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Government releases Sh14.4 billion in loans and scholarships for students in public universities 

The Government has released Sh14.4 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 (CS) Dr. Ezekiel Machogu said that the loans would also cover semester two 2023/2024 Academic Year loans for continuing students.

In a statement on Thursday, Machogu said that of the total amount, Sh10.39 billion would go towards loans under the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) while Sh3.98 billion would be disbursed for scholarships through the Universities Fund (UF).

“This brings to Sh23.6 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,” said Machogu.

The CS explained that in October last year, the government disbursed Sh5.3 billion for student loans and a further Sh3.9 billion for scholarships for first years under the New Funding Model and Sh.10.3 Billion was released to 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,” said Machogu.

He added that the Sh14.4 billion would be disbursed based on the applicant’s individual level of need under the New Funding Model.

Machogu explained that under the model, the Universities Fund would 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 19th, 2024.

“The categorisation of students was realised through a reliable scientific method, 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,” said Machogu.

The CS said that candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examination in 2023 would form the second cohort of students to be subjected to the new funding model.

“The Ministry of Education wishes to express the Government’s unwavering commitment to promoting access to university education and providing financial support to students, to ensure no one is left behind,” said Machogu.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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