HESFB Loans and Scholarships Dept. | Higher Education Students’ Financing Board

Higher Education Students’ Financing Board Department of Loans and Scholarships

The Department of Loans and Scholarships

The 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda provides for fundamental human rights and under Chapter 4, Article 30 provides that all persons have a right to education. The preamble to the constitution further provides for National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, and it is under Objective XIV that it is provided that the state shall endeavour to fulfil the fundamental rights of all Ugandans to social justice and economic development and shall in particular ensure that all Ugandans enjoy rights and opportunities and access to education. In ensuring access to education, Objective XVIII provides that the state shall promote and take appropriate measures to afford every citizen equal opportunity to attain the highest education standard possible.

The Ministry of Education and Sports under its mandate is implementing the Students Loan Scheme for students enrolled in Higher Institutions of Learning beginning Financial Year 2013/14. The objective of the Loan Scheme is to increase equitable access to Higher Education in Uganda and also support qualified students who may not afford the cost of Higher Education. Therefore, the loans shall be made available to brilliant but needy students.

Brilliant means a qualifying student admitted to a Higher Education Institution.
Needy means a Brilliant student who cannot afford to pay the Higher Education Tuition, Research/Functional fees and Aids and Appliances for PWDs.

Rationale for the establishment of the HESFB
In 1997, the Government established Universal Primary Education (UPE); this has led to the increase in enrollment for Primary Education which currently stands at 8.2 million Pupils (i.e 91% of the Primary School Going Children in Uganda).

The increase in Primary enrollment over the years, has led to an increase in the number of students joining Secondary Schools and subsequently Tertiary institutions. Currently, the Universal Secondary Education (USE) enrollment stands at 1.3 million students (i.e 25% of Secondary School Going Children).

To address the increasing numbers, the Government introduced Universal Post Primary Education and Training (UPPET) in 2007 and Universal Post Ordinary Level Education and Training (UPOLET) in 2012.

These initiatives are the key influencing factors that led the NRM Government in its 2011 presidential manifesto to create a Students’ Loan Scheme that is intended to support financially the brilliant but needy students in pursuit for Higher Education.

Role of HESFB

  1. HESFB is mandated to offer Loans and Scholarships to qualifying students at Higher Educations Institutions.
  2. Mission, Vision and Core Values of HESFB
  3. HESFB’s Vision, Mission and Core Values, largely shape its existence, strategy and growth focus.

“Equitable Financing of Higher Education for all Ugandans”

“To provide financing support to brilliant but needy Ugandans students as an intervention for equitable access to Higher Education”

Core Values:

  1.     Integrity
  2.     Team work
  3.     Innovativeness
  4.     Transparency
  5.     Fairness

Purpose for the funding

Loans are provided majorly;

  1. To increase equitable access to Higher Education for all Ugandans
  2. To support qualified students who cannot afford Higher Education
  3. To ensure regional balance in Higher Education services for all Ugandans
  4. To develop and support programmes which are deemed critical to national development
  5. To ensure a sustainable revolving loan Fund

Eligible programmes

The student’s loans scheme shall offer financial support to brilliant but needy students pursuing accredited programmes at the following education levels:

  1. Diplomas
  2. Undergraduate programmes

NB: HESFB shall determine the courses/programmes for funding on annual basis in line with the National Development Priorities and the available resource envelope.

Eligibility Criteria:
An applicant shall be considered for funding on condition that:

  1. They have an admission to accredited programme/courses from a chartered University or listed Higher Education Institution.
  2. They are citizens of Uganda.
  3. They have passed the Means Test.

Application for funding
An advert shall always be placed in the national newspapers of national coverage annually soliciting applications from eligible students.
Application forms for the Loans and/or Scholarships shall be completed and submitted to HESFB in a manner defined by the advert.
All applications shall attract an application fee determined by HESFB currently at UGx. 50,000/-.
Evidence of payment for the application fees shall form part of the application.
Loan Application Requirements All completed application forms shall be accompanied with:
i. 3 coloured pass port size photographs
ii. Acceptable valid form of Identification which can be (National ID, Passport, Driver’s License, Voter’s Card, School ID, NSSF Card).
iii. Bank slip confirming payment of the Application fee
iv. Academic Certificates / pass slips
v. Birth Certificate
vi. Admission letter to HEI vii. CRB / Financial Card [mandatory]
viii. Sketch map to applicant’s home of origin.

Funding scope
The financial support (Loans/Scholarship) shall cover:
i. Tuition fees
ii. Functional fees
iii. Research expenses
iv. Aids and Appliances for PWDs

Loans shall be repayable with interest.
The interest shall be determined and defined by HESFB. Scholarships shall not be repayable, except where a student:
i. Abandons the course without reasonable cause
ii. Changes a course
iii. Fails to comply with any other terms and conditions of the scholarship.

a) Repayment:
A loanee shall start repaying the loan 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 shall be repaid over a period equal to the study period as defined in the admission letter. On completion of study, the loanee shall make contact with HESFB to pick the loan repayment schedule.

b) Early Repayment
HESFB shall allow loan repayment before due date (even during the study period) as this reduces the financial burden on the student in terms of the loan and applicable interest. Interest shall be charged on only outstanding loan amounts.

c) Loan Period
Loan period for purposes of this manual, shall mean, the predetermined period within which the borrower is expected to complete repayment of the loan and the applicable interest. This period for purposes of the Students Loan Scheme, shall be twice the borrower’s study period plus the Grace period.

d) Loan repayment period:
The loan repayment period shall be the period within which the loanee is expected to complete repayment of the loan and the applicable interest, and is equal to the study period of the programme/course respectively.

e) Grace period:
Undergraduate loans are permissible to be offered a grace period, which is a 12-month period commencing after the study period. The period is given to enable the loanee re-organise/settle or transit from student to working life.

Obligation of the loanee:
A loanee shall be required within one year after completion of studies:
i. To inform the HESFB of their new contacts/address
ii. To inform HESFB of their plans to commence repayment of the loan and the applicable interest.
iii. To execute a loan repayment schedule with HESFB.

Obligations of an employer of a loanee:
An employer shall be required upon engaged of a loanee:
i. To inform HESFB of the engagement in writing
ii. To deduct and remit to HESFB the loan amount and applicable interest due/outstanding from the loanee’s remuneration.

Types of Scholarships:
i. Internal scholarships
Internal scholarships shall be given to students who qualify for programmes that are offered in Higher Education Institutions in Uganda

ii. External Scholarships
External Scholarships shall only be awarded to students who qualify for programmes that are not offered in Higher Education Institutions in Uganda.

iii. Bilateral Scholarships
Bilateral Scholarships may be awarded subject to conditions agreed upon by the Donor Country and the Government of Uganda.

See related HESFB pages here