By Orenge Wycliff
Education Cabinet Secretary Hon. Ezekiel Machogu. Photo | Orenge Wycliff
Government has launched an application portal for loans and scholarships under the New Universities and Colleges Funding Model.
Since the Presidential directive on 3rd May 2023 on the roll out the New Funding Model,the Government has developed and completed the Higher Education Financing Portal, to receive applications for both Scholarships, Loans and Bursaries for University and TVET students.
During the launch at the Kenya School of Government in Kabete, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said all new students who require funding for higher education will now have to make formal online requests through the higher education financing portal http://www.hef.co.ke.
Machogu said through the new model, the government will fully cater for education costs of vulnerable and extremely needy students who comprise 29 per cent of the student population joining university and TVETs this year through government scholarships, loans and bursaries.
He has directed Vice-Chancellors and Principals to ensure letters of admission are released by 2nd August, 2023 to allow students to apply for loans and bursaries in good time.
“It is now my pleasure to announce that the Scholarships, Loans and Bursaries application platform is now ready for use. I therefore direct Vice-Chancellors and Principals to ensure letters of admission are released by 2nd August, 2023. This will allow students to apply for loans and bursaries from 3rd August, 2023 to the midnight of 27th August, 2023.” Said the CS.
Similarly, CS Machogu has urged students to ensure they stick to the set timelines to ensure speedy processing of scholarships and loans since most Universities are preparing to admit First Year students in September.
The CS noted that the new model introduces a student-centred funding model rather than block funding to institutions.
“Fundamentally, grants/scholarships will now be awarded on a need basis just like loans have been awarded in the past. In the New Funding Model, all Scholarships, Loans and Bursaries will have to be Means Tested for each loan applicant.” He added.
Consequently, funding to students will be funded according to their level of need level and programme cost.
One other key highlight of this new model is that the Government delinked the process of placement of students to higher learning institution from funding with effect from the 2023/2024 Placement Cycle.