The Government is planning to increase the number of Solomon Islands students studying in PNG institutions in 2009, with UniTech expected to again host the largest number of students.

On a visit to the UniTech's Taraka campus last Friday, Solomon Islands High Commissioner to PNG Bernard Bata'anisia stated that, the Government had placed education and manpower training as a priority; therefore, it was looking to increase the number of students to PNG institutions.

"Because the development of the agricultural sector is vital, the Government is looking to send students to the Vudal University in East New Britain for the first time next year. Science and technology, engineering, business and commerce and computing were also priorities of the Government, and Unitech would see an increase in the number of Solomon Islands students from next year," continues Mr. Bata'anisia.

Mr Bata'anisia met UniTech's Vice Chancellor, Dr Misty Baloiloi and other members of the university's senior management, where he presented the tuition fees for the Solomon Islands students for this year totaling about 660-thousand-600 Kina.

Unitech is host to the largest number of Solomon Islands students this year, with 74 being sponsored by the Government and another five sponsored by AusAID and other donor agencies.

The high commissioner thanked UniTech and the other PNG institutions for assisting in the training of the country's manpower.