HELB Loan Update 2 (27-01-2015) – Helb sets loan ceiling at Sh. 50,000
The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) has reduced the highest allocation per student by 20 per cent for freshmen who are expected to start receiving funds Tuesday, after a four-month delay.
Helb says the near-doubling of first-time applications to 110,000 has seen the agency reduce the maximum loan amount to Sh50,000 from Sh60,000 per academic year.
“The unprecedented number of applicants caught us off-guard; we had to allocate funds to a larger number of students than we had anticipated,” said Charles Ringera, the Helb chief executive officer.
First year students who joined public universities and tertiary technical institutions from last September have been surviving without the loans needed to pay for meals, housing and personal upkeep.
Mr Ringera says last year’s re-basing of the economy, which showed that Kenya is now a middle-income country with a per capita income of Sh113,386 ($1,246), also indicates that students generally require less support from the State to finance their university education than they did previously.
“The system we use to calculate and allocate loans factors in the income of a beneficiary’s parents or guardians. Since the economy was rebased, their improved earnings have been captured by the system.”
Helb’s maximum allocation has remained at Sh60,000 for more than six years while the minimum allocation is Sh35,000.
The Sh60,000 is given to disadvantaged students like orphans, after confirming their economic and social status in a verification process that Helb concluded last week.
Students, however, claim that these funds are not enough given the higher cost of living, leaving Helb – which is grappling with funding inadequacies – with a tough balancing act.
Freshman loan applications to Helb last year increased by 96 per cent to 110,000 from the 56,000 that the State agency received and processed the previous year.
Approximately 90,000 of these applications came from undergraduate students and another 20,000 from students picked to join Technical, Industrial, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training institutions.
“Out of the 110,000 first-time applicants, 65,000 qualified for loans but not all will benefit in one phase,” said Mr Ringera. “With such an increase, no one can say we failed to plan: we have been sitting in meetings but the number is far beyond our capacity.”
The disbursement brings to an end a prolonged wait for students who have had to survive one semester without the crucial funds.
The Kenya University Students Organisation had issued a strike notice to pressure Helb release the funds but called it off at the last minute after the State agency promised to comply.
—End 0f Helb Loan Update —-
Visit the link below to access the Higher Education Loans Board – HELB Loan application forms and check your HELB loan status and disbursement in Kenya for all categories ie First time Applicants,Postgraduate/Continuing Education,Scholarship Forms…etc
HELB Website: http://www.helb.co.ke/
HELB Application forms, HELB loan status and loan disbursement
HELB Loans and Bursaries links, Click the links as follows:
1. Apply for a Loan – Helb application forms
2. Apply for a Bursary – Helb bursary application
3. Apply for Scholarship – Helb scholarship application
4. Enquiries – Helb Enquiris
5. Loan Status – Helb Loan Status
Helb Loan Status and Repayment
HELB Website: www.helb.co.ke and Contacts
Physical Address: University Way, Anniversary Towers, 18th Floor,
Postal Address: P.O. Box 69489 – 00400, NAIROBI, Kenya.
Tel: +254 711 052 000 020 2278000
HELB Loan E-mail Addresses:
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About Higher Education Loans Board – HELB Loan
The Higher Education Loans Board, HELB, is the leading financier of higher education in Kenya. It is a State Corporation under the then Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. HELB was established by an Act of Parliament (Cap 213A) in 1995.The mandate of the Board is to disburse loans, bursaries and scholarship to students pursuing higher education in recognized institution. HELB provides affordable loans bursaries and scholarship to Kenyans pursuing higher education. Key among the responsibilities of the Board is sourcing funds, establishing, managing and awarding loans bursaries and scholarships to Kenyans pursuing higher education in recognized institutions. Through the Act, the Board has been able to recover funds loaned out to Kenyans in the past.
History of Higher Education Loans Board and HELB Loan
The genesis of the Higher Education Loans Board dates back to 1952 when the then colonial government awarded loans under the then Higher Education Loans Fund [HELF] to Kenyans pursuing university education in universities outside East Africa notably Britain, USA, former USSR, India and South Africa. Students who were pursuing university education in universities outside East Africa and were not on scholarships were advanced loans by the then government against securities such as Land Title Deeds, Insurance policies and Written Guarantees. However by 1974, provision of education in general had expanded intensely as a result of the heavily subsidized primary and secondary education and the general yearning for education by most Kenyan families. Consequently, the number of students seeking university education had grown to an extent that it was becoming increasingly difficult to adequately finance university education by providing full scholarships and grants by the Government.
The Government therefore introduced the University Students Loans Scheme (USLS), which was managed by the Ministry of Education. Under the scheme, Kenyan students pursuing higher education at Makerere, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam universities received loans to cover their tuition and personal needs, which they would repay on completion of their education. However, the University Students Loans Scheme (USLS) was plagued with a number of problems right on the onset. It lacked the legal basis to recover matured loans from loanees. In addition, the general public and university students wrongly perceived that the loan was a grant from the government, which was not to be repaid.
In order to address this problem, in July 1995 the Government through an act of Parliament established the Higher Education Loans Board to administer the Student Loans Scheme. In addition, the Board is empowered to recover all outstanding loans given to former university students by the Government of Kenya since 1952 through HELF and to establish a Revolving Fund from which funds can be drawn to lend out to needy Kenyan students pursuing higher education. The establishment of a revolving fund was also expected to ease pressure on the exchequer in financing education, which currently stands at 40% of the annual national budget.