2018/19 Budget: Students expect changes to TELS

STUDENTS on Tertiary Education Loans Scheme(TELS) scholarship are hoping to see some changes to the scheme.
This newspaper spoke to two students who are currently under the TELS scholarship and asked them about their expectations on this year’s National Budget.
Derrick Raj, 22, said he hoped allowances would be increased because the cost of living was high.
“Things like our transportation, shopping and living costs to some extent is not met because of the high cost of living,” Mr Raj said.-
“The book allowance as well is sometimes not enough to cater for the demanding high prices of textbooks and other educational books being sold.”-
However, at the same time he said the TELS initiative offered by the Government was helpful for students who came from low income families.
Sharon Mani said she believed the Budget will provide better opportunities for students because she was expecting the concerns raised during Budget consultations with students earlier this year would be taken into account by the Government and addressed. –
“Things like getting the application process efficient and getting our renting requirements is a big problem for students,” Ms Mani said.
Under the 2017-2018 budget, the Fijian Government had allocated $196.4 million for various scholarships and loans administered by the TSLB, with $18.3 million allocated to introduce incidental and book allowances for TELS students at $1,000 per annum( or at $500 per semester or $333 per trimester).-

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