SIX Fijian students have received air tickets and allowances to pursue further studies in the field of medicine at the Tbilisi State Medical University in Georgia.
An Information Ministry statement cited Youth and Sports Minister Commander Viliame Naupoto as saying it was an important milestone for the government "as we have another source market for training of our medical personnel".
Cdr Naupoto expressed gratitude to Georgian government for not only extending a hand of friendship as part of the Look North Policy and collaboration with Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries, but also for significant development assistance through the offer of the scholarships.
He said Fiji had secured new source markets for training of personnel undertaking graduate level studies in countries such as Morocco and Cuba.
"These opportunities would not have been explored and realised if we were to continue to rely on our traditional partners for training," he said. Cdr Naupoto urged the students to study hard while at the same time learn and adjust to their new living environment which would be a second home for them for the next five years.
"You will go and establish a new network of friends who will contribute to your development as a person, and as a medical professional. Let me at this time remind you of your obligation to be good ambassadors for Fiji and uphold the values that have been taught to you by your parents.
"While you might be far from home, it is very important that you keep us all updated on how things are going from your end."
He said Georgia would provide all educational and accommodation costs while the Fiji government would provide funds for travel and a supplementary allowance of $3500 in this first year and $2500 every year for the next five years.
Students who will study in Georgia are Katrina Shute, Mele Pasikali, Adi Wainise Moceitai, Shyala Chand, Rodnishwar Prasad and Nigel Christopher.