HONIARA TOLD TO PAY DEBT TO UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC

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By Duran Angiki

SUVA, Fiji Islands (Wansolwara/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---The University of the South Pacific has given the Solomon Islands Government an ultimatum until next month to pay up its F$2.2 million (US$ 1.112 million) debt or face a reduction of its students in next year's intake, Wansolwara reports.

Solomon Islands Minister for Education and Human Resources Development Ronidy Mani revealed this at a meeting last week with Solomon Islands students studying at the USP Laucala campus in Suva, Fiji.

The ultimatum was issued to Mr. Mani and his Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Phyllis Talokwai, at the USP Council meeting, held in Suva last week.

But USP registrar Ms Sarojini Pillay said: "That's not in my recollection. I haven't received the minutes of the council meeting, so I don't know of any ultimatum."

Mrs. Talokwai said the debt was for this year's student fees, boarding accommodation and the country's annual contribution to USP.

The minister said the Solomon Islands Government had recently paid F$ 500,000 (US$ 254,013) of the debt but had failed to settle the rest.

Mr. Mani said this new debt was different from the previous one of F$ 3 million (US$ 1.524 million) , accumulated since 1995, which the Solomon Islands Government

had settled earlier this year.

The new debt was for the 1998 cost of all the Solomon Islands students studying at the three campuses of USP.

The biggest debt to USP this year was from Fiji but it did not face the same ultimatum because it has been systematic in its payment schedule, Mr. Mani said.

Annually, the Fiji government had contributed more than F$ 20 million US$ 10.16) while the Solomon Islands Government contributed less than F$ 10 million (US$ 5.08 million) to the USP budget.

Title -- 1793 EDUCATION: USP gives Solomon Is ultimatum Date -- 4 November 1998 Byline -- Duran Angiki Origin -- niusedita@pactok.net.au" target="_blank">niusedita@pactok.net.au Source -- Wansolwara (Journalism USP newspaper), Nov 98 issue Copyright -- Journalism USP Status -- Unabridged This document is for educational and personal use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius: niusedita@pactok.net.au" target="_blank">niusedita@pactok.net.au http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/nius/

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