The Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB) has in the 27th meeting, approved to gazette funding for continuing students, to start with Final year students who are struggling to finish their study programmes.
Since 2014, the Board has been implementing the Students’ Loan Scheme in a bid to increase access to Higher Education and support highly qualified Ugandan students who may not afford Higher Education.
However, in the last seven years, eligibility into the Student Loan Scheme was open only to students joining in their first year of study and these would be funded till they finalize their studies.
This was in line with the key objective of increasing equitable access to higher education to those who had finalized their basic education levels.
Now with the new move, the funds will be directed to the finalists in the 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd years depending on the years Of the programme. In the subsequent years, this will cover all continuing students as the funding grows.
Michael Wanyama the Executive Director HESFB announced on Monday morning that in the AY2021/22, the Higher Education Students Financing Board will be receiving applicants from Final Year Students who need a financial intervention to finalize their Programmes Of Study.
He noted that over the years, the Board continued to register increasing calls and appeals from students, institutions and the public to consider continuing students who face financial challenges in the course of their studies thus affecting their progress in higher education.
“This was exasperated by the Covid-19 pandemic which affected the economy and people’s wellbeing in equal measure. The appeals for support in the last two years have grown tremendously. Earlier studies had revealed that there were high attrition rates in High Education Institutions due to failure to raise fees. According to the 2016 ‘Africa Higher Education Student Survey Project,’ almost 30% of all students in Uganda, who join university education on various degree programmes in various universities, never finish their courses on time, or just drop out” Wanyama said.
He noted that the delay was due to a shortage in funding. In the FY2020/21, Parliament of Uganda appropriated additional funding of UGX 500Million to cater for continuing students effective AY2021/22. “This is an answer to our prayers and a big relief to the appeals the Board has been receiving in the same respect.”
Eligibility for the Continuing Students Loan for the AY2021/22
Applicants must be Ugandan
- Applicant must be in their Final year of studies
- Pursuing any of the HESFB’s approved STEM programmes or Programmes approved under affirmative Action,
- To be studying from any of approved HEIS i.e. All Public Universities, all Chartered Private Universities, all Listed OTIs.
- Applicant must demonstrate a financial need.
- Applicants shall be appraised under the Means Testing Instrument.
The window for application to the Continuing Students Loan will open concurrently with the existing First Year’S Student Loan Opportunity in October 2021. The Selection process will be guided by the Means Test using proxy indicators that evidence the financial difficulties of each applicant.