Kiribati's Ministry of Education has admitted that it has sent students to Fiji who are ineligible to do degree courses at the University of the South Pacific.
But it maintains that a group of about ten students will remain in Fiji to do foundation courses.
The president's office has expressed its concern over the selection criteria of the university.,
However, the director of the university's Kiribati centre, Dr Ueantabo Mackenzie, says the government must have been aware that the students did not meet the degree programme selection requirements.
A former education director, Tiimau Tiira, says the USP should not be blamed, but local authorities should be questioned as to how they select students for scholarship awards.