Solomon Islands is planning to set up a national university for local students and those from the surrounding region.

The Deputy Director of the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education, Dr Patricia Rodie, says the plan is to upgrade the college into a fully fledged university.

Dr Rodie says staff are in the process of converting the College's diploma courses up to degree level.

She says the university is set to be fully up and running next year.

"It's very important. We have a huge number of young people who are eligible for university study but who couldn't get a scholarship or even get into SICHE because of limited space. If we have this university and have the necessary infrastructure in place it will increase accessibility."

Patricia Rodie says the government has already committed 2.8 million US dollars to upgrade facilities and staff training.

A bill on the university will be discussed when parliament next sits.