First-year students in Kenyan universities and TVETs are on the verge of receiving their much-awaited Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) funds. According to Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, the disbursement of funds for these students, who fall under the New Higher Education Funding Model, is set to commence next week. The Ministry has concluded the loan processing for these new students, and funds will be directed to their respective university and student accounts starting on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
In preparation for the funds’ arrival, students anticipating these loans must ensure that their banking information, as provided in their applications, is both accurate and up to date. This announcement from CS Machogu comes after a series of protests by students from Machakos University on the heels of delays in Helb disbursement.
Last Thursday, disgruntled students from Machakos University took to the streets to express their frustration over the protracted delay in Helb loan disbursement. These protests, while causing disruptions, also led to the temporary closure of businesses within the town. The police intervened to prevent the protesters from entering the central business district, thereby safeguarding the well-being of other residents and local businesses. Tear gas canisters were employed to disperse the demonstrators, subsequently resulting in the closure of the Machakos – Wote road where the university is situated.
Helb’s disbursement of funds to new students follows the release of funds for continuing students in universities and TVETs at the beginning of the previous month. Helb CEO Charles Ringera, in an official statement, disclosed that upkeep loans for over 175,000 undergraduate students and 70,000 TVET continuing students, adhering to the Old Higher Education Funding Model (OFM), were in the process of being disbursed. These funds reached students via their preferred payment channels, which include bank accounts and the Helb Mobile Wallet.
Ringera also urged Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs), encompassing universities and colleges, to permit students to complete their registration procedures, as the tuition fees had already been disbursed. The tuition fees should be visible in the bank accounts of these HLIs by October 5, 2023, as per the CEO’s statement.