SOLOMONS ISLANDS GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED STUDENTS SENT TO USP FIJI WITHOUT

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EDUCATION FEES

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (February 21, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Solomon Islands government sponsored students have been sent to the University of the South Pacific in Fiji without their education fees.

The government had to decide whether to send the students without their fees, or have the students face late arrival and incur additional costs for the financially troubled Honiara government.

The Solomon Islands has the second largest number of students at the university -- after Fiji.

Permanent Secretary for Education Walter Ramo said the government-sponsored students could be deregistered if their fees are not paid in the time allowed under an understanding with the USP.

"There has been this understand of charging the government (later) for what they spend on our students there," Mr. Ramo said.

"This is not to say it will continue," he told Radio Australia News.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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