Tertiary Scholarship Loans Board CEO Bobby Maharaj has clarified that no student is forced to take up a course under the National Toppers Scheme if they do not wish to pursue studies in a certain field.
This comes as claims were made that students who were awarded toppers scholarships were turning them down as students did not want to pursue studies in priority fields under the Toppers Scholarship Scheme.
Maharaj clarified that since beginning their online application last year, it is not possible for students to apply for courses that are not funded by the Tertiary Scholarship Loans Board under the National Toppers Scheme.
He revealed that there was an instance last year where two students did not take up scholarships after they were awarded as they wished to change their courses and later applied under the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme.
Maharaj says that the two scholarships were then awarded to students who scored the next highest marks on their reserve list.
He says that ahead of the processing of application the Tertiary Scholarship Loans Board works with the Ministry of Education and Universities to get all the results for Year 13 and foundation students.
Maharaj says these marks are then converted to percentage and ranked from highest to lowest in order to determine the top scoring students who would qualify for the National Toppers Scheme.
Maharaj says a total of 970 students will be awarded Toppers Scholarships for 2019.
He adds that this year another 340 students will be offered scholarships to pursue their studies.
Maharaj says that this is a significant increase from the 630 toppers scholarships that were awarded last year.
He says that for the first time this year a total of 20 scholarships will be offered for overseas studies adding that this will also include studies in specialised courses that are not offered in Fiji including architecture, counseling, forensic science, genetic science, speech therapy, specialized education and town planning.
Maharaj says that all applications for TELS and Toppers must be submitted online adding that to date they have received a total of 7,050 applications.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.