13 Jan 2020

Taiwan universities halve tuition fees for stranded Solomons students

8:53 am on 13 January 2020
A mortarboard sitting on top of a stack of books

A mortarboard sitting on top of a stack of books Photo: 123rf

Universities in Taiwan have halved tuition fees for students left in the lurch by the Solomon Islands government's decision to switch diplomatic ties to China.

Taiwan-funded scholarships were cut short when the switch was made in October, with more than 90 students returning to Solomon Islands to await placements at Chinese universities.

But at least a dozen third and fourth-year students have opted to stay in Taiwan at their own expense.

The president of the Solomon Islands Students Association in Taiwan, Desmond Tige, said they had asked the Solomons government to help them finish their studies.

"The switch it really affects the students studying in Taiwan. When we learn about the switch of diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China it was a stressful semester for us. Right now we are still in the process of transferring some of our students back home and waiting for further instructions from the government," he said.

Mr Tige, who is nearing the end of a bachelor's degree, said Taiwan had been considerate of their plight.