Source: Parliament of the Republic of Uganda |

Uganda: Members of Parliament (MPs) endorse quota system for student loan scheme

The recommendation was passed following the adoption of the Higher Education Students’ Financing (Amendment) Bill, 2024 during the plenary sitting

KAMPALA, Uganda, April 18, 2024/APO Group/ --

There is hope for learners in rural schools to benefit from the higher education students’ loan scheme after Parliament adopted a recommendation introducing the district quota system. 

The recommendation was passed following the adoption of the Higher Education Students’ Financing (Amendment) Bill, 2024 during the plenary sitting on Wednesday, 17 April 2024 chaired by Speaker Anita Among.

The Bill presented by the Minister of State of Education and Sports (Primary Education), Hon. Joyce Moriku, sought to give effect to the Government policy for rationalisation of government agencies and public expenditures adopted by cabinet.

The Committee on Education and Sports in a report presented by the chairperson, Hon. John Twesigye, however, disagreed with the Government’s policy on rationalisation, observing that mainstreaming the board under the education ministry would not cure the existing structural and operational issues associated with delivery of services.

“lnstead, mainstreaming of the board will lead to delayed decision making, disbursing of loans and loan recovery. The Higher Education Students Financing Board should be maintained as a semi-autonomous body, with a view of granting it vote status in the medium term for it to effectively discharge its mandate,” said Twesigye, also Bunyaruguru County MP.

Maracha County Member of Parliament, Hon. Denis Oguzu, dissented from the committee’s report, stating that the board should be dissolved and funds used for its operations should be channeled to the students’ loan scheme.  

He added, “There is no equity in the way this scheme operates as it largely favours students from well to do families. Today is an opportunity for us to ensure this money serves all regions.”

Oguzu further justified that the current selection process disenfranchises learners from rural communities without access to computers and electricity

“The board requires that you apply online, the infrastructure to achieve all this is largely missing in many parts and because of that we are missing out,” he said. 

The Minister of State for Higher Education, Hon. Chrysostom Muyingo, welcomed the minority report, saying that the ministry will develop guidelines under the Education Act to include the district quota system. 

“When we develop the guidelines, we have to emphasise the quota system. It has been working before and this money will be added so that when money is appropriated, each district will receive,” said Muyingo. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.