Study Loans: Absence of Board Frustrates Selection of Beneficiaries

At least 600 prospective needy learners who applied for study loans under the Higher Education Students’ Financing Board – HESFB will have to wait furthermore due to the absence of a board. 

The Previous Board members whose tenure of office expired in April this year included Rev. Fr. Prof. Callisto Locheng (Chairperson), Stephen Legesi Mwanika, Prof. Christine Dranzoa, Esther Kyozira, William Ndoleriire, Rev. Canon Dr. Alex Mugisha Kagume, Dr. Jane Egau Okou, and Solome Mayinja Luwaga. 

According to the Charter of the Board, each of the members is eligible to serve for two terms of four years each and with exception of two, six of the members had already served their two terms in office, which expired in April this year. 

Michael Wanyama, the Executive Director of the Board disclosed to URN in an interview on Friday that the selection of the loan beneficiaries has stalled due to the absence of the board.

He says that they received up to 3,089 loan applications from which, the Board is expected to select 600 beneficiaries to benefit from Shillings 2.5 billion for the academic year 2022/2023.

Wanyama further revealed that in August, names of nine new nominees representing different interest groups such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, University Chancellors Fora, workers and employers’ fraternity, National Union for Disabled Persons of Uganda and students were submitted to Cabinet pending approval.

Earlier on Tuesday, Boniface Okot, the Northern Youth Member of Parliament raised the issue of the unprecedented delay in the loan disbursement to beneficiaries on the floor of the House as a matter of national importance.

Speaker Anita Among directed the Ministry of Education and Sports to prepare and present a report on the delayed disbursement and award of the loans to the applicants, including their names to address queries on regional imbalance.

The Board was founded in 2014 and to date, up to 12,780 beneficiaries have been awarded the study loans. They include 10,839 undergraduate degrees and 1,941 undergraduate diplomas from across 22 Chartered Universities (10 Public and 12 Private Chartered Universities) and 36 Other Tertiary Institutions

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