New TELS, Toppers Help

$661.6 million is the total budget allocated for Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts
25 Mar 2022 11:32
New TELS, Toppers Help
Students Amele Tuvounitoga (left) and Mikaele Finau from Sigatoka applying for the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) in Suva on March 24, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Government has temporarily reduced the Tertiary Edu­cation Loans Scheme entry mark to 250.

This is applicable to all streams except for the Commerce category, where the cutoff mark will remain at 280 with a quota of 850 due to over-supply of graduates.

As such the quota for TELS degree programmes will now be increased from 2000 to 2942, with increased at­tention to areas such as:

  • medicine and health; and
  • engineering, science and tech­nology.

“Government also recognises the contribution made by the nurses in our health sector. To fill the gaps created by nurse resignations and migrations, the TELS quota for Bachelor of Nursing will now be in­creased from 100 to 350 students for the 2022 intake.”

As part of the FY2020-2021 Budget announcement, funding for the MBBS programme was suspend­ed under the National Toppers Scheme and TELS.

“However, considering the impact of COVID-19, Government is repri­oritising health service delivery by engaging GPs to improve access to medical services. This creates more opportunities for graduate doctors to seek employment in both public and private hospitals.

“As such, Government will now provide 20 MBBS and 5 Bachelor of Dental Surgery awards to new stu­dents who have completed Year 13 with a mark of 340 in 2021 through the NTS.

“Students who are registered on the TSLS Online Portal for 2022 in­take can apply, or change their pro­gramme to qualify.”

In the FY2021-2022 Budget, Gov­ernment provided funds for one-off $10,000 35 grants for privately enrolled MBBS students with a minimum Year 13 mark of 340 and above in 2020, first-year GPA of 3.0 and above and combined parental income of less than $100,000, with potential students assessed via stringent means testing.

In February this year, 42 eligible students were selected to be assist­ed with one-off grants of $10,000, which the students could use to clear their fees for 2021.

To further assist students meeting the aforementioned criteria, Gov­ernment will now provide full-time scholarships under the NTS effec­tive from Semester 1, 2022.

The existing scholarship regula­tions will be amended to include students who did Year 13 in 2020.

The education sector is provided a total budget of $661.6 million.

This includes $447.1 million to the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, $47.9 million to Higher Education Institutions and $156.5 million for tertiary education fund­ing.

Government will continue to pro­vide free education, bus fare assis­tance and other education-related initiatives.

Ria Devi’s dream on track

Ria Diphasna Devi’s dream to pur­sue a Bachelor of Medicine, Bach­elor of Surgery (MBBS) will finally come to reality.

The Year 13 student of Sangam Sadhu Kuppuswamy Memorial Col­lege (SSKMC) scored the country’s highest in her Year 13 Certificate Examination. She scored of 395 out of 400.

She initially wanted to pursue a MBBS, but when she found out there were no more scholarships available, she opted to change ca­reer paths and pursue a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the Fiji National University in Suva.

But all this changed back last night to the original plan when the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, announced the Revised 2021-2022 National Budget.

The A-G said the Fijian Govern­ment would now provide 20 MBBS and five dental awards to students who completed their Year 13, with a mark of 340 and above in 2021.

This would be part of the National Toppers Scheme.

Those stu­dents who have been registered in the TELS online por­tal for 2022 intake could change their programme to qualify.

“I feel ex­tremely happy about this,” Ms Devi said last night from the FNU Pasifika Campus in Suva.

“It is indeed a great privilege for me and I would like to thank the current Fijian Government for giv­ing this opportunity,” she said.

She is looking forward to special­ise in either emergency medicine or cardiology.

$661.6 million

is the total budget allocated for Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts




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