Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Solomons To Spend $67.7 Million To Improve College
Transition from college to university to begin in 2013

By Denver Newter

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 10, 2012) – The Solomon Island Government (SIG) will provide SB$500 million [US$67.6 million] over the next five years as part of its commitment to support and upgrade the Solomon Islands national university (SINU) next year.

This will be a SB$100 million [US$13.5 million] support per year starting next year when the country’s national university kicks off its operation.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo announced this last week at the last graduation of the Solomon Island College of Higher Education (SICHE) in Honiara.

As announced by the government as of next year, SICHE will be upgraded to a university status – news described by many as timely.

Mr. Lilo during Friday’s ceremony said the funding support allocated is to demonstrate its commitment by National Coalition for Reform and Advancement (NCRA) Government each year for the next few years to support the transition of SICHE into SINU.

PM Lilo said NCRA policy is to expand tertiary education and access to Solomon Islanders.

"It is in pursuit of that policy that the current Solomon Islands National University Bill is brought to parliament.

"Many institutions and stakeholders have been consulted on the Bill and many of our education specialists have been engaged in the process," PM Gordon Darcy Lilo said.

He however noted that some useful comments have been offered by the Bills and Legislation Committee of the National Parliament and these have been addressed both as part of the drafting for the revised Bill and also as part of capacity building towards the transition.

"I must say that all these are issues which can be addressed within appropriate frameworks and should not detract from the noble goal of providing accessible education to our people.

"To demonstrate my government commitment, the NCRA Government has made available SB$100 million each year for transition of SICHE into SINU in the next five years," Mr. Lilo said.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo was the guest speaker for the Friday Graduation.

Solomon Star
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