NFP to introduce new merit scholarship

Opposition members of Parliament and NFP members, Professor Biman Prasad (centre) with Prem Singh (left) and Parmod Chand (right) outside of Parliament. Picture: FT FILE

WE are providing a well devised strategy to ensure that students not only get access to university education but also provide opportunities for all those students in low income families.

This was stressed by National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad, when asked to elaborate about providing free tuition for all degree students in all three universities in the first year of studies if NFP comes into government.

Prof Prasad said the current TELS loan scheme is a huge burden on those children who come from low income families.

He explained that if a student has scored marks between 270 and 290 and their parental income is less than $20,000-$30,000 they would still not be eligible for a scholarship.

“You will have to take loans and over three or four years you might end up incurring a debt of $30,000 to $40,000 depending on the course you’re enrolled in.

“What this government is doing is putting huge burdens on these kids who are coming from poor families anyway and then they graduate with a debt on them and on their families which will take several years to pay back,” Prof Prasad said.

When asked about how he will arrange for funds for the free tuition, Prof Prasad said the government already has to allocate a huge amount of money for loans.

He said the amount in loans will partially be given to the universities for the degree student’s free tuition for the first year.

Prof Prasad if NFP comes into government they will introduce a new merit scholarship for students who have a family income of less than $30,000.

He said only students who score 250 marks and above will be eligible for this scholarship.

Prof Prasad said they will also rename the national toppers scholarship to academic excellence scholarship.

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