A member of the Kiribati Scholarship Board says it had earmarked 10 suitable students to do degree courses at the University of the South Pacific in Suva.
But none of them got the scholarships and were passed over for 18 others.
All of that group had been sent to Suva this semester, but none met the entry requirements for degree courses and have to do pre-entry courses at the USP.
The scholarship board member, who asked not to be named, says their nominees were changed by the Ministry of Education without the board being informed.
The board member says the criteria for degree courses at the USP is clear, with students needing an aggregate score of 250 in four subjects to qualify.
However some of those now in Fiji had scores as low as 205.