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K4 billion students’ loans allocation depleted

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A sum of K4 billion that was allocated for student loans in the 2017/2018 budget has been used up.

Minister of Education, Bright Msaka, made the revelation in Parliament on

Friday when responding to Member of Parliament for Salima Central, Felix Jumbe, on failure by some students to access tertiary education due to challenges with fees. In his question, Jumbe highlighted the funding gap that is there for the students’ loans.

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“What policy is there to ensure that students who qualify for tertiary education have access to loans? What we hear at the moment is that out of about 10,000 people who qualified for loans, only about 3600 of them were given the loans,” Jumbe said.

The question appeared to have caught Msaka offguard, who nonetheless responded.

“All Malawians are eligible to access the loans, whether they are in public or private tertiary institutions. About K4 billion that was allocated [for loans in the 2017/2018 budget], was consumed within a very short period. I will be making a statement on the issue very soon,” Msaka said.

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Currently, some students are struggling to access the loans, with others being forced to withdraw, having completely failed to get the loans.

The Higher Education Students Loans Board (HESLB) administers the loans.

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