All qualifying continuing university students in the country will now benefit from the government’s students’ loan scheme, The Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB) has announced.
Speaking to journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Monday afternoon, HESFB Executive Director, Michael Wanyama said that the targeted continuing students are those from the twenty two (22) registered public and private universities and thirty six (36) other tertiary institutions.
Wanyama said that the scheme has been operating since 2014, but only targeting first year students. It has now opened its doors to absorb continuing students, following numerous calls from stakeholders and the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected incomes of many parents.
“I am happy to announce that in the 2021/22 academic year, the Higher Education Students Financing Board (HESFB) will be receiving applications from final year students who need financial intervention to finalize their programmes of study,” Wanyama said.
Under this arrangement, students from higher institutions of learning who qualify are given loans to facilitate their tuition, functional and all related school dues, a fee which they pay back to government on completing studies.
Wanyama also revealed that continuing students would have been incorporated into this arrangement years back, but this was constrained by shortage of funds.
Parliament however intervened and appropriated an additional Shs. 500 million to cater for the continuing students effective this 2021/22 financial year.
Wanyama said that the board will now give priority to students from at least 130 major degree programmes and 76 undergraduate diploma courses mainly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). This however according to Wanyama will be spread out to other courses as the funding continues to grow.
ELIGIBILITY FOR THE CONTINUING STUDENTS LOAN SCHEME FOR 2021/22 ACADEMIC YEAR
- Applicants must be Ugandans.
2. Applicants must be in their final year of study.
3. Pursuing any of HESFB’s approved STEM programmes or programmes approved under affirmative action.
4. Must be studying from any of the approved Higher Education Institutions, that is, all public universities, all 12 chartered private universities, all listed other tertiary institutions.
5. Applicant must demonstrate a financial need.
6. Applicants shall be appraised under the Means Testing Instrument.