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Changes in student loans rates by HESLB shocking

Saturday February 27 2021
Loans pic

HESLB director general Abdul-razaq Badru

By Jacob Mosenda

Dar es Salaam.  While 945 students have complained about adjustments made to tuition fees paid to them by the Higher Education Student Loans Board (HESLB), board’s director Abdulrazaq Badru said all the money needed to be paid to the beneficiaries had been disbursed.

 He made the statement yesterday after 945 students from the Tanzania Institute of Accountancy (TIA), Dar es Salaam campus, raised their grievances to The Citizen over the confusion on Thursday.

The beneficiary, a third year student preparing to write his final exams soon, said the changes had only affected the second and third year students.

“About three weeks ago we signed for the fees, but on February 22, 2021 we were told that Heslb had made adjustments and that the money meant for fees had been reduced. This is what shocked us,” he said preferring anonymity.

The reduction in these fee payments has led some students to find themselves owing TIA Sh200,000, Sh400,000 and more while they had a few days left to take the university examinations.

 “I’m worried the college will not allow us to sit for the exams even though my name was on Heslb’s list of fee beneficiaries,” said the student.

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However, addressing the issue Mr Badru said that the board had completed the payment to all the beneficiaries according to the amount of money allocated to each student.

“If there is a deficit, they should follow procedures as there are no changes made…,” said Mr Badru.

 He said depending on amount paid by the board, the student’s responsibility was to pay any balance to com- plete the required fees.

“The money given to them is the same as that received in the last academic year,” explained Mr Badru. Through an announcement made by TIA students’ ministry of loans, Heslb had made adjustments to fees for some beneficiaries.

After seeing the changes in the amount of fees paid by the credit board, students said, they tried to contact their colleagues in other institutions to find out if they too had encountered the challenge. “Our friends in other universities said there was no such thing, this left us at the crossroads…,” he said.

 The TIA acting vice chancellor for academic, research and advisory, Dr Momore Kasambara, said the list of beneficiaries the institution received from Heslb included all beneficiaries. “Later, we received a report from Heslb showing adjustments on tuition fees. The board may be in a better position to explain the reasons,” he said.

 However, she noted that TIA would not stop any student affected by the adjustment from writing the final exams. “As TIA we have given these students one academic year as grace period so that they can sit for the exam and pay the debts later.”

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