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Prime Minister: The Fijian Government Spent $1.4 Billion On Tertiary Education

“The strength of our recovery is only possible because our workforce is more educated and capable than it has ever been."
31 Oct 2022 17:00
Prime Minister: The Fijian Government Spent $1.4 Billion On Tertiary Education
From left: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Premila Kumar and Tertiary Scholarship Loan Services chief executive officer, Dr Hasmukh Lal, during the opening of the TSLS headquarters in Garden City, Raiwai, on October 28, 2022. Photo: DEPTFO News

Government has invested $1.4 billion in the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme with more than 56, 000 benefiting from the programme.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said this as he opened the new Tertiary Scholarship and Loan Services headquarters in Garden City, Raiwai, on Friday night.

He said the generation that was first empowered by the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme was now leading the workforce.

“It is no accident that in the years following its introduction, Fiji established the longest streak of economic growth in history,” he said.

“The economic gains were powered by a more educated Fiji.”

 

“This week, our growth rate for this year was updated to 15.6 per cent, the highest rate in Fijian history. That was no accident either.

“The strength of our recovery is only possible because our workforce is more educated and capable than it has ever been.

“That is what Tertiary Scholarships and Loan Services has done for Fiji, it has made us more resilient. It has made us more capable of navigating the challenges of this century.

“It has created a sustainable and fiscally disciplined pathway to a knowledge-based society. Not for a single year or election cycle, but for decades to come.”

He said the greatest triumph of Tertiary Scholarships and Loan Services was the way it had bulldozed a level playing field in Fijian society.

 

Breaking the barrier

Government had broken the bias against women in higher education with more females qualifying for Tertiary Scholarship and Loan Services schemes than men since 2014.

Mr Bainimarama said Government was accommodating and empowering students with special needs.

“We are making strides to make diploma offerings more innovative to keep students pace with a changing society,” he said.

“In the current financial year, we have funded 20 new scholarships for masters studies, 10 for PhDs and 400 new allocations for study loans to upgrade to degree and post-graduate studies.

 

“And in recognition of our need for skilled workers, we have made 200 new allocations for skill qualifications, such as carpentry, fabrication and welding, joinery and cabinet making.”

He said in the current financial year, scholarships for National Toppers Local Scheme had increased from 547 to 770 and National Toppers Overseas Scheme has been reinstated and doubled to 40 awards.

Additionally, he also witnessed TSLS’ revamped website, online application and complaint system, and a new TSLS mobile app.

 

Feedback: nacanieli@fijisun.com.fj



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