The Higher Education Student Financing Board (HESFB) has asked Parliament to provide additional support to students on loan schemes who are failing to meet their living expenses.
The HESFB team led by Christopher Birungi, Acting Executive Director were presenting their budget performance for the Financial Year 2021/2022 and proposed budget for the Financial Year 2023/24 before the Committee on Education and sports on Wednesday, 12 April 2023.
Birungi appealed to the committee to engage government to support students from needy communities who cannot fend for themselves despite having the loan financing.
“Our loan covers tuition, functional fees and research without accommodation and welfare costs. We have made an appeal for consideration in case of vulnerable people coming from Karamoja and the northern region,” he said.
He said that so far 20 students who cannot afford accommodation and meals have dropped out of the loans scheme.
Birungi also told the committee that no students on the scheme had dropped out because of failure to clear university dues noting that the board has got a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with all universities that accommodate loan scheme students.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. John Ntamuhira Twesigye tasked the team to explain the distribution of the student loan scheme countrywide saying some districts had been left behind.
Bbosa Kizito, the Director of Operations at the Board said that they have tried to include students from each district in the loan scheme.
He said universities like ISBAT, Lugogo, and Ndejje University have taken some of the students on and supported them with meals and other needs.
Kashari South MP, Hon. Nathan Itungo said that the scheme has not done enough to sensitize students and parents that the loan is strictly for fees.
He said that students think that the loan caters for everything including living allowances.
The entity is seeking Shs34.5 billion for the next financial year to support students on the loan scheme.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.