Quality, lifelong education for all which is accessible, inclusive and relevant to the individual, national and global needs and value systems.
Government has reduced interest rates on student loans from 15 percent to 10 percent effective January 2024.
Education Minister Hon. Douglas Syakalima announced the development, Monday, November 27, 2023 at a media briefing held at his Office.
The Minister said the decision follows wide consultations between Government through the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Board (HELSB) and various stakeholders.
“I am glad to inform you that the Ministry of Education through the HELSB has implemented changes to its student loan policies, including a reduction in interest rates and a new process for dealing with defaulters.” Hon. Syakalima said.
Hon Syakalima added that his Ministry through HELSB is currently sponsoring students at Eight (8) public universities namely: Chalimbana University, Copperbelt University, Mulungushi University, Mukuba University, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kapasa Makasa University, Palabana University and University of Zambia.
The Minister explained that Six (6) Universities out of Eight are benefiting from funds being recovered from those that benefited from the student loan scheme.
He is optimistic that the reduction in interest rates will encourage those who have not yet started their repayment exercise to come on board.
The Minister has appealed to all who benefited from the Student loans to be swift in paying back their loans to ensure sustainability of the scheme.
Hon. Syakalima said the student loan scheme is intended to be a revolving fund.
He said government wants to ensure that as many students as possible access the loans, but this can only happen if the people who benefited and are already employed pay back their loans.
Meanwhile the Minister said HELSB has intensified the process of ensuring that the data base of all students who benefited from the loans starting from 2004 is updated.
He said the Ministry of Education, through the HELSB is working with other government institutions such as the Examination Council of Zambia, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) to trance all beneficiaries of the student loans.
The Minister said the aim is to ensure that all student loans are recovered so that they benefit others. #moecommunications.