63000 University Students Miss Out On HELB Loans
63,000 university students have missed out on the High Education Loans Board (HELB) loan. This figure represents nearly half the number of students who were selected to join university this month under government sponsorship.
According to The Star, in 2020, 142,540 students qualified for admission to a university but those who got the HELB loans were only 128,073 students. 14,467 students missed out on government sponsorship.
In 2021 only 75,000 students are set to be awarded HELB loans with HELB allocating Sh. 3.2 billion was allocated for this.
63,073 have now missed out on HELB load putting their ability to pay for their education in jeopardy.
HELB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Charles Ringera revealed on Wednesday that students who qualify for the loans will get around Sh. 37,000 which is a downward revision from the previous Sh. 45,000 in recent years.
According to the HELB CEO, the change in the number of those who shall be awarded the HELB loan as well as the reduction in the amount allocated to those awarded the loans is due to the reduced amount of budgetary allocation.
“Our budget was reduced by Sh. 1 billion in 2021. Compared with 2020, we received Sh. 16.8 billion in 2020 but in this year we received 15.8 billion and this obviously affects the provision of loans,” said the HELB CEO.
First-year students have been streaming to universities since Monday. In the ongoing admission to universities, 6,733 students are set to be admitted to Kenyatta University, with 6,407 set to join the University of Nairobi, 6,529 to JKUAT while 5,489, 5,187 and 4,039 are set to join Mount Kenya University, Moi University and Egerton University respectively.
Missing out on HELB loans is not the only setback this years’ university freshers are set to suffer from. The laptop loan that was to be launched this year is also in the dust.
The laptop loan was an initiative that was seen as a great move to help in online or virtual teaching and learning in universities in case there is a COVID-19 wave-enforced lockdown.
Now with the economic recession being experienced all over the world due to CoVID-19, students will have to wait a little longer for the initiative to be revived.
“Even though we have made progress, learners will have to wait a little longer before the plan is actualized because the treasury did not allocate money for laptops,” said Ringera.
HELB petitioned parliament to consider allocating them Sh. 2.5 billion to begin with for half the number of students (61,000) joining the university in their first year. If the plan could have been actualized, students could have received Sh. 44,000 loan to buy laptops under the economic stimulus package.