Who is a Beneficiary?


A Beneficiary is a person who has been awarded a student loan by HELSB.



Financing of Higher Education in Zambia


Introduction of Student Loans

Although it is recognized that admission into University is not tied to the award of student loans, more than 90% of admitted students apply for Government support or sponsorship to enable them pursue their studies.

Consequently, the majority of students at both UNZA and CBU are supported by the Government through the Loans Board. Over 41,389 students have been supported through the Student Loan Scheme at UNZA, CBU and KMU since 2004. Over 23,379 of these beneficiaries were no longer on the Loan Scheme as at December 2017. Out of this number, about 19,000 disbursed loans have become mature and ready for recovery.


Financing Student Loans

The journey of financing higher education in Zambia started with the Bursaries Committee which was originally set up in March 1962 as a way of encouraging students to take up courses done abroad and bond them to ensure their return to work in the Civil Service in Zambia.

In 1963, the Bursaries Committee’s mandate changed to that of providing a means of training to local persons for the purpose of appointments and advancement within the Civil Service. When the University of Zambia (UNZA) was established in 1966, the sponsorship of students to UNZA became the major concern of the Bursaries Committee. When the Copperbelt University (CBU) was established in 1987 the mandate of the Bursaries Committee was extended to include sponsorship of students at CBU.

In January 2016, the mandate of the Bursaries Committee was extended to include sponsorship of students at Kapasa Makasa University (KMU) in Chinsali. The Bursaries Committee, as it operated up to June 2016, was established by Statutory Instrument No. 182 of 1973 of the Education Act CAP 134 of the Laws of Zambia to administer grants, loans, scholarships and fellowships for university education to Zambians both locally and abroad. It was governed by the Committee appointed by the Minister of Hgher Education.

Repaying the Loan

A beneficiary is expected to start paying back their student loan after the one year grace period elapses. This one year grace period starts after a beneficiary completes their studies. A beneficiary is expected to visit HELSB offices for enquires on the loan repayment process and terms of repayment.

A beneficiary can also decide to offset their loan by informing the HELSB how they would want to offset it.
The worst case scenario for repayments is 10 years which is repaying in 120 months. The interest is at a rate of 15% compound should a beneficiary decide to repay in more than one month. This interest rate becomes simple interest should a Beneficiary decide to offset their principal at once.





Download the Act Document





Terms of Recoveries

After one year grace period elapses, a Beneficiary is expected to visit HELSB offices for a repayment plan.

When do I start paying back?

After completion of study, a Beneficiary is given one year grace period before starting to pay back.

How much is my interest rate?

15%