Mr Bobby Maharaj, Chief Executive Officer of Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board (TSLB) during his address at the Lautoka Campus Open Day.
Thousands of secondary school students from around the Western Division frequenting the various booths at The University of the South Pacific (USP)’s Lautoka Campus Open Day on 27 July 2018 were reminded to explore beyond what was being offered for their desired tertiary education courses.
Speaking at the Open Day Mr Bobby Maharaj, Chief Executive Officer of Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board (TSLB) informed the students that the funding criteria for Tertiary Educations Loans Scheme (TELS) has been amended giving additional opportunity for students to select their subject areas.
Mr Maharaj revealed that students intending to pursue tertiary studies in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) now have the opportunity to obtain loans to study ICT and Applied Computing along with Information Systems currently being offered.
“In medical field up until last year we were not funding programmes such as Bachelor of Medical in Emerging Science but now students have the option to undertake this course as well through our funding,” Mr Maharaj said.
“What we have seen traditionally is that there is a shift as almost all students are applying for medical category without realising the fact that they have other opportunities with easier marketability such as climate change,” he added.
Mr Maharaj further informed that while Accounting and Economics remain a priority area TSLB, has for the first time expanded that list to include areas such as Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations, Management and Public Administration.
Mr Maharaj told the students that they are gathered at the Open Day today for the University to give them an option to understand its environment, programmes being offered, look at the various facilities on campus and allow them to make an informed decision in terms of which programmes they will choose.
He pointed out that in doing so it is critical for the students to expand their knowledge beyond the limited scope that they have from high schools and start looking at careers beyond the traditional subject combinations.
Additionally, he emphasised that students must look at what programmes are more marketable today than those traditionally being offered.
“Whilst the TELS funding is open for programmes that students want to pursue, it is critical that while visiting the booths you discuss the options with the academics regarding certain programs that are more marketable,” Mr Maharaj told the students. #
Ms Devika Ram, student officer at the Lautoka Campus, assists secondary school students with information during the Open Day.
This, he added, will help students to align themselves with the human resource requirement of the country.
Mr Maharaj further informed that the TELS board has already discussed with the Ministry of Education to start empowering students of Year 10 from next year as after Year 10 students are in the process of choosing their desired subject combinations and start inculcating the culture of thinking about their career from that level rather than deciding in term three of Year 13 when it might be too late for them.
He reminded the students to explore as many opportunities as possible and not limit their scope to one particular area while thoroughly discussing with the University academics and their teachers before applying for a loan with TELS.
Meanwhile, Mr Maharaj commended the Lautoka Campus staff for organising the Open Day for the Western schools, giving students the opportunity to explore the many areas of interest they have and what USP has on offer for them.
Dr Pramila Devi, Lautoka Campus Director informed that the 2018 Open Day gave an opportunity to all the students to see different facilities and courses being offered by the University through Lautoka campus.
She revealed that an opportunity was given to the students to discuss with the academic staff from all of their faculties regarding various programmes being offered at the Campus along with acquiring necessary documentary information.
According to Dr Devi, more than twenty five (25) schools with close to 2,200 students from around the Western Division visited the Campus in Lautoka for the Open Day.
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