‘No’ full grant by Fiji to USP

USP's Suva campus. Picture: FT FILE

Fiji has not fully given its grants to the University of the South Pacific over the past three years, amounting to $59.95 million, says chancellor and Nauru president Lionel Aingimea.

And he said Fiji’s annual contribution of $34.3 million was because the country had the highest number of students attending USP.

“It also benefits the most through income tax, rent, travel, transport, medical and the purchase of goods and services by the staff and students that attend and are employed by the university,” Mr Aingimea said the reality was the Fiji Government “has not paid the full amount in recent years”.

“In 2019, it was short $7.8 million and $17.75 million in 2020. This year a contribution has not been made by Fiji, which gets back nine times its contribution.”

Mr Aingimea said as a former lecturer at USP, the reports and issues facing the university were not new to him, he said they were “long-standing issues”.

“So maybe it’s about time the region spoke out. This is a regional university. It doesn’t belong to any one country.”

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