The Parliament of Fiji approved the Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Service (Budget Amendment) Act 2023 [Bill No. 14 of 2023] on the 14th of July 2023 with reference to the forgiving of the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) debt. Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Service (TSLS) in conjunction with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS), would like to make the following announcement in relation to the approved law:


  1. The loan agreement for all the students who have studied under various schemes of TELS excluding the In-Service Scheme, will be converted to bond agreements.


  1. As of 31 July 2023, all outstanding TELS debt except for TELS In-Service Scheme will be converted into bond agreements.


  1. The students will not be required to pay their TELS debt but must demonstrate their service to the country through paid employment.


  1. The employment can be either in public service or private sector organisation.


  1. The bond service period will be determined through the years of study multiplied by one point five (1.5). They could obtain a clearance letter from FRCS if they have provided the service already.


  1. The Study Loan Agreement of continuing and existing students will be converted to bond agreements under this amendment. The provision of Loan repayment in the Study Loan Agreement for these students is superseded by the change in the TSLS Act. Students are not required to visit TSLS or FRCS to have their agreements changed.


  1. Graduates who studied on TELS and are currently residing overseas will continue to repay their loans through existing arrangements with FRCS. If for any reason they disengage from this arrangement, the pending debts will be recovered from their respective approved guarantors. The Accelerated Repayment Incentive (ARI) will continue to apply to these graduates.


  1. The requirement for nominated guarantors for travel clearance will remain for sponsored students who intend to travel abroad for medical, vacation and temporary work purposes. These students will need to obtain temporary travel clearance from FRCS after a Tuition and Allowance Statement is issued from TSLS.


  1. Those TELS-funded graduates, who are now on bond agreements and intend to migrate before the bond service period ends, will be required to pay the amount owed to the Government for the remaining period of bond service.


  1. TELS graduates who have fully or partially repaid their loans will not receive a reimbursement of their payments when the amendment to the Act comes into effect. For those that have partially paid their loans, the remaining amount will be converted into a bond agreement.

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