By WALLACE KIALA
TERTIARY students must continue to excel in their studies to remain under the Tertiary Education Students Assistance Scheme (TESAS).
Office of Higher Education student support and scholarship officer Joseph Morimai told the University of Papua New Guinea new students during the orientation that it would strictly manage the future selections beginning at the end of this year to ensure that students scoring a grade point average (GPA) score of 2.25 and above were duly considered for the TESAS awards.
He said universities and colleges could select anyone who satisfied their admission policies below the 2.24 cut off but such students would not benefit from the TESAS programme.
Mr Morimai said to be eligible for a scholarship under TESAS, an applicant must have a GPA score within the specified range for each category as follows:
*Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES) students must have a GPA of 3.6 to 4.0;
* Higher Education Contribution Assistance Scheme (HECAS) requires a 1.6 to 3.5 GPA; and
* Self sponsor would be the same and determined by admission requirements of the institution.
OHE also advised the students that to be eligible for TESAS, they must not be excluded from an institution on academic grounds or terminated for any disciplinary reason and continue to pay the “user pay” component of their fees.
“Since 2005, the up-front payment of 50% for HECAS and self-sponsoring students to qualify for TESAS loan was reduced to 40% to enable disadvantaged students to access the loan facility more freely,” Mr Morimai said.
He stressed that the TESAS award was for one academic year only and granted to selected students on the basis of their academic performances and their exemplary conduct and behavior, and was, therefore, a privilege and not a right.
“TESAS is forfeited on academic or disciplinary grounds and upon withdrawal of studies. As the sponsor, the Government expects TESAS holders to devote their time and effort primarily to academic pursuits.
“They must behave in a proper manner, abiding by the institutional regulations and aspiring to meet expectations of an academic environment where there is order and respect for state authority, state and institutional property, respect for individual rights and freedom provided under the national constitution.”