The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) is turning to external sources to fund students as the budgetary allocation has left it with a Sh2 billion financing deficit.
Helb chief executive Charles Ringera on Monday called for more organisations to partner with the agency, saying that the government alone cannot shoulder the entire cost burden.
“Our deficit is about Sh2 billion for this year. That’s why we have funders like this one (Barclays Bank of Kenya). So, we hope and expect that these are some of the sources we’ll be looking at to cover the deficit we have,” said Mr Ringera in Nairobi during the launch of the Barclays Scholarship Fund.
Helb has in recent years embarked on external resource mobilisation to supplement government funding.
These include counties, constituencies, donors such as USAid, education trusts such as Rattansi, and corporate and institution foundations.
Mr Ringera said Helb has been providing a platform and currently has 15 partners, managing external funds in excess of Sh1.5 billion outside the traditional funding sources.
“This has led to financing over 20,000 students who would have otherwise missed an opportunity to pursue higher education or train in cadres of their choice,” said Mr Ringera. The government increased funding to Helb from Sh2.6 billion in the 2012/2013 fiscal year to Sh7.7 billion in the current financial year.