Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) and the Higher Education Students’ Loan Board (HESLB) will for the first time join hands and work as one component to ensure that the goals towards the continuous improvement of higher education in the country are achieved.
Speaking in a breakfast roundup at the World Bank Offices in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TCU’s Executive Secretary Prof. Sifuni Mchome said that the two organization will start working together in June next year whereby they will have an access of sharing a database together for the purpose of improving higher learning education countrywide.
Prof. Mchome also said that after the TCU completes working on admission activities, the HELSB will use the same database to allocate loans to students selected to join various Universities in the country.
The Prof also pointed out that the TCU enrollment strategy for the 2013/14 which needs improvement on coordination of administration process, has expanded students’ enrollment in science related programmes, increased higher education participation rate as well as increased the number of female students in universities.
He noted that on improving the coordination of admission process, TCU in collaboration with its stakeholders has developed the Central Admission System (CAS) to make sure that admissions of students are easier than before.
“There were many challenges before introducing the CAS, there were multiple selections as institutions were competing for the same students which led to loan abuse and underutilized slots, for example in 2009 before the establishment of CAS there were about 7000 applicants with multiple admissions out of the 35,355 applicants in a year,” he said.
He added that, “Before CAS there were difficulties in detecting applicants with forged certificates of which some of the students used to enter universities with.”
He disclosed other challenges that they faced before the introduction of CAS such as applicants spending a lot of time and money in applying for admissions of which they used to travel to the institutions to purchase admission forms and submits them back sometimes through postal system and thus not sure if the forms were ever received.
For his part, HESLB’s Director of Planning, Research and ICT, Asangye Bangu said that the board has allocated a budget of 326/- billion as loan-able funds for the academic year 2012/13 which will be lent to 98772 students.
Bangu said that the total loan disbursed to higher education students between July 1994 to June 2012 is about 1,138,961,8009, 033.80 which is approximately to 1.1/- trillion.
He also said that their strategic plan for 2012/13 and 2013/14 is to improve loan recovery, enhancing HESLB’s planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as improving the board’s operations, efficiency and effectiveness in assurance of students loans.
Reacting on challenges facing HESLB, he said, “WE have inadequate budget to meet demand, the increasing number of students being admitted at higher learning institutions has made it difficult for the board to meet demands for the loans… As a way forward the board will continue to convince the government to increases the budgetary allocations to the board so as to meet the ever growing demand of funds as well as stepping up on recovering loans.”