Luanar students plead for loans
About 13 students at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) City Campus have been stopped from sitting exams for failing to pay tuition fees
The frustration, according to the students, is that they were not considered by the Higher Education Students Loans and Grants Board (HESLGB) in the loan scheme despite meeting all criteria.
One of the concerned students, Timothy Grant, who was among the students who petitioned Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) on Wednesday, said all the challenges are coming in because they have been denied loans for two years.
He said some of the students from the campus were taken on loan in 2015 and then they were not considered in the subsequent years for the loans.
“Almost 80 percent of students at City Campus are needy and most have paid nothing to pay for their tuition while some have paid at least 25 percent of the tuition. This has resulted in most of us being exempted from taking the examinations,” he said.
Commenting on the petition, Csec Research Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Peter Kayenda said President Peter Mutharika who is also Luanar Chancellor should be informed of the matter and intervene on such matters.
He also said HESLGB should improve on systematic efficiency.
“It is obvious that the decision taken by Luanar administration is likely to negatively affect second and third year students who are expected to start their examinations on March, 26 2018. We implore the Loans Board to strengthen their financial management and accountability systems,” he said.
HESLGB Executive Director, Chris Chisoni, however, said the board is only mandated to support generic students.
“When being selected to such facilities, the students are aware of the conditions and know and agree to the terms and conditions and also they apply knowing they have economic capacity as fees for such facilities are relatively higher,” he said.
Since many public universities increased their tuition fees, many students have been struggling with others withdrawing from studies because of failure to raise tuitions funds.
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