23 Nov 2005

New Zealand to continue sponsoring Solomon Islands students

4:06 pm on 23 November 2005

New Zealand says it has increased the number of scholarships it has offered to Solomon Islands students this year.

And, the Pacific Group director of NZ AID, Craig Hawke, says there are no plans to end the sponsorship of scholarships to regional institutions by 2007 as has been suggested by the Solomon Islands Education Minister, Snyder Rini.

Mr Rini is reported by by local media as saying that both Australia and New Zealand were ending tertiary scholarships to regional universities by 2007, and while offering some others, this would be on a reduced basis.

But, Mr Hawke says there's no agreement to do this, and this year, they've provided more.

"We have offered five scholarships to New Zealand under the bilateral programme. There's approximately 20 students going to regional institutions such as the University of the South Pacific, and nine further offers have gone to Solomon Islanders to study in New Zealand through a contestable regional scholarship scheme."

The Pacific Group director of NZ AID, Craig Hawke.