140,000 students miss out on state loans as money runs out

Some 140,000 students in public universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges have missed out on state loans after the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) ran out of cash, setting them up for challenges raising alternative funds for tuition, accommodation and upkeep, writes Lynet Igadwah for Business Daily.

HELB told parliament on Wednesday 22 March that the students would have to wait till the treasury releases KES5.7 billion (US$43 million) for onward disbursement to them. The majority of loan applicants come from poor households and require financial support from HELB to pay for their tuition and upkeep. “Currently we have 140,000 students in TVETs and universities that we have not been able to fund, to the tune of KES5.7 billion, because we have run out of the budget that we had presented to treasury of KES4.5 billion,” said HELB Chief Executive Charles Ringera.

The 140,000 students are almost double the 75,000 that the agency could not fund during a similar period last year when the treasury delayed disbursements of KES3 billion. The delayed disbursement means that the students, most of whom are first years, will have to find alternative means of paying for their tuition, accommodation and upkeep as they await government funding.
Full report on the Business Daily site