Following news reports on the issue of students who are complaining that their names appeared on the list in IMVAHO NSHYA published by the Rwanda National Examinations Council (RNEC) but did not appear on the lists published by the Student Financing Agency for Rwanda (SFAR), we are pleased to give to the public the following clarifications:
The Rwandan student bursary/loan policy was published in 2008.
Before 2008 and indeed before the Government introduced the new policy of Cost-sharing at higher education, all students entering the first year of Higher education and whose names were published in IMVAHO NSHYA by the Rwanda National Examinations Council, were automatically allowed to benefit government scholarship.
Starting with academic year 2009, this changed with the implementation of the new student loan scheme which requires all students in higher education to apply for government funding in accordance with this policy.
In respect to this new policy, SFAR receives Loan Application Forms from students who are eligible to apply for the bursary/loan and goes ahead to carry out the Financial Means Testing (FMT).
This FMT is used to determine the students who are unable or able to meet part or all the cost of their studies and is based on a number of factors including but not limited to the students and/or parents level of income.
The outcome of the FMT generally depends on the information provided on the Loan Application Form by the applicant.
The student bursary/loan (cost sharing) policy is provided for in the Presidential Order no 54/01 of 06/10/2008 and the Ministerial Order no 002/08 of 03/09/2008.
These Orders set the minimum academic requirements (Marks) that any bursary/loan applicant has to fulfill as a prerequisite to apply for a bursary/loan.
A bursary means non refundable funds granted to a student to meet part or all the cost of his/her higher education in Rwanda or abroad while a loan means repayable funds granted to a student to meet part or all the cost of his/her higher education.
We would like to clarify that all students who qualify for university admission in 2010 and whose names were published in IMVAHO NSHYA by the Rwanda National Examinations Council are not automatically eligible to a Government bursary/loan.
It was indeed mentioned that the names appearing on this list were admissible to Higher education but does not mean that they have been granted Government funding.
The students who are eligible are only those who comply with the conditions set in the Presidential Order which determines the criteria for granting a bursary and the Ministerial Order which determines the criteria for providing a loan.
It should be well noted that finalists of the Secondary school admitted to higher education are eligible to a loan only if they have attained at least a “satisfaction” in Math-Physics or Bio-Chemistry majors or if they have attained at least a “distinction” in non science courses. Students who did not possess these marks/grades were therefore not eligible.
Those students who claim to have their names omitted from the lists published by SFAR are the ones who did not fulfill the requirements of the Ministerial Order cited above and do not have, therefore, the eligibility to apply for a loan.
SFAR Communication officer
Public Relations and Communication officer