The Government of Samoa has come to the rescue of 20 highly ranked students who did not secure overseas scholarships.
This was highlighted by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi during the official announcement of scholarship awardees for 2019 at the National University of Samoa (NUS) Fale, Le Papaigalagala Campus ye sterday.
“The government has had to provide financial assistance which is why we have tried to extend the base of our taxation policy,” he said.
“And this assistance provides financial help for 20 highly ranked foundation graduates — who despite excellent grade point averages — registering high in the National University of Samoa faculty rankings, have not managed to secure overseas scholarships.”
“This has been a direct impact of the newly introduced online application selection process undertaken by the New Zealand authorities that took effect last year,” Tuilaepa said.
The Prime Minister said he has written to the New Zealand government expressing concerns about its online selection process.
“I do not expect the same selection assessment process to be applied this year for the 2020 intake, if it remains flawed with lack of transparency in the assessment processes used.”
“The basis for selection applied in the past years, under the scholarship harmonisation arrangement based on academic merit, is a very transparent and easy acceptable process.”
“That I intend to push for and have reinstated, and because of this change imposed on us, the 20 highly ranked Foundation students who should have qualified have now been funded by our Government,” he added.
He also said that the total estimate of the funding for scholarships is around $500,000 tala.
“I also wish to acknowledge Samoa’s other development partners, who like Australia and New Zealand, have continued to provide scholarship and training opportunities overseas in a range of key development sectors — these opportunities are crucial to strengthening and upskilling our national workforce, and I thank you for your continued support and assistance.”
Out of the 79 scholarships awarded to NUS Foundation students, 21 are funded by the Government of Samoa with 15 regional awards to Fiji and six partially funded to New Zealand.