TSLS considers extending bond period for overseas scholars

May 20, 2024 7:36 am

[File Photo]

The Tertiary Scholarships and Loan Services is working on extending the bond period for students who are on overseas scholarships funded by the government.

This has been highlighted by TSLS Chief Executive Dr. Hasmukh Lal based on the current condition of students serving bonds after years of studying.

He says that currently, there is an allocated number of years to serve the country after studying at both overseas and local institutions.

Article continues after advertisement

“The reason being that you fund one particular student to do a three-year degree program in Australia and New Zealand; it is costing you the taxpayer $400,000; if you do a three-year degree program here in Fiji, the maximum cost will be $40,000; but they bonded for four and a half years; the local students that study in the local institutions are also bonded for four and a half years, so there is no fairness; there is disparity, so we are kind to review this in the upcoming budget following the parliamentary budget process to amend the TSLS Act.”

Dr. Lal adds that students undergoing a three-year degree program, are bonded for four and a half years; MBBS students who study for six years are bonded for nine years; and commercial pilot training students are now bonded for five years.

Meanwhile, work is also in place to increase the penalty for students who don’t serve their term in Fiji or decide not to return to Fiji without fulfilling the agreement terms.