HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star/PINA, Jan. 26) - Millions of dollars the Solomon Islands Government owes the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji has prevented seven law students from finishing their studies.

The students were the first to be affected by the university's ruling that the government must start substantially paying the debt before Solomons students can return.

Negotiations are currently underway between the European Union (EU), the university and the Solomon Islands government. They could see the Europeans help solve the payment problem and get Solomons students back to USP.

The Solomon Islands Government blames the accumulated debt on the ethnic conflict, law and order problems and the country's continuing financial crisis.

The law students are due in to complete the final part of the law program requirements at the main USP Laucala campus in Suva.

Last year, Solomon Islands government-sponsored students at all USP campuses were not allowed to graduate until unpaid fees are paid.

Solomon Islands Government-sponsored students in Papua New Guinea are expected to face similar problems.

January 27, 2003 

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