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Media Release no: 08/2012
Date: 28/02/2012


PSC ASSISTANCE FOR EDUCATION


This year the Public Service Commission (PSC) has provided assistance to 1484 successful candidates covering various programmes, with a budget of $15.56milion.  This budget also caters for as many continuing students at various institutions under various programmes of assistance administered by PSC.


Mr Parmesh Chand, Permanent Secretary for the Public Service said that assistance is mainly provided based on manpower needs of Fiji.  He said that each year there is an analysis undertaken by Government to determine the focal areas or field for grants of scholarship and loan assistance.

The Commission provides educational assistance to tertiary students through scholarships [partial and full] and student loans.

Accordingly, this assistance is administered through four progams as such:
• PSC Local Scholarships
• PSC Overseas Scholarships
• Multi-Ethnic Affairs Scholarships
• Student Loan Scheme

For the 2012 awards, the four programs were advertised last year, and applications closed on 25/11/2011.  The advertisement also noted the minimum requirements. 

While the PSC Local and Overseas Scholarships are open to the public at large, the Student Loan Scheme and Multi-Ethnic Scholarship programs are specifically for individuals whose parental income is below $15,000.  These two programs are affirmative action programs that target the disadvantaged communities.

Applications were submitted on-line through the Scholarship e-Gov system.  However, special consideration had to be made for those students who are located in areas where the e-Gov scholarship system was not accessible.  They were provided with manual forms,  information and data for such cases, were later inputted into the system.

At the closing date, a total of 7,845 applications were received for the four programs. This figure does not include the numbers for teacher training and the degree in Agriculture, as these applications are processed by the Ministry of Education and the Agriculture Ministry, respectively.

Applicants were competing for a total of 1,484 new awards. In other words, of the total number who applied, approximately 20% were selected.  The number of new awards is dependent on the budget available, after the cost of continuing students is determined.

In brief, the number of new awards provided for each of the four programs is as follows:
• PSC Local Scholarships:  487
• PSC Overseas Scholarships:   15
• Multi-Ethnic Scholarships: 910
• Student Loans     72
• TOTAL    1484 

Each year Government provides approximately $25million for scholarships.  About $10million is administered by the iTaukei Ministry for the iTaukei community, while PSC is allocated about $15million.

For 2012, the budget available for the four PSC scholarship/loan programs is as follows:
PSC Local    $6.5million
PSC Overseas;   $2.56million
Multi-Ethnic Scholarships: $5.5million
Student Loan Scheme:  $1million
TOTAL   $15.56million

 

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