Students to wait longer for government loan

More than 20,000 joined private universities.

Wednesday January 6 2016

Higher Education Loans Board CEO Charles Ringera addressing participants during a stakeholders' convention at the Kenya Bankers' Sacco on August 5, 2015. Mr Ringera has said the board is waiting for money to give loans to 62,000 students who joined universities in September last year. PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Higher Education Loans Board CEO Charles Ringera addressing participants during a stakeholders' convention at the Kenya Bankers' Sacco on August 5, 2015. Mr Ringera has said the board is waiting for money to give loans to 62,000 students who joined universities in September last year. PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OUMA WANZALA
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First year university students will have to wait longer for funding after the National Treasury failed to release Sh4 billion to the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb).

Chief executive Charles Ringera said the board is waiting for the money to give loans to 62,000 students who joined universities in September last year.

“The Treasury is still holding about Sh2.5 billion in this financial year and another Sh1.5 billion which was to be given the previous year,” Mr Ringera told the Nation.

He said in case the government releases only Sh2.5 billion as it is planning to, then only 34,000 students will benefit.

A total of 67,790 students joined public universities under government sponsored programme while 12,000 others joined colleges.

More than 20,000 joined private universities. All the students are entitled to government funding.

“Students are losing patience but we hope the Treasury will release money, otherwise, first years will suffer,” Mr Ringera added.

Meanwhile, Mr Ringera said the board is hoping to collect about Sh3.6 billion by the end of this year from former beneficiaries.

But he said the collections should not be used to sponsor first years as this will affect continuing students.

Of the Sh10 billion the board is owed, about Sh2 billion is owed by beneficiaries in the diaspora.

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