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Monday, August 04, 2008

Solomon students to PNG universities will increase next year: Bata'anisia

The Solomon Islands Government plans to increase the number of its students to study in PNG institutions from next year, with Unitech expected to again host the largest numbers.

This was revealed by the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to PNG Bernard Bata’anisia during a day’s visit to the Taraka campus last Friday.

Mr Bata’anisia said the Solomon Islands Government had placed education and manpower training as a key priority, and was looking to increase the number of students it provided with scholarships to study in PNG institutions.

He said development of the agricultural sector was vital and as such, his Government was looking to send students to the Vudal University in East New Britain for the first time from next year. Science and technology, engineering, business and commerce and computing were also priorities of his Government, and Unitech would see an increase in the number of Solomon Islands students from next year.

The quotas for the other universities are also expected to increase.

Unitech is host to the largest number of Solomon Islands students this year, with 74 being sponsored by their Government and another five sponsored by AusAID and other donor agencies.

Mr Bata’anisia met vice chancellor Dr Misty Baloiloi and other members of the university’s senior management, where he presented the tuition fees for the Solomon Islands students for this year totaling K660,583.

The high commissioner thanked Unitech and the other PNG institutions for assisting in the training of the country’s manpower.

He said over the years many Solomon Islands students obtained their education and skills and many of them today hold responsible and leadership positions in both government and private sector.

Dr Baloiloi said Solomon Islands students were “very welcome” at Unitech. He said many of the students had played important roles in the different sectors of life on campus, including being champions on the sporting front, where they make up the largest number of players in the champion soccer team, Sobou.

Mr Bata’anisia later met with the Solomon Islands students where he assured them of the Government’s support for their education.

He also stressed to the students they were guests in PNG and that they must respect and observe the rules and regulations of the university and the laws of PNG. He assured the students that their scholarships for next year were in order.

The Solomon Islands students were happy that their country’s representative had visited them and took the opportunity to raise issues of concern both about events back home, including an impending vote of no confidence against current leadership, as well as their up-keep while in PNG.

Source: Post Courier

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