After nearly seven years of waiting, the Higher Education Student’s Financing Board (HESFB) will effective this academic year 2021/2022, start awarding study loans to continuing students pursuing science related diploma and degree programmes.
The window for this opportunity according to HESFB will be open for continuing students this October 2021.
This time, according to the Board Executive Director Michael Wanyama, priority will be given to only needy finalists struggling to finish their study programmes due to lack of tuition fees. In it’s 27th meeting, Mr Wanyama said, the HESFB approved funds directed to finalists in the 5th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd years depending on the study duration of the programme.
In subsequent years, Wanyama said the board will cover all continuing students as the fund grows.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) ABOUT HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENT’S FINANCING BOARD AND THE LOAN SCHEME
Question: What is Higher Education Students’ Financing Board?
This is a Board intended to provide loans and scholarships to Ugandan students who have qualified for higher education in recognized institutions of higher learning but are unable to support themselves financially.
Question: Why Higher Education Students’ Financing Board?
It is intended to address the following objectives:-
1 To increase equitable access to technical and higher education in Uganda;
2 To support highly qualified Ugandan students who may not afford higher education;
3 To ensure regional balance in higher education services in Uganda;
4 To develop and support courses critical to national development and to ensure quality education in public institutions through quality assurance and supervision.
5 To ensure sustainable revolving loans fund.
Question: Who is eligible for the loans?
The scheme is meant for Ugandan students seeking financial assistance to pursue an accredited course of study or pro-gramme of higher education in an accredited institution of higher learning recognized by the National Council for Higher Education.
* The Board will determine the Students’ eligibility into the scheme and shall take with consideration the regional balance, gender, social economic needs and equity.
* The Board may, by notice in the Gazette and a newspaper of wide national coverage, declare the programmes or courses of study to be funded in a particular academic year.
* An applicant must demonstrate that they cannot afford the costs for Higher ducation.
Question: What does the loan cover?
1) A loan shall cover the following:-
* Tuition fees;
* Functional fees; and
* Research fees;
Aids and appliances for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs)
2) In future, a loan may include specified amounts in respect of accommodation or meals, where the Board determines that the funds are sufficient to provide those items, in addition to the fees prescribed in 1) above.
Question: What will be the grace period?
* A person who has received a student loan shall start repaying the loan with the specified interest at least one year after completing higher education for which the loan was given.
Question: What is the loan amount?
* The loan amount varies from course to course and from institution to institution since there is no uniform cost.
Question: What level of education does the loan cover?
It will cover the following programmes in the phased manner starting with under graduate programmes;
Diplomas and professional Certificates
Post graduate (Diplomas and Masters)
Question: Who benefited from the initial students’ loans?
The Student Loan Scheme initially offered loans to students pursuing their first degrees (Undergraduates) in local public and private chartered universities. The programs to be awarded loans are decided upon by the Board with the approval of the Minister. Currently, continuing students also have an opportunity to apply for this loan.
Question: What does one require to apply for a loan?
Application for loan shall be as follows:-
(1) An eligible student may apply to the Board for the loan.
(2) Every application shall be accompanied with;
* A copy of admission letter from the university/institution
* A valid identification document
* Copies of certified academic certificates or result slips and transcripts
* A copy of birth certificate or a passport
* Three most recent passport photos
* Prescribed/application fees
* A reference letter from an individual in social standing
* Fully filled completed application form
* Accurate present residence/home sketch map
* Students shall apply for the Loan after being admitted at the Higher Education Institution.
Question: Will the Loan attract Interest?
Every student loan shall be repayable with interest.
The interest shall be determined by the Minister of Education and Sports in consultation with the Minister responsible for Finance and upon the recommendation of the Board.
Question: How is the loan disbursed?
HESFB upon receipt of an invoice from the institution and the loan beneficiary will remit to the University’s account all amounts applied for by the student on semester basis.
Question: Where do I apply for the Loan?
Application forms shall be available at the selected Commercial Banks; Office of the dean of students; the Board’s website; hesfb.go.ug and the Ministry website http://www.education.go.ug. Students are advised to apply for the loan after being admitted at the university but before the opening date to allow ample time for processing and remittance. Applicants will be required to pay processing fee as determined by the Board.
Question: Is a student allowed to pay back the loan earlier before the end of the grace period?
Early repayments are accepted. Early re-payment is also allowed and the Board shall determine the manner in which to make repayments.
Question: Can a student who has already gotten the loan be disqualified?
A student shall be disqualified on the following grounds:
a) Failure to progress academically
b) Change of citizenship from being a Ugandan national
c) Discovery of document falsification/ Provision of false information under the disguise of impersonation
Question: Can one get a Loan or exit during the time of study?
Yes, the scheme is a multi entry and multi exit scheme, such that you can apply for the loan ONLY AND ONLY IF YOU WANT IT. A Student can choose when to get the loan and when not to get it.
Question: Is one required to pay back the loan if he/she fails to complete the course of study?
On failure to complete your course of study, the loan is re-called immediately and you will be required to start re-paying.
Question: Can one apply for a partial loan?
Yes, you are free to specify the amount of loan you need.
A List of Approved Public Universities 2021:
* Makerere University Kampala (Mak)
* Kyambogo University
* Mbarara University of Science and Technology
* Gulu University
* Busitema University
* Muni University
* Soroti University
* Lira University
* Kabale University
A List of Approved Private Chattered Universities:
* Kampala International University (KIU)
* Nkumba University
* Bugema University
* Ndejje University
* Uganda Christian University (UCU), Mukono
* Mountains of the Moon University
* Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), Mbale
* ISBAT University
* Uganda Martyr’s University, Nkozi
* Bishop Stuart University
* African Bible University