Ugandan government has committed Shs6 billion to support 1500 students that will qualify for the new cohort of the loan scheme and at least 100 continuing students in the 2021/22 academic year, Micheal Wanyama, the executive director of the Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB), said Monday.
Applications opened today, October 11, and they will end on November 30.
“I, therefore, announce to all prospective applicants that the Board is now open for applications for the 8th Cohort of the study loans under the Students’ Loan Scheme from eligible Ugandan students who have been admitted under the listed Undergraduate Diploma and Degree programmes for the Academic Year 2021/22 in the Public Universities, Private Chartered Universities and the listed Other Tertiary Institutions,” the director said in a statement.
To apply, a student must be a Ugandan citizen, admitted to pursue an accredited STEM diploma or undergraduate degree program in higher education institutions approved by the board, have a financial need, and joining university as a first-year student or continuing student.
Academic programs approved for the loans are currently tenable at 22 chartered universities (10 public and 12 private chartered universities) and 36 other tertiary institutions (OTIs) in Uganda.
Students already benefiting from other scholarship schemes are not eligible.
Applicants need an admission letter from a participating university, a national ID, copies of academic certificates, a birth certificate, and three most recent passport photos.
You also have to present a sketch map of current residence, a recommendation from the former school, LCI chairperson and Town Clerk or sub-county chief.
A total of 11,187 students have borrowed money from the government to attend higher education, Wanyama said.
According to the director, since the introduction of the Students’ Loan Scheme in 2014 — 9,632 students have borrowed money to obtain undergraduate degrees and 1,555 for undergraduate diplomas.
The loans cover 130 degree programs and 76 undergraduate diploma courses mainly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), which is in line with the requirements of NDP 111 that emphasize science courses that will accelerate economic development in the Country.
These courses are currently tenable at 22 chartered universities (10 public and 12 private chartered universities) and 36 other tertiary institutions (OTIs) in Uganda.
According to the current statistics, the overall enrollment in Higher Education Institutions went up by 8.3% (that is 21,211 students) from 254,043 students in the FY2015/2016 to 275,254 in the FY2019/2020.
In the same period, HESFB offered loans to 10,041 beneficiaries (about 50%) to study Higher Education programs.
The 2016 Africa Higher Education Student Survey Project showed that almost 30% of students who join university never finish their courses on time or just drop out due to failure to raise fees.
So, for the FY2020/21, Parliament appropriated Shs500 million to cater for continuing students effective AY2021/22.
“The funds will be directed to the finalists in the 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd year depending on the years of programme. In the subsequent years this will cover all continuing students as the funding grows,” Wanyama said.
For more information,you can visit the Board’s website.