25 Oct 2016

Fiji student debtors should 'pay later'

1:53 pm on 25 October 2016

Students at the University of the South Pacific (USP) facing deregistration are under stress and the University should help them out says Fiji's shadow education minister.

University South Pacific.

The University of the South Pacific's campus in Suva, Fiji. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The University threatened 8,000 students with deregistration if they didn't pay their outstanding fees.

It said it wanted to give students every chance to pay, well after the week six deadline, and had sent many reminders and warnings.

Acting Vice-Chancellor, Richard Coll, said there's a risk waiting until after exams, as under that policy, students who fail tend to leave without paying, and many of them are from overseas.

USP's student debt is currently just over $US9 million.

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Mikaele Leawere says students owing fees at the University of the South Pacific need help from the university. Photo: twitter

The shadow education minister Mikaele Leawere said many of them are suffering financially after Cyclone Winston and he will take the issue to the university council.

"Most of the students come from rural areas, and some of them are marginalised in terms of the income the families receive. This is why I am advocating that they pay later," he said.

The University has said it will review the process.

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