Fiji Government allocates $53.5m for USP in national budget, restores annual grant


Image credit: Fiji Government Facebook Page



The University of the South Pacific will receive a total funding $53.5 million from Fiji’s 2023-2024 National Budget, with $20m allocated towards clearing Fiji’s outstanding grants to the regional institution on top of the annual grant of $33.5m, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad.

While announcing the much-anticipated budget on June 30, Prof Prasad said the Coalition Government was committed to clearing the outstanding dues to USP, and paid $10m to USP as soon as they took office.

He said the previous government held back more than $80m in committed funds that Fiji’s own students needed for their education.

“The education sector is given the highest allocation in this Budget to a tune of $845m. A lot of haphazard changes and reforms without consultation have caused major problems within the education system,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad delivered the 2023-2024 National Budget on June 30 in Parliament. Image credit: Fiji Government Facebook Page

“The Ministry of Education is allocated a total budget of $505.4m, an increase of $18.4m.

“The salaries and wages budget for the Ministry has been increased from $318.1m to $322.6m to cater for the funding for the more than 14,000 existing teachers and newly established 179 new teaching and non-teaching positions at the ministry.”

In a statement, USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia welcomed the allocations for USP in the 2023-2024 National Budget as well as the restoration of the Government’s annual contribution.

He said the $10m paid earlier provided much-needed financial relief and was used to support staff, enabled the University to begin addressing deferred maintenance and contributed to providing quality student experience.

“This is indeed a strong signal of Fiji’s confidence in the regional institution, and I know other member governments will be very pleased with this ongoing commitment,” Prof Ahluwalia said.

“Education is the great leveller and is the best tool for achieving economic and social mobility, inclusion, and equality.

“This budget is testament of government’s steadfast resolve to create opportunities for communities in that regard.”

Prof Ahluwalia also recognised and acknowledged the new scholarship structure under the rebranded Fijian Scholarship Scheme.

He said the University looked forward to delivering quality and globally recognised tertiary education to Fijians and all regional member countries.

Below are highlights from Fiji’s 2023-2024 National Budget: (Graphs – Fiji Government)


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