There has been much anxiety as to how Rwanda’s leading development finance institution, Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) would fare in managing student loans and bursaries.
BRD took over the functions of the management of student loans and bursaries based on the provisions of law No. 44/2015 of 14th September, 2015 governing student loans and bursaries and the agreement between the ministry of Education and BRD.
Under the scheme, BRD’s key functions include the efficient management of disbursements and recoveries of student loans, establishment of an education savings scheme and investment in education.
Speaking during a press conference to update stakeholders on the progress of the bank’s new critical role, Alex Kanyankole, the BRD Chief Executive Officer said they were making good progress and that they are going to make a positive impact in the education sector over the long term.
Kanyankole urged students to open bank accounts in order to speed up the process of receiving their monthly allowances. He also noted the need to educate students on how to manage their finances in order for them to start saving.
Status and achievements registered since BRD took over management
- There are 28,018 students studying under the student loan and bursaries scheme in Rwanda.
- Of the students, 779 of them receive 50% tuition fees minus living allowances while 391 others are repeating or suspended students who also do not receive living allowances.
- This makes the total number of students eligible for full tuition in addition to living allowances at 26,848 students.
- Between January and March this year, BRD issued living allowances for 26,487 students, which is close to 99% of the students eligible for living allowances.
- 254 students of the ones that didn’t receive the allowances during the period hadn’t mainly because they didn’t submit their bank account details while 107 students were still in the process of receiving their payments.
- BRD also gave living allowances to 430 students who had not received in arrears between September and December last year.
- In general, out of a budget of Rwf 8.3 billion for January to March 2016, 99.37% of the funds have been disbursed.
- From 10th December 2015 to 8th January this year, BRD signed contracts with students. In total, there are 27,256 contracts, which is a compliance rate of 97.3%.
- There are 943 Rwandan students studying abroad. Their living allowances and applicable tuition fees have been paid.
- BRD started the recovery process on 16th January this year and by 7th March, Rwf 198.2 million had been recovered. This has mainly been thanks to the engagement with the student loan beneficiaries, their employers, the general public and partners such as Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) and Rwanda Revenue Authority.
Fred Mugisha, the head of Education Financing department at BRD said they will continue partnering with the stakeholders in order to ensure that they continue the positive trend.