NEWS

Students Happy With A-G TELS Talk

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has allayed student worries over TELS future. TELS (Tertiary Education Loans Scheme) was the top issue in Budget consultations at the Fiji National
21 Mar 2018 11:53
Students Happy With A-G TELS Talk
Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during budget consultation at Fiji National University Samabula Campus on March 20, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has allayed student worries over TELS future.

TELS (Tertiary Education Loans Scheme) was the top issue in Budget consultations at the Fiji National University Nasinu campus yesterday.

Students were worried what would happen to TELS because some Opposition political parties wanted it scrapped.  They are happy with how TELS caters for their basic needs.

Ana Wainiveikoso of Tailevu, on behalf of the students, asked: “Regarding the TELS and Toppers, I know most of the students will be wondering what will happen if there will be a change of government.” She said the students were satisfied with the response by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he could only speak on the policies of the FijiFirst Government.

“We believe that we need to continue with the TELS programme and it should be done on a sustainable basis,” he said.

He said when they started with TELS guarantors were required. As the system stabilised and they saw Fiji’s financial position improve they decided that they did not need guarantors, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said as the economy was doing well, the Fijian Government increased the allowances of the students.

“We have continuously been making changes and the idea was to continue to refine the programme.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also clarified the repayment of the TELS loans. He said TELS was not a scholarship but a loan.

“As you know, some have raised issues on the repayment, if you’re on TELS you have to pay the loan but you start paying when you start working.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said various submissions had been made and they were assessing the repayments.

“If you earn below $18,000 a year on your first job and some earn $35,000, than those earning $18,000 less the repayment must be less.

“We are considering this.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said by the year 2020 a total of $750 million would have been paid to the tertiary institutions for the payments of their fees.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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