• Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) has announced that more than 113,953 will miss out on student loans this academic year.
  • This is after its efforts last year to coerce past beneficiaries of the loans to pay up failed to bear fruits .
  • Kenyan students are scheduled to start their semester next week but Helb announcement now spells doom for them.

Thousands of Kenyan students are staring at the risk of not continuing with their university and college education after Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) coffers run dry.

Helb has announced that more than 113,953 eligible students will not be getting loans in the remainder of the current academic year, after its efforts last year to coerce past beneficiaries of the loans to pay up failed to bear fruits .

Higher education loan applicants at Helb offices in Nairobi. (The Standard)
Higher education loan applicants at Helb offices in Nairobi. (The Standard)

The agency whose student funding budget for year to June stands at Sh15.5 billion ($155 million) had banked on recovering Sh4.9 billion ($49 million) from past beneficiaries but failed to meet the target.

“If the target of Sh4.9 billion is not achieved, a third of the 370,000 students in universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges will not get loans for remaining part of the 2019/2020,” chief executive Charles Ringera told the Business Daily.

The State agency missed its half-year collections target by around Sh100 million ($1 million) to collect Sh2.2 billion ($22 million) against the Sh2.3 billion ($23 million) target.

Kenyan students are scheduled to start their semester next week but Helb announcement now spells doom for them. As a result, a number of students are likely to drop out during the academic year that ends in June.

Students from humble backgrounds heavily rely on the Helb loans and bursaries to finance their higher education.