BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
The national university is urging government to increase the number of sponsored students from 7.5 percent to 30.
This call was made by Dr Jack Maebuta, acting vice chancellor of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU).
“The students who are assisted with scholarships only account for 7.5 percent of the total enrolment,” he said.
In 2020, SIG awarded 640 scholarships and this year it was reduced to 617. There are merited students who are struggling to pay for their fees, said Maebuta.
“I would like to humbly request the Government as they have indicated that it will increase SINU’s operation grant to $60M and $100M for development grant in 2022 that they do likewise to scholarship awards.
“That is if they can increase the scholarship to at least 30 percent or more of SINU’s enrolment. The other alternatives would be that companies sponsor say 10 students each and some form of tax initiatives can be granted by the government,” he said.
“The university is in need of more complex like this to provide for the learning space for students,” he added.
“In Kukum campus, we want to build high three or more stories complex that can house large computer labs, large library and large classrooms all in one-stop location. SINU cannot continue to rely on Government for such projects. SINU can do it itself. The challenge is that we cannot do it our self if fee payers continue ‘fo kaonem SINU’,” he said.
In response Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said that SINU’s request is not falling on deaf ears.
“Dr Maebuta what you are saying is not fall on deaf ears and is taken up. And because of that the government has made major redirection of government policy. We will continue to do that.
“Budget for 22 is coming up and we will continue to redirect government’s resources to where it really needs to go to address the development aspiration of this Country.
“So Pro-vice Chancellor and the Acting Vice Chancellor what you have said, I have taken note of,” Sogavare said.