resource and Development (MEHRD) to issue a media response on the matter.
NTU Director Clement Tito is currently in Fiji to attend the Fulton College graduation ceremony and could not be reached for comments.
Rose Kudi of NTU said they will prioritise final year students and hope funds sent to Fiji are sufficient to cater for remaining students.
Minister for Education John Dean Kuku revealed in Parliament the Ministry of Finance Tertiary has wired FJ$168,000 (SBD$628,416.14) to settle Fiji based students remaining funds last week.