TELS future queried

Fiji National University Bachelor of Engineering(Civil) (Honours) Shivnel Lal, Siddharth Raman , Bhawisha Chand and Pritesh Lal after the budget consultation yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Fiji National University Bachelor of Engineering(Civil) (Honours) Shivnel Lal, Siddharth Raman , Bhawisha Chand and Pritesh Lal after the budget consultation yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

“MAKE sure the government doesn’t change.”

This was the “simple answer” given by Minister for Economy and Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while responding to a Fiji National University (FNU) student during the second 2018/2019 Budget consultations for tertiary students at the FNU Nasinu campus.

The student had asked Mr Sayed-Khaiyum on the future of the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) and the National Toppers Scheme if there was a change in Government in this year’s general election.

“I can’t speak for anybody else, I can only speak for what our policies are and we believe that we would obviously continue with this program and it should be done on a sustainable basis,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

While issues pertaining to TELS and the toppers scheme were the main subject of discussion at the consultation, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also highlighted that Government was making changes, continuously refining the TELS program based on the feedback and submissions from students.

“As you know some people have also raised about the repayments, so let me categorically state also now that if you are on TELS, you have to pay the loan,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said. “But you don’t start repaying until you start working. Some people have also raised the issue about how much do you pay.”

Meanwhile, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum urged students to raise their submissions via email on budget consultations@economy.gov.fj or post to the Ministry of Economy office in Suva.

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