I have received several requests to provide information about students’ loan scheme. The most recent enquiry came from Okiring. It is reproduced below:
Hi, I am OKIRING JOHN MICHAEL (NURSING OFFICER) working at Mbale Municipal council, How can one process for this loan scheme and does it apply to upgrading students also? My email[xxxxxx][at]gmail.comBest regards JOHN
Okiring, for an answer to your enquiry, please read to the end. At the bottom of this email, find the Students Loan Scheme brochures and Frequently Asked Questions about the scheme. Ensure you read everything carefully.
Let me first make this clear: I am not an official spokesperson for the Uganda Students Loan Scheme or Ministry of Education and Sports. However, tollowing numerous requests via this website, I’ve researched about the scheme and the following information, also available on the Ministry of Education and Sports website, is useful. If you have the same enquiry as Okiring, please note as follows:
- Make use of the Minsitry of Education and Sports website, http://www.education.go.ug/ keep visiting it. I notice there are some great resources being posted about education in Uganda. It is a good starting point for you.
- Use any contact points available on the website. Make use of the contact us page, with the following information.
Ministry of Education and Sports| P. O. BOX 7063 Kampala, Uganda| Tel: 256-41-234451/4| Fax: 256-41-234920
I have found that making a phone call to make enquiries is better. If you are not successful with phone, try sending an email, using the email addresses available on the websites. Also make use of the contacts found in the student loan scheme brochures, also available on the website and below.
If you also fail to get response. Try calling again and emailing. If after several attempts you fail to go through, use Google to search for more contact people working in the scheme or subject of interest.
If an institution puts up contact details and they fail to respond, I may hesitate visiting them. Nevertheless, visit them and find out what you need.
The bottom line is never give up.
Okiring, for your issue:
If you have read the information packs and FAQs below (which you can also download from the Ministry of Education & Sports website; you will notice that the main objectives of the scheme are to:
- Provide financing to Ugandan students who have qualified for higher education in recognized institutions of higher learning but are unable to support themselves financially.
- Increase equitable access to technical and higher education in Uganda
- Support highly qualified Ugandan students who may not afford higher education
- To ensure regional balance in higher education services in Uganda
- To ensure sustainable revolving loans fund
- And to develop and support courses critical to national development and to ensure quality education in public institutions through quality assurance and supervision.
The scheme will target 1,000 students initially who are brilliant but needy. This means it will be very competitive. The more competitive it is, the more stringent the criteria for selection to the first beneficiaries will be.
For your case, I am worried that you may not qualify to benefit from this scheme based on the information you have provided. Here is why:
The mission of the scheme is to “provide financing to Ugandan students who have qualified for higher education…” Okiring, you want financing to upgrade your studies. This means you have already attained some ‘higher education.’ Loan schemes are intended to help so many people get ahead in their studies. It is unlikely that the loan scheme beneficiaries’ selection committee can select someone who has already attained higher education at the expense of so many senior six leavers looking for an opportunity to join higher education. The idea of the scheme is to help so many Ugandans “see the light” by accessing higher education which they would otherwise miss due to lack of school fees.
Also, you are already employed. This means that you are unlikely to be financially incapable to save and pay for your own education. At worst, try to seek for sponsorship from your employer. When you are working there are always opportunities around, and you’ve got to hunt for them. So many donors are willing (if approached) to sponsor a person like you in a village hospital to get top education. I think you may need mentorship and guidance, Okiring.
And as pointed out, you really must be brilliant but unable to pay fees. It is unlikely that your scores in the past at advanced level can compete favorably with recent senior six leavers’ scores. Keep in mind that they are young and more ambitious. They stand higher changes. And indeed, although not explicitly stated, the scheme is intended to benefit students who will be leaving senior six effective this year and in future.
However, don’t lose heart. Try your luck.
Check the download links I provided from the Ministry of Education and Sports website, review them and check the ‘identified courses for funding”.
Select the course you want to study and go get an admission. Follow the instructions and wait for your luck.
Remember, good luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. Go try to look for it. May be all those who would qualify, are just sleeping and waiting for manna.
Useful downloads about Students Loan Scheme (SLS) in Uganda
I wish you success in your studies and career.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, CFE 2014. Your Success Partner.