Only 4000 students have submitted loan applications through the newly launched Higher Education Financing (HEF) portal.
During an interview on Citizen Tv on Wednesday, HELB CEO Charles Ringera said the government has set up appropriate measures to ensure no student is left out of the funding model.
The scholarships and loans will apply to 2022 KCSE candidates joining universities and TVETs.
Government-sponsored scholarships and loans will fully support more than 45,000 university students and 42,000 TVET students classified as vulnerable and extremely needy.
“We are ready and have organized ourselves in putting appropriate measures for students who want to secure and apply loans at Helb board,” stated Ringera.
Students only have one month to apply for scholarships and loans.
“Time is not a problem because we are using a technology known as Artificial Intelligence. So the remaining is enough for us to have processed the application forms from students. We want to assure the Kenyans that the government has prepared itself in terms of finances,” Ringera said.
“After we acquire all the details and get to know how much money will be allocated to each, the government will disburse the funds the first week that students will be expected to report to their respective institutions.”
In the 2023-24 Fiscal Year Budget, Helb’s allocation was increased to Sh30 billion from the previous Sh15 billion in the last fiscal year.
In May, Ruto explained that the new model does not increase university fees, adding that the government shall increase the funds allocated to learning institutions.
The president added that the new model would categorize the students into three groups; vulnerable, less vulnerable, and the able to receive funding.
During the launch of the portal, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said vulnerable students would not be expected to pay anything for the program cost.
“For the first time, students whose households are at the bottom of the pyramid shall enjoy equal opportunities in accessing university and TVET education,” stated Machogu.