The Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB) has awarded loans to at least 2,950 students to pursue diploma and undergraduate courses this academic year 2018/19.
This is the fifth time that the Board is awarding loans to students pursuing Higher Education at both the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions bringing the total to 8,197 students awarded loans in various 20 Universities and 33 Other Tertiary Institutions.
The loans awarded to students shall cover the students’ tuition fees, functional fees, research fees payable to Tertiary Institutions and funds to cover Aids and Appliances for persons with disabilities. The funds for loans shall be disbursed directly to the tertiary institutions but not to the beneficiaries.
Addressing the press at the Media Center, the Chairperson Higher Education Students’ Financing Board Callisto Locheng, noted that the Board received a total of 4,603 applications compared to 4,218 received in 2017/18 adding that this signifies a growth of 9% in the applications received.
“I am happy to report that all the Districts from which we received applications have successful loan applicants. Therefore, the results present a national outlook and regional balance. This time round however, we didn’t receive applicants from Moroto and Nakapripit,” Locheng said.
He also noted that the board awarded loans to persons with disabilities on affirmative action to pursue humanities and a total of 31 students with disabilities were awarded loans to pursue Humanity courses ( 20 male and 11 female).
According to Locheng, there has been an increase in the number of Universities admitting students taking loans to 20 Universities this academic year 2018/19 and a host of other diploma awarding institutions.
According to the chairperson, the approved Universities for the academic year 2018/19 include:
|S/No||Public Universities||S/No||Private Chartered Universities|
|1||Makerere University||1||Ndejje University|
|2||Kyambogo University||2||Nkumba University|
|3||Busitema University||3||Uganda Martyrs’ University|
|4||Gulu University||4||Uganda Christian University|
|5||Muni University||5||Bugema University|
|6||Kabale University||6||Islamic University in Uganda|
|7||Mbarara University of Science & Technology||7||Kampala International University|
|8||Lira university||8||Bishop Stuart University|
|9||Soroti university||9||Kampala University|
|10||Makerere university Business school||10||Mt of the moon|
Universities participating in the Financing Scheme for the first time according to the chairperson include: – Mountains of the Moon University in Fort portal which is the latest Private University to attain a Charter and Makerere University Business School which was approved in consideration of the much needed support for Students with Disabilities to pursue Business related programmes.
He addeed that there has been an increase in the approved undergradiate programmes from 76 in 2017/18 to 126 in 2018/19 including four courses in humanities for affirmative action to cater for persons with disabilities. The courses on affirmative action are bachelor of laws; bachelor of arts with education;bachelor of social sciences and bachelor of psychology. The diploma programmes also increased from 63 to 71 programmes in areas of science and technology.
The Minister of State for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo, attributed the success of the loan scheme to the commitment by the government of Uganda to provide equal education for all.
“The Government of Uganda has registered yet another great milestone in achieving the education sector objective of increasing equitable access to higher education,” he said.
The minister also called upon the loan beneficiaries to take their studies seriously and finish in time with excellent grades adding that “This will enable them get jobs and be able to pay back the loans so that other needy students also benefit from the same funds.”
The minister also noted that the Board has disbursed Shs 39 billion to 5,247 students and shall increase the funding to ensure that more students in the participating Universities and other tertiary institutions also qualify so as to widen access and give a chance to more needy students to attain Higher Education.
“A total of 1,751 students have completed their studies and are out in the field, some of them working while others are still looking for employment. The Board has given them a grace period of one year but also encourages early repayment incase you can afford. 628 students so far have completed the grace period and are expected to start repayment of the loans. These are loans and must be repaid back to create a revolving fund in order for others to benefit.”