The Role of Higher Education Loans Board in pro-poor management approaches to enhancing access to University Education in Kenya. Enos H.N. Njeru & Paul Odundo. 46p.

NTHIA PROFNJERUEH, NTHIA PROFNJERUEH. "The Role of Higher Education Loans Board in pro-poor management approaches to enhancing access to University Education in Kenya. Enos H.N. Njeru & Paul Odundo. 46p.". In: Discussion Paper No.036/2003. IPAR Discussion Paper Series. ISBN 9966-948-15-5. African Wildlife Foundation. Nairobi; 2003.


The Republic of Kenya, through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
(MoES&T) has, since independence in 1963, been committed to providing
quality and relevant education to its citizens at all levels. With increasing
population, adverse macroeconomic performance, and increasing cost of education
against increasing demand, the government introduced cost-sharing in
education at all levels. As such, payment of fees by those pursuing degree programmes
was introduced as part of the efforts by government to transfer the
cost of financing university education to the beneficiaries. To cushion the income-
poor against adverse financial difficulties, and to ensure that no eligible
students dropped out ofuniversity due to inability to finance their education, the
loan and bursary schemes were introduced to benefit all university students who
could not fully finance their education. In essence, the government established
the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) in July 1995 to improve both loans'
disbursement and recovery.
The financial arrangements and processes in question have given rise to a number
ofkey questions and issues, including the need for efficiency in the management
of the scheme; extent to which the loan and bursary schemes effectively cushion
the vulnerable against dropping out ofuniversity; eligibility criteria; alternative
sources of financing university education; other factors against participation;
pertinent information handling; quality of governance in the disbursement
of loans; loan recovery and loan beneficiary tracer efforts; commitment to loan
repaying on the part ofthe beneficiaries; legal empowerment to enable the board
to deliver on its mandates through legislative status with regard to both loan
recovery and alternative sourcing of funds to supplement its regular budgetary
allocations; nature and levels ofnetworking with employers ofuniversity graduates
and other institutions; quality ofinformation content in loan application forms
to control cheating; parallel bursary schemes managed by HELB and MoES&T,
and equity issues as some needy students fail to benefit while some less needy
do benefit; nature and levels of funding co-ordination between HELB and other
bursary/scholarship/grant awarding and sponsor organizations. Other important
issues concern the high default rates, low visibility of HELB's activities, and
underdeveloped loans repayment monitoring structures.
Recommendations include revitalizing HELB into a revolving fund with minimal
budgetary allocation; strengthening and reforming attendant administrative and
efficiency monitoring structures where these exist, and creation of the same
where they do not exist.




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