The Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Board (HELSB) has urged University of Zambia (UNZA) students who were not awarded student loans to remain patient as it is sourcing for funds to sponsor more students.
In an interview with Lusaka Star, HELSB Senior Corporate Communications Officer, Chiselwa Kawanda said the board received an overwhelming number of applications, hence, could only award 2481 eligible students due to budgetary constraints.
Kawanda revealed that the board received 10, 682 applications from the 2021/2022 Unza intake as compared to less than 4000 applications received from the 2020/2021 intake.
The all selection process was extremely competitive in that we were dealing with students who had five points in their thousands and those with six points in their thousands as well, so we could only manage to get students from there,
But that does not mean our criteria was not applied which is 30 percent merit, 30 percent females, 30 percent rural and 5 percent disability.
She retaliated that the awarding of student loans was done on merit and based on the board’s criteria.
Meanwhile, Kawanda disclosed that the Higher education Loans and Scholarship board has far recovered K 48 million from former student loan beneficiaries since September , 2018.
The money recovered is used to support students at Chalimbana University, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kapasa Makasa University, Mulungushi University and Mukuba University,
The grant we get from the Ministry of Finance is what we use to support students at the University of Zambia and Copperbelt University.
She however added that the board has faced challenges in recovering student loans as an increased number of former beneficiaries do not want to voluntarily pay back their student loan.