Student grants: Varsities to set up committees
Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter
Schools of higher learning have up to three weeks to come up with modalities for needy and deserving students to access recently introduced education loans, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Amon Murwira has said.
In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Prof Murwira said following his announcement on Sunday of the re-introduction of student loans, university committees were expected to come up with the criteria on how deserving students can benefit.
“Following my announcement, which was basically a policy direction which we are taking as a ministry coupled with securing of funds to support the scheme, we now expect the university committees to come up with modalities of accessing these loans by the students,” said Prof Murwira.
Without mentioning figures for fear of jeopardising the process, Prof Murwira said funding for the scheme, which he said runs into millions, has already been set aside.
Additionally, Prof Murwira said the funding will also be revolving.
“Come 26 August, we expect needy and deserving students to start applying for these loans and we are hoping that the targeted beneficiaries will indeed benefit from this programme,” he said.
Prof Murwira said the latest development was in line with the fourth pillar of the Higher and Tertiary Education 5.0 (HET 5.0), which speaks to access by students to education. He said this access is enabled by financial capacity.
The other three pillars speaks to the issues of programs offered by institutions, standardisation of promotions for professors and physical infrastructure.
In fulfilment of the first pillar, which speaks to programs, Government has abolished irrelevant programs and is now emphasising on those that focuses on innovation and industrialisation. In relation to physical infrastructure, Government has partnered with private investors to construct accommodation of students at tertiary institutions and regarding the third pillar.
Government has also standardised staff promotions at all State universities.
He said under the Eduloan scheme, only 15-20 000 students from about 200 000 students in tertiary institutions benefited from the loans.
“This new scheme is therefore expected to complement this already existing scheme so that all our students have access to education,” said Prof Murwira.