SFAR to award more scholarships this year

KIGALI - About 16,000 students are set to benefit from the government loan scheme to fund their University education needs for this year. This is part of the Government plan to increase the number of students accessing higher education.
Emmanuel Muvunyi.
Emmanuel Muvunyi.

KIGALI - About 16,000 students are set to benefit from the government loan scheme to fund their University education needs for this year. This is part of the Government plan to increase the number of students accessing higher education.

This was revealed by the Emmanuel Muvunyi, the Director General of the Students Financing Agency of Rwanda (SFAR), the government body charged with securing finances for students seeking to pursue higher education in different institutions in and outside the country.

Muvunyi said Thursday that the agency has released the list of students that shows which type of scholarship a student has been awarded and which university or institution they will join.
The agency is currently dealing with queries filed by students regarding the category of scholarships and the placement before a final list is compiled.

The number of students benefiting from the loan scheme is expected to increase from the current 13,935 students in 2008 to a targeted 16,000 students in 2009.

Muvunyi however said that the agency is still facing some challenges especially regarding loan applicants who make claims in different categories from what they had initially qualified, which hampers the progress of the vetting and verifying process.

He also lamented some parents who are reluctant to provide accurate information during the loan application process which may require SFAR to do more research especially regarding the financial means assessment, before a decision on the loan is made.

He said that some students approach the agency claiming bursaries or when they are not satisfied with the category they have been classified into.

He explained that some modalities and prerequisites ranging from financial capacity/background, academic excellence and family background are considered before the agency awards a bursary or a loan to students.

SFAR approves a bursary to students who excel academically in different subjects while those who pass with satisfaction acquire loans in which the Government finances 75 percent or 50 percent of the loan.

While students meet the 25 and 50 percent difference respectively. Needy or poorer students also undergo financial means assessment before they can qualify for loans.

He added that in all circumstances, the Government is able to loan money to students who are in financially need which they later repay in instalments upon completion of their studies.  

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