Minister of Higher Education Dr Ibrahim Hassan revealed on Wednesday that MVR 24 million was spent on the government's 'Free Education Scheme for Degree Students' to date.
Speaking at the Parliament's Committee on National Development and Heritage, Deputy Minister of Higher Education Aishath Shafeena stated that 5,679 students are currently studying under the government's degree scheme.
She also revealed that only 60 percent of the students' loan applications have been processed and funds granted so far. However, she assured that the remaining students are still under the 'Free Education Scheme for Degree Students' although their funds are yet to be issued.
According to the deputy minister, 1,691 forms were received for refunds, and 3,089 forms for payments from universities and colleges.
Responding to a question posed by a parliament member, Dr Ibrahim Hassan stated that payments were delayed over pending invoices from the respective colleges and universities of students.
Under the scheme, the government provides applicable funds upon receiving receipts from universities and colleges.
The minister also revealed that due to the delays in the process, talks are underway to transfer the funds directly to students. He added that funds per semester would be issued separately.
So far, the government is issuing full scholarships only for students registered at two universities.