Ruto Wants to Abolish HELB, Offer Alternative Funding

President William Ruto during a church service in Kisauni, Mombasa on January 1, 2023
President William Ruto during a church service in Kisauni, Mombasa on January 1, 2023
Hussein Mohammed

President William Ruto, while ushering New Year at State House, Mombasa, announced that his government planned to abolish the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) that has sustained millions of university students for decades. 

The President remarked that he sought to provide a better alternative to address the myriad of challenges university students face. 

Subsequently, he announced that the government will expunge the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) funding.

Students getting services at HELB offices
A photo of students getting services at HELB offices

“In the last four months I have been in office, I have laid a perfect groundwork that will transform the country’s tertiary education system.

“Instead of different funding systems, the government will establish the National Skill and Funding Council (NSFC) that will amalgamate the existing funding bodies,” the President announced.

Ruto revealed that the NSFC will be better than HELB as it will increase funding by up to 45 per cent.

"The new body will double the current HELB funds from Ksh11 billion to Ksh22 billion." Ruto revealed.

"NSFC will further mobilize grants, bursaries, and scholarships from private and public sponsors to cover non-tuition costs,” he added.

Ruto’s decision was based on the report compiled by the task force set to review the Competency Based Curriculum

Concerning tertiary education, the president mandated the task force to recommend a governance and financing framework for TVET training and development, university education, research, and training.

HELB is a statutory body that was established in July 1995 by an Act of Parliament, 'Higher Education Loans Board Act' Cap 213A.

It is mandated to provide funding for Kenyan university students taking undergraduate and postgraduate courses in East African universities recognized by Commission for University Education (CUE)

HELB CEO Charles Ringera.
HELB CEO Charles Ringer addresses students at the Kenyatta University Amphitheater.