On the 19th of September 2019, The Higher Education Students Financing Board (HESFB) met Beneficiaries
from the loan scheme at the Kyambogo University Students Centre. In attendance were graduates from
Kyambogo University, KIU, Makerere University Business School, Makerere University, and Ndejje University
among others. This was the first cohort of beneficiaries that took the loan at its inception in 2014
The purpose of the move was to reach out to the beneficiaries and enable them to sign their repayment
Bob, the Public Relations Officer, Higher Education Students Financing Board said the beneficiaries are
supposed to communicate to the Board about when they will repay the loan and when they don’t, it prompts
them to come and reach out to them in their respective regions.
Their first intake started with 2014-2015 academic year and these were the first beneficiaries under the loan
scheme. The loan covers both diploma and degree students who do science courses in the areas of Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The loan covers tuition, functional and research fees. The loan is payable together with the applicable interest
one year after the study period on gaining employment. The one-year-after-study period is called the Grace
Period. The loan is expected to be repaid over a period twice the borrower’s study period.
The beneficiaries are expected to communicate every three months either through repayment or what is
happening in their lives. Bob said they haven’t encountered any debtors yet because this is the first group of beneficiaries they are dealing with. He adds however that, this is a statutory loan. According to the law, everyone gets a financial card so that in case he/she wants to get a loan, it will reflect that you have one.
If a person defaults, it will be triggered on government systems like the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of
Works to put a ban on them for example travel bans. It is by agreement, once a person knows they won’t be able
to repay, they don’t request for the loan.
Kyambogo University is one of the highest recipients of students benefiting from the loan scheme with over 1000
students. Kyambogo takes over 3bn UGX from Higher Education Students Financing Board per semester.
Eria Namomo (pictured), a beneficially under the students’ loan scheme graduated from Kyambogo University last year in December with Bachelor of Automotive and Power Engineering. He received a loan of UGX 11,790,000= that covered tuition for his four years at the University.
He said the loan scheme was so helpful because he was always assured of an examination card. ‘There was no interference during examination period’, he confessed.
He says even in the repayment system, he hasn’t found any challenges. The terms are favourable and you pay 170,000UGX which is affordable and more so it is even acceptable to negotiate and change the terms of payment. He said he has not yet started paying back the loan but hopes to start with effect from January next year.
The Higher Education Students’ Financing Board is a body established by an Act of Parliament to provide Loans and Scholarships to Ugandan Students to pursue higher education.