ABOUT THE HIGHER EDUCATION LOANS AND SCHOLARSHIPS BOARD

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    Background

    The Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board (HELSB) was established by the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Act No. 31 of 2016. HELSB replaced the Bursaries Committee which was established by Statutory Instrument No. 182 of 1973 of the Education Act CAP 134 of the Laws of Zambia. HELSB has taken over the administration of student loans and scholarships from the Bursaries Committee.

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    The Mandate

    HELSB was established with an additional mandate of sourcing for funds, allocating and disbursing student loans to Zambians pursuing higher education in recognized institutions of higher learning. It also has the mandate to recover all mature loans disbursed since 2004.

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    OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDENT LOAN SCHEME

    The Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board (HELSB) was established by the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Act No. 31 of 2016. HELSB replaced the Bursaries Committee which was established by Statutory Instrument No. 182 of 1973 of the Education Act CAP 134 of the Laws of Zambia. HELSB has taken over the administration of student loans and scholarships from the Bursaries Committee.

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    FUNDING

    Currently HELSB depends on funding from the Ministry of Finance as appropriated by Parliament. Over the years, the increased demand for higher education has not matched funding from the Treasury thereby creating pressure on the Board.

    YEAR FUNDING
    2016 K417,436,668.00
    2017 K417,436,668.00
    2018 K567,000,000.00

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    THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

    The Board has Twelve (12) members coming from the following institutions:
      1. Independent - Chairperson
      2. Representative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security - V/Chairperson
      3. Representative of the Ministry of Higher Education - Member
      4. Representative of the Ministry of Finance - Member
      5. Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Member
      6. Representative of the Public Service Management Division - Member
      7. Representative of the Attorney General’s Office - Member
      8. Director General of the Higher Education Authority - Member
      9. Director of the Zambia Qualifications Authority - Member
      10. Representative of the Bankers’ Association of Zambia - Member
      11. Representative of the Zambia Federation of Employers - Member
      12. Representative of the Zambia Institute of Human Resources - Member
    The Board of Directors were inaugurated on 20th July 2017 and effectively started their work on 4th August 2017. For the purpose of performing its functions, the Board has established the following Committees:
      • The Finance, Administration and Capacity Building Committee
      • The Resources, Strategy and ICT Committee
      • The Loans and Scholarships Committee
      • The Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee

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    LOAN REPAYMENT AND RECOVERY

    Recovery of mature loans will be the major component of resource mobilization that will be undertaken by the Board with the aim of creating a viable and sustainable revolving fund. The Board has so far approached the major employer, the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) to trace beneficiaries of the Student Loan Scheme who are currently employed in various Ministries and Departments. Through PSMD, the Board has established that 4,870 beneficiaries of the Loan Scheme were initially employed by Government. Some beneficiaries have, however, left the government due to various reasons which include, deaths, resignations and dismissals. The Board has also traced 11,876 beneficiaries employed by various institutions through the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) system.
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    FUTURE OUTLOOK

    With the population of Zambia comprising about 82% youths, the Board expects that the number of students seeking help in financing their higher education will increase in the coming years. The Board will commit itself to providing student loans to Zambians pursuing higher educations through sufficient mobilization and cautious management of resources. The Board has embarked on awareness campaigns and stakeholder engagements to encourage beneficiaries to repay their loans. Act No. 31 of 2016 provides that employers could deduct from loan beneficiaries in accordance with prescribed scales and remit such amounts to HELSB when notified. The Board has so far approached the biggest employer, the Government, to start the recoveries from all beneficiaries currently employed by Government. Further, the Board is in discussion with the Zambia Federation of Employers to collaborate on the engagement of employers as key stakeholders in this process. The Board want to appeal to all beneficiaries of the loan scheme to support upcoming students in their quest to achieve their dreams by paying their student loans. The Board is in the process of defining its strategy and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. During this process, the Board will set its goals, determine actions to achieve the goals and mobilize resources to execute the actions. HELSB is a member of the Association of African Higher Education Financing Agencies (AAHEFA) which is a group that has been created primarily to share best practices in financing of higher education. AAHEFA currently has 11 members namely Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
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