GRANTS FOR UNI STUDENTS

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has identified three financial institutions to partner with in availing educational grants to students in higher and tertiary learning institutions countrywide. 

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In an interview last Friday, RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya said discussions with the three banks are now at an advanced stage with consultations now centring on how the loans will be structured.

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Most universities open for the start of their academic year in August where they are expected to absorb thousands of candidates whose A-level results were released last week.

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“It is still work in progress. We are in discussions with financial institutions to come up with a structure for the loan scheme,” said Dr Mangudya.

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“We have identified three financial institutions and we are happy with the way discussions have been going,” he said.

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Dr Mangudya could not give a specific time frame on the conclusions of the discussions and when students are expected to start accessing the loans.

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“It’s difficult in finance to give specific time-frames because there are a lot of factors involved. We will announce details as soon as the discussions are concluded. The target is for the loans to be available as soon as possible,” he said.

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The Government, in December last year, announced plans to bring back student grants starting this year in an effort to improve skills and manpower development.

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Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo told delegates at the Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference in Masvingo that the students’ loans would help parents and guardians who are struggling to pay higher and tertiary fees for their children.

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He said his ministry was working with RBZ to structure the loan scheme which would be run by financial institutions with proven micro-financing capacity.

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“The Ministry has engaged the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to structure a student loan scheme for higher and tertiary education institutions to be run by financial institutions with proven micro-financing capacity.

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“This scheme will be launched in the coming year (this year) to help parents and guardians who are struggling to pay higher and tertiary education fees for their children,” said Prof Moyo.

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Student grants were scrapped around 2006 due to Government cash flow challenges and were replaced by the cadetship programme which started in 2010.

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The cadetship programme did not yield desired results as it was also dogged by funding challenges and failed to pay fees for scores of students. Sunday Mail

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