Higher Education Loan Board – Kenya was established in July 1995. However, the history of the board dates back to 1952 when the colonial government provided loans and scholarship under the Higher Education Loans Fund to Kenyan students pursuing higher education in universities outside East Africa, notably Britain, the US, the former USSR, India, and South Africa
By 1974, access to university education had expanded and the Government was finding it difficult to provide full scholarships and grants to students. As a result, the University Students Loans Scheme, which was managed by the Ministry of Education, was introduced.
Under the scheme, Kenyan students in Makerere University, University of Nairobi and University of Dar-es-Salaam received loans to meet tuition and personal needs, which they repaid on completion of their studies.
However, the University Students Loans Scheme faced many challenges as it had no legal basis to recover the matured loans. The main problem was that many students and the public perceived the loans as grants and scholarships from the Government. To address the problem, the Government set up HELB whose core mandate is to administer a students’ loans scheme.