The University Students’ Council has had talks with Education Minister Evarist Bartolo on the government’s proposal to give stipends for repeating sixth form students.

The council said it made a number of proposals to the minister, stressing that the scheme should not be such as to encourage students to repeat, but an incentive for the students to continue with their studies.

The stipends should not be given automatically but after application and consideration by the Stipends Maintenance Board in terms of pre-established criteria.

The criteria should include performance and results during the year, attendance for lectures and extra curricular activities. This would enable the authorities to draw a distinction between those who failed because of reasonable difficulties, and those who were negligent.