HELB Slows Down on Public Universities, Extends More Loans to Private and TVET Institutions

The Higher Education Loans Board has been instrumental in putting thousands of Kenyans through Univerdity education, so they can be better people in the society. But problems start trickling in when these graduates step out into the realm of the unknown, only to realise that they do not a job to service their loans and let alone feed themselves.

Last year, Helb threatened to name and shame all those who have defaulted Helb loans, in a bid to recover the billions that they had loaned to students, but they received massive backlash from the public. A 2020 Economic survey on the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has revealed that the Board worked a way out to restucture their loaning system without being caught in negative publicity. According to the study, the number of loan applicants, beneficiaries and amount of loans awarded to students in public and private universities and TVET institutions by Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) for the year 2018/19 increased by 6 percent to 297,989.

All the loan application from public and private universities, and TVET institutions were awarded loans, based on the needs-assessment by HELB amounting to KSh 11.7 billion in 2018/19. In the period under review, KNBS noted that the number of loan applications from public universities reduced and that of female applicants comoared to male ones als took a downward trajectory. Amount of loans awarded to applicants from public universities declined from KSh 9.2 billion in the previous year to KSh 9.0 billion in 2018/19.

However the number of loan applicants from private universities almost doubled from 13,228 in 2017/18 to 25,370 in 2018/19, while that of loan beneficiaries significantly increased from 13,153 in 2017/18 to 24,761 in 2018/19. The amount of loans awarded to applicants from private universities more than doubled to stand at KSh 1.2 billion in 2018/19. Also in TVET institutions, the number of loan applicants and beneficiaries rose significantly.

Clearly the Board is allocating more loans to students in the private universities as compared to their counterparts in public universities a clear indicator that they are trying to mitigate the default rates from public universities who are a majority of the applicants.