The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) has announced that all university students will receive their overdue January loans by Thursday 18 March.
“We have today (Monday) received the financial year 2020/21 quarter three capitation of Sh2.8 billion from the National Treasury. The pending student loan payments are currently being addressed and will be concluded by March 18,” Helb said in a tweet.
Helb disbursed up to Sh37,000 to students twice a year. Helb CEO Charles Ringera said the first disbursement is made in September for the first semester and by end of January for the second.
According to Ringera, Helb had delayed in disbursement because they had not received the funds from the treasury. None of the students had received their January disbursements and to make it worse, some students had not even received their first semester disbursements.
Two weeks ago, Moi University students held demonstrations after it emerged online that they were going hungry due to lack of funds. Some lecturers also strikes citing non-payment. The university wrote to Helb asking them to expedite the funds in efforts to save the students’ dire situation.
“Given that Helb provides about Sh37,000 currently then it means the students of the household has to raise another Sh162,000,” Ringera told the committee.
Geoffrey Muluvi, the chairman of the Vice-Chancellors Committee expressed relief, saying the funds will help institutions that were currently struggling to operate.
“The university sector is like a chain. When the students fail to pay fees then the operations in the institutions are affected as well; you find a problem in paying lecturers and running operations,” Muluvi told the Star by phone.