4 Jun 2014

Scholarship move deters Fiji students from politics

2:00 pm on 4 June 2014

A Fiji student at the University of the South Pacific who had his scholarship terminated for political reasons says the move has deterred others from getting involved in the lead-up to Fiji's elections.

The Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board says Tamani Seruiraduvatu was associating himself in political agendas without taking into consideration his obligation to the Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs.

It says this amounts to misconduct and has ordered him to pay back all scholarship money received so far.

Mr Seruiraduvatu says he relies heavily on the scholarship, and will have to leave university.

He says he has not been given an opportunity by the board, the USP or the ministry to explain his view.

He says the decision is stopping others from participating in political movements.

"For those who are on scholarships from the government, they are now being intimidated, fear has caused them not to affiliate themselves in political parties or they might lose their scholarship. I have friends who are now so worried about their scholarship because of what happened to me."

A University of the South Pacific student, Tamani Seruiraduvatu.