HELB Addresses Delayed Disbursement of Student Loans

Kenyans waiting for service at Helb offices
Kenyans waiting for services at HELB offices in Nairobi County on May 4, 2019.

The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) clarified on delayed disbursement of its loans after an uproar among university students.

While replying to one of the students on Tuesday, March 7, the government entity noted that the delayed disbursement was due to financial constraints.

"Good morning. We sincerely apologise for the delay in disbursing your funds. Kindly note, it is occasioned by budget constraints. We are addressing this and will communicate via SMS," HELB informed.

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

The institution, however, failed to provide a way forward on when the issue will be resolved to ease the students' suffering.

Regardless of the update, the concerned students were not convinced as many lamented similar excuses by the entity in past occasions.

"People are being (given excuses) and what they are being told each and every week is just budgetary constraints, till when?" One questioned.

Nonetheless, HELB maintained that the issue was being resolved and the funds will be disbursed in due time.

Due to the constraints, HELB added that the budget constraints will delay the application of appeals by students.

"When can one apply for appeals?" another student asked. "This will not be opened due to budget constraints. You may consider applying in the next financial year," HELB responded.

In January 2023, President Willam Ruto announced plans to abolish HELB and offer an alternative for thousands of students relying on the funding.

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

However, his plan was met with resistance from politicians and other stakeholders who argued the decision was misinformed and would only hurt the students.

HELB was established in July 1995 by an Act of Parliament and is mandated to provide funding for Kenyan university students taking undergraduate and postgraduate courses in East African universities recognised by the Commission of University Education (CUE).

President William Ruto speaking in Nakuru on Friday, March 3, 2023
President William Ruto speaking in Nakuru on Friday, March 3, 2023
State House