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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, July 20) - Eight Solomon Islanders have won Taiwanese-funded scholarships to study in Taiwan.

They will leave for Taiwan later this year.

The eight include five undergraduate students and three postgraduates.

Jennifer Huniehu, Frank Bilau, Lister Hopa, Wendilyn Wale and Jacinta Koli will undertake undergraduate studies at various universities in Taiwan.

Their studies will last for five years.

Medical Superintendent Dr. Silent Tovosia and Solomon Islands College of Higher Education lecturer John Tatalo will pursue postgraduate studies for their masters.

Tovosi will undertake medical studies while Mr. Tatalo will study for a Masters in Agriculture.

A local scientist at the Malaria Research Centre, Hugo Bugoro, will undertake doctoral studies.

The undergraduate students would be sponsored under Taiwan’s annual scholarship assistance program to Solomon Islands.

The three postgraduate students were sponsored under the Taiwan International Cooperation Development Fund (ICDF) assistance.

Since the inception of the Taiwan Scholarship Award Scheme in 2004, a total of 20 Solomon Islanders, including the current recipients, are awarded scholarships to train at various Taiwanese Institutions.

Education minister Dr. Derick Sikua yesterday applauded Taiwan for assisting potential Solomon Islands to realize their dreams.

He added that he was pleased to note that three females were among this year’s awardees.

Sikua urged the scholarship winners to be good ambassadors for Solomon Islands and to respect and uphold the law at all times.

"Remember that the privilege you have is only possible because of the kindness and goodwill of the Government and the people of Taiwan," he said.

Taiwanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands Antonio Chen says studying in Taiwan is enjoyable and meaningful.

He told the students that their study in Taiwan would further enhance the cultural exchanges and good friendship between the two countries.

"Education is a fundamental investment for national development, and human resources are the backbones of economic prosperity," Chen says.

Taiwan has been one of the main funders of tertiary education for Solomon Islanders.

Apart from providing scholarships for students to study in Taiwan, it had also provided funding support to the Government to help send its students to universities in the region.

This year, Taiwan provided $16.7 million [US$2.3 million] to help pay for Solomon Islands students studying in Fiji and other countries of the region.

More than $7 million [US$1 million] has already been disbursed in January this year.

Chen says the final balance of $9.7 million [US$1.3 million] will be disbursed in two tranches later this year.

July 21, 2006

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

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