Kenya’s Higher Education Loans Board [HELB] brought together all Kenyan private and Public Universities in a seminar themed, ‘Financing Higher Education through Financial Products’ on 11th and 12th June 2015 at Maanzoni Lodge, Machakos County.
The two day seminar was an interaction between HELB and their customers through a representation of various Universities by Dean of Students, Finance officers and students’ leaders. Leaders and organizers of the function were top HELB officials led by CEO Charles Ringera and HELB Chairman MR. David N. Wachira. The Minister of Higher Education was represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang. And UEAB was represented by DVC-SAS Dr. Paul Wahonya, student’s finance manager Mrs. Balyage and one student leader.
In his key note address during the official opening of the seminar, Dr. Belio said that the government’s plan for higher Education has a higher opportunity and is inclusive of both public and private Universities. He said that HELB is one of the biggest financial institutions in Kenya with a financial base of 42 Billion but still financing higher education remains a great challenge in Kenya. The PS urged those who have not paid their HELB loans to do so for the sake of other needy Kenyans saying the amount of those who have not paid stands at Ksh 9 Billion. Dr Bellio said that the demands of HELB has gone high, and even with full loan recovery, it can never be enough and that’s why the government is injecting more resources to support higher education.
“We shall do what is possible to do within the means of the government. I urge the HELB loan beneficiaries to be honest and candid for resources are not infinite” Said the PS.
While giving his remarks HELB CEO Mr Charles Ringera said that HELB has taken serious strategic initiatives to increase the Board’s financial resources. This includes resource mobilization, from county government, NGOS and well-wishers. But the major upcoming change is to turn HELB into a commercial institution in search of more funding of higher Education. Together with HELB Chairman, the two officials said that HELB loan defaulters will soon be brought to book in legal means.
Meanwhile, HELB CEO has called on the continuing students who have not applied for the year 2015/2016 loan to do so before 30th June 2015. He noted that they are expecting over 200,000 applications, but so far only less than 50,000 have applied. He has warned that the late hour rush to apply jams the internet making it difficult for many to access the online services. He said however that they look forward to serve as many needy Kenyans as possible as far as Education is concerned.