It appears President William Ruto’s administration is following through on its vow to discontinue supporting students through the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).
After failing to receive the funding it required from Ruto’s administration, HELB declared that it will only serve roughly 40,000 first-year university students during the current 2022–2023 academic year.
This demonstrates how several organizations involved in finance and welfare for students’ higher education, including HELB and University Funding Board, have experienced budget difficulties (UFB).
Of the 105 000 students who sought for loans last year, the 40,000 represent almost 38% of the total. HELB loans are intended for maintaining and paying fees.
Instead, an additional 45,000 or so Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) students would receive loans, increasing the total number of recipients to 85,000.
In the most recent September intake, Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) placed more over 145,000 students, which means that nearly half either never applied or missed the HELB loan.
“The amount is determined by the budget. Out of the 105k loan applications, we will only grant loans to 40k university students, much like last academic year. Charles Ringera, the chief executive officer of HELB, said, “We have 140k in TVET and Universities that we are not going to support because of lack of money unless this additional (budget) being spoken about comes through.
The overshoot in the number of continuing students who turned to HELB last year to augment their finances amid the high cost of living that has generally hit-hard families with school-going children is also related to the low loaning to freshers.
The decrease in students receiving HELB coincides with several public universities raising their tuition rates, making higher education more expensive.