The Student Financing Agency for Rwanda (SFAR) is set to revise its policy on the loan recovery from former students who benefited from government funds.
The loan recovery strategy was launched in 2007 in an effort to maintain a financially sustainable higher education system by putting in place a mechanism that will allow paying back the bursary money.
The money in question dates back to the 1980s when government began supporting higher education both within and outside the country.
Since its inception, the fund has been able to only recover around Rwf2.3 billion out of the estimated Rwf65 billion that has accumulated over a period of almost three decades.
The main idea behind the recovering of the loans is to re-inject the money back into higher education so it can finance itself.
According to the Minister of Education, Dr. Charles Muligande, the ministry is going to revise the bursary loan recovery policy and put in place stringent measures on defaulting former beneficiaries.
“We may start charging interest to those beneficiaries who have delayed to pay as a penalty,” said the minister in a recent radio talk show.
The agency revealed that only 3,975 beneficiaries are currently servicing the loans, out of the estimated 48,000.
According to the Loan Recovery Director at SFAR, Desire Gacinya, the biggest number of are self employed and those working outside the country.
Gacinya also said that they were planning to sensitise beneficiaries in the Diaspora about it through embassies since many of them are not aware of the exercise.
He called upon various organizations and companies that have not been able to start deducting the bursary money from their employees to begin doing so.