Victoria University (@VUKampala) has joined 22 other universities in running the student loan scheme funded by the government of Uganda. #WhisperEyeNews
This comes fourth after the university in the past fortnight secured a charter after it was cleared by the National Council for Higher Education and signed off by HE President Museveni.
Victoria University has embraced the students’ loan scheme to continue helping students who are looking for high-quality and affordable education in the country
Victoria University has proved to be an institution that offers hands-on, technology-based education and applied research which is essential to the productivity and prosperity of the country and the region, and a loan scheme is to help the university attract more students who are interested in science courses but less privileged.
Lawrence Muganga, the vice chancellor of Victoria university speaking at the launch of the students’ loan scheme, said that this move is another way to boost the university’s greatness academically and added that the student loan scheme will in effect help more students access the university’s quality of education.
Dr muganga further added that HESFB approves programmes of study to be funded every academic year and currently all the university’s accredited Health Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Tourism and Hospitality programmmes are catered for under this arrangement. “Important to note is that all persons living with disabilities are eligible to pursue sciences, Humanities, or Economics programmmes unlike the rest,” he said.
Dr. Muganga appealed to the public to enroll and apply for the student Loan scheme after securing admission letters from Victoria University where they will be assisted in the application process for the loan.
Upon signing the memorandum of understanding with Victoria University, HESFB executive director, Michael Wanyama commended the University for embracing technology-based education adding that by the time of the partnership, the organization had introduced an online platform to expedite the application, short-listing, and follow-up processes of loan scheme beneficiaries.
Wanyama explained that with the launch of an online platform needy-but-brilliant applicants can now apply for study loans from the comfort of their homes using laptops or mobile phones.
Dubbed Integrated Loan Management Information System (ILMIS), the board says it will make it easier, cheaper, and simpler for applicants to access up-to-date information on their applications and loan disbursements.
Speaking at the system’s maiden launch in 2019, Education minister Janet Museveni said the ILMIS shall provide data with high integrity as a result of reduced errors that would have, otherwise, been committed. With the online applications, she said the board will not lose applications or receive double submissions by individual applicants which brings about duplication and wastage of time and resources.
Wanyama said that Student loans are awarded to students pursuing science programmes that are in diploma and undergraduate programmes however plans are underway by the government to also finance postgraduate programmes and doctoral studies which will suit Victoria University since its starting a Doctoral next year.
HESFB stated that a student’s loan scheme is a cost-sharing arrangement where the loan only covers the academic component of the student’s needs which are tuition fees, functional fees, research fees, Aids, and Appliances for Persons with Disabilities.
The new system that was introduced gives applicants unique identification numbers that they will continually use to log into the system. The applicant will then fill out the required forms, scan and upload recommendation forms, and payment slips, and submit everything in the system.
“Students can keep checking on the progress of their loans on whether they have been awarded loans or not. For successful applicants, they will go ahead to monitor their accounts with HESFB from time to time instead of visiting our offices physically,” Wanyama said.
The reference number also allows beneficiaries to know the status of loans; outstanding balances, and repayment status, among others.
Wanyama said the online system will be integrated with the university’s Accounting Information Management Systems (AIMS) to get timely updates on beneficiaries, academic progress, and disbursements of funds instead of coming up with hard copy reports.
HESFB was launched by president Museveni in the academic year of 2014/2015 with 1201 beneficiaries and the numbers have steadily increased to over 10,041 beneficiaries.
According to Wanyama the beneficiaries have been pursuing over 130 degree programmmes and 76 undergraduate diploma courses mainly in sciences, technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programmes. “Today more programmes from Victoria University have been added to the portal,” he said.