Funding issue affecting scholarships

National

Higher Education Research Science and Technology Department has continually been faced with challenges to provide scholarships for a high number of Grade Point Average (GPA)-qualified school leavers, minister Pila Niningi says.
“With inconsistency in budget allocation, the government has incurred debts with the higher education institutions,” he said.
Presenting last year’s DHERST annual report in Parliament yesterday, Niningi said that planned activities for the year had to be revised or rolled over to this year due to inadequate funding as well as late release of 2017 warrants.
“Similar to previous years, most of the new initiatives and activities were policy-related activities,” he said.
“The challenge still remains for these policy initiatives to be implemented.”
Niningi said that they had inadequate human resource capacity although DHERST had an approved structure. “There are still capacity shortages due to the public service employment freeze and the limited resource allocation to the department,” he said.
Niningi said that the Tertiary Education Study Assistance Scheme (Tesas) funds allocated by the national government were not enough to fund the expected number of students to attend higher institutions last year.
“Instead of funding about 15,000 students, we were able to fund around 10,000 to 12,000 students only to attend tertiary institutions throughout the country,” he said.

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