Parliament to Address Funding Shortfalls for Higher Education Students’ Financing Board

Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa. PHOTO/FILE

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The Parliament of Uganda has intervened to address funding gaps affecting the Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB). Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa guided the Minister of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija, on resolving the issue during a plenary sitting on October 10, 2023.

The HESFB, responsible for implementing the student loan scheme, has been facing a funding shortfall of Shs13 billion in the 2023/2024 financial year. Out of the required Shs44.9 billion, only Shs31 billion is currently available.

To tackle the funding shortfall, Minister Kasaija announced plans to organize a supplementary budget for submission to the Parliament. He intends to use the three percent supplementary budget allocation to cover the deficit.

However, Deputy Speaker Tayebwa expressed concerns about students being sent away from educational institutions due to defaulting on loans. He urged the government to work with these institutions to prevent such actions.

Hon. Remigio Achia of Pian County emphasized the positive impact of the loan scheme, noting that it has allowed youth across the country to access quality education.

Kasaija agreed to the guidance provided by Parliament, assuring that the Ministry of Finance will allocate the necessary funds as required by law.

The HESFB aims to provide loans and scholarships to Ugandan students who have qualified for accredited courses in recognized higher education institutions but lack the financial means to support their education. In the 2022/2023 financial year, HESFB provided loans and scholarships to 625 students.

The initiative to address funding gaps for the HESFB underscores the importance of ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder students’ access to higher education, ultimately contributing to the development of Uganda.

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