Acting Prime Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has today hinted in parliament that the government is currently reviewing the methodology of repayment for student loans under the Tertiary Loans and Scholarships Scheme.
While answering NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad’s question on whether the government will reduce the rate of repayment of TELS for students from 20% of gross salary, Sayed-Khaiyum reveals that by 2020 the projected amount of money spent on the scheme will be about $750 million.
He says the loan is now collected through the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service and the student loan is only payable once a person graduates and actually starts working.
Sayed-Khaiyum says they are currently looking at the option that the graduate only starts paying the student loan after they start receiving a salary of $15,000.
SODELPA MP, Viliame Gavoka then said that in America today, about $1 trillion is outstanding in student loans.
He says they are worried in years to come, it will be too much for Fiji and whether the government can discount some of these loans.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the American system cannot be compared to the Fijian system as under the American system, the student loans are given by banks.
SODELPA MP, Salote Radodro then raised the issue that the student loan scheme was in existence in the past however Sayed-Khaiyum says the scheme was brought in by the current government as the past system was race based and people already know this.