Victoria University (VU) Kampala, Uganda’s leading transformational university has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Higher Education Students Financing Board on the Students Loan Scheme to enable less-privileged students complete their studies.
The MoU which was signed on September 19, 2022 at Victoria University Main Campus covers students enrolled in selected universities and tertiary institutions and Victoria now joins other 22 institutions in running the Students Loan Scheme funded by the government of Uganda.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Micheal Wanyama the Executive Director Students Financing Board congratulated VU students for reaching that far and applauded VU for attaining the Charter Status..
“I want to congratulate Victoria University for attaining a charter, am glad that you took that step. You now have all it takes to provide education support through a loan scheme, having acquired a charter. Students who are here, we know tuition rates are high but since we are here, i want to see all these numbers on graduation day”.
Mr. Wanyama added that the HESFB project since its launch in 2014 has seen over 12780 students secure high-quality education in accredited Ugandan universities, further adding that the loans come with no collateral but only typical qualifications of a student admitted into an institution of higher learning such as (a students ID, admission letter and academic qualifications).
“Parents and students fear applying for these students Loans thinking that we shall take their property in case they fail to back the loan, in this case, we don’t request for collateral security amongst students and parents, but they are required to pay the loan after completing studies,” Mr Wanyama said.
He noted that the loan scheme is only for students enrolled in selected universities and tertiary institutions basically for science-related disciplines.
However, Wanyama said “Students with disabilities unlike other applicants, can pursue also arts courses. The rest of the students are only supported on the condition that they do sciences and are admitted to an accredited University.”
Dr. Lawrence Muganga – the University Vice Chancellor said that they have embraced the Students Loan Scheme to continue helping students, who are looking for high quality and affordable education in the country.
“At Victoria University, we offer hands-on, technology-based education and applied research which are essential to the productivity and prosperity of the country and the region. We always strive to ensure that our graduates have the knowledge, skills, and competencies employers want. Our graduates leave Victoria University with soft skills, quality degrees, confidence, prepared, and in demand. The Students Loan Scheme, will in effect, help move students access this quality of education.”
“I am glad that HESFB has picked interest in taking on our students to benefit from the Government Students Loan scheme. This will see more students apply and complete studies now,” Muganga added.
Prof. Muganga however explained that the Students Loan Scheme is privileged for students enrolled for science-technology-engineering and mathematics courses (STEM), and the tourism & hospitality program only with proof that they cannot fund their tuition.
Also important to note is that students with special needs- i.e; the disabled are eligible to apply for the loan (even when they’re to pursue any arts course), and are given higher priority.
Mr. Bob Nuwagaba, the head of public relations at HESFB says the loan is payable after one has finished the course in a three-year period, plus an additional year for the grace period. This means one has six to eight years to finance his/her loan to full payment.
He once again assured the students that there is no security needed or asked for to get the loans but only a few requirements such as a national ID, academic certificate for the UACE and UCE, a map of your current and home location to be eligible for the loan.
A student who has received the loan shall start re-paying the loan at least one (1) year after completing his/her course.
About the HESFB
The Ministry of Education and Sports under its mandate has started the implementation of Financing Higher Education studies for Ugandans through the Higher Education Students’ Financing Act, 2014 by setting up the Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB).
The objective of the Board is to increase equitable access to higher education in Uganda and also support qualified students who may not afford higher education.
The Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB) has been established to address the problem of inequitable access to higher education by many Ugandan citizens given the large number of dropouts due to their inability to meet the costs of higher education.