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Alba Iulia
Monday, August 10, 2020

Government working on law on student loans

Economy Government working on law on student loans

UNZA mass communication students
UNZA mass communication students

Government is finalizing a statutory instrument that will bring about the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Authority to replace the existing Bursaries Commitee.

Once operational, the Authority will extend loan facilities beyond the current two public universities, UNZA and CBU to cover other tertiary institutions that offer degrees and diplomas.

When the Authority comes into effect, recovery measures will also be put into place and while the government will put in seed money to start the programme, a revolving fund will subsequently be established to continuously offer scholarships to students using the repayment.

There will be a grace period of 1 year after which students will be expected to repay their loans.

Procedures will be put in place to recover loans by partnering with Banks, and other relevant agencies to track all those who have benefited from the scheme.

Education Minister John Phiri said bursary reforms have reached an advanced stage and will be completed soon.

“We are in the processing of completing the statutory instrument to operationalize the authority. Our target is to have the SI ready before the next budget presentation so that we could be considered,” Dr Phiri said.

Dr Phiri said the current bursary regime in Zambia is unsustainable, unfair and discriminatory hence the need to reform it.


  1. How do u give a grace period of one year when you know it takes several years for your graduates to get employed? How do you intend to recover the money when the government employs less than half of your graduates?
    Overall, the move is fair as students from colleges are just as vulnerable as those from UNZA and CBU.

  2. This is a better than the current bursary scheme as it is discriminatory. We just hope that you put stringent measures to recover the money because even the current scheme started like that.

  3. RSA has been using this system. Its a welcome move. Bursaries are indeed discriminatory. You find ministers and well to do people getting bursaries for their children and the vulnerable ones are being left out. Hope these loans will be available for all.

    • Anything that promotes equity, I’m there.

      Well said sister!

  4. Its a fair system as long as standards are set for qualification. For example if the cut off point for qualification is say 12 points for university study in science, then loans will be given on merit. Students will also begin to value the cost of education unlike where they receive free tuition with no serious obligation to pay. Financiers can then arrange for clearance with prospective employers.

  5. Despite not being so clear on how to recover the loans, I think this is the first sensible thing which the PF govt has ever done since they took over govt. It is true that the current bursaries scheme is discriminatory and a recipe for corruption. I remember how corrupt Nimrod Siluyele was as bursary committee secretary.

  6. The boSS, what the article is simply saying is that student will be given 1 year grace period after you have graduated. Even in the case one year grace period you can not start paying back your loan, because some may not find employment within a year. What happens in the UK, for example, student take out a student loan and once they have graduated they only start paying back the loan once they are employed and ar getting a certain level of salaries. eg the current is £16000 a year, and those they started last September 2012, they will start paying back the loan once they start getting £21000 a year. The loan repayment are included in you PAYE.
    If our government are to give one year grace period, it cause a lot of problems for the new qualified because they will start accruing interest.

  7. It is realy a great move you are putting in place.
    My cry is, how have you considered the level of employment after graduation?

    Because it is obvious that the only way of repaying that loan can only be succesiful when you are enganged in an employment and yet not evryone who graduates finds himself a job. A good example of a victim is myself.

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