government releases Ksh14.4B loans for students in public varsities

Machogu students
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu speaking at a recent function.

The government has released Ksh14.4 billion as the second tranche to cover scholarships and loans for Government-sponsored First Year students in universities under the New Higher Education Funding Model, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has said.

In a press statement seen by Education News, Machogu also noted that the loans will also cover semester two of the 2023/2024 Academic Year loans for continuing students.

Of the total amount, Ksh10.39 billion will go towards loans under the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) while Ksh3.98 billion will be disbursed for scholarships through the Universities Fund (UF).

This brings to Ksh23.6 billion the total amount released by the Government for loans and scholarships to First Year students since they joined their respective universities starting September 2023.

In October last year, the Government disbursed Ksh5.3 billion for student loans and a further Ksh3.9 billion for scholarships for First Years under the New Funding Model and Ksh10.3 billion was released to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) in September 2023 to cater for continuing students loans in Universities and TVET colleges.

“Beneficiaries of the First Year loans and scholarships are those who successfully made their applications through the Higher Education Financing portal (www.hef.co.ke) that we officially launched on the 31st of August 2023. The Ksh14.4 billion will be disbursed based on the applicant’s individual level of need under the New Funding Model,” read the statement in part.

“Under the model, the Universities Fund will disburse funds directly to individual universities for the successful candidates to cover their tuition fees. On its part HELB will disburse tuition loans directly to respective universities/colleges and upkeep loan to the respective student bank accounts or mobile phone numbers. Universities will receive the scholarship portions for their respective students by Friday, January 19, 2024,” it read further.

The categorization of students was realized through the Means Testing Instrument (MTI), used to determine the student’s level of financial need to ensure they are supported adequately.

The New Higher Education Funding Model applies to the students who sat for KCSE from the year 2022 going forward. Candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examination in 2023 will form the second cohort of students to be subjected to the new funding model.

Further, CS Machogu reiterated the Government’s unwavering commitment to promoting access to university education and providing financial support to students.

By Our Reporter

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