The Higher Education Loans Board, HELB, is the leading financier of higher education in Kenya. It is a state corporation under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science and Technology. HELB was established by an Act of Parliament (Cap 213A) in 1995.The mandate of the Board is to disburse loans, bursaries and scholarship to students pursuing higher education in recognized institution. HELB provides affordable loans bursaries and scholarship to Kenyans pursuing higher education. Key among the responsibilities of the Board is sourcing funds, establish and manage a sustainable revolving Fund as well as award loans, bursaries and scholarships to Kenyans pursuing higher education in recognized institutions. Through the Act, the Board has been able to recover funds loaned out to Kenyans in the past.
Today, the Board gives out over Kshs. 7.1 billion in loans and Kshs. 100 million in form of bursaries to learners in technical, industrial, vocational and entrepreneurship training institution and Kshs 82 million bursary to government sponsored students per annum to undergraduate students. By the end of the financial year, we expect to disburse about Kshs. 7.1 billion to over 125,000 students. The Board also awarded Kshs 20million in form of scholarships to over 77 students.
Formation of HELB
HELB was created in 1995 as the preferred financier of higher education in the country. The Boards mandate is:
- To solicit funds and other assistance to promote the functions of the Board
- To set criteria and conditions governing the granting of loans including the rate of interest and recovery of loans
- Toreceive any gifts, donations, grants or endowment made to the Board and to make legitimate disbursements therefrom
- To borrow such monies from such sources and in such amounts as may be approved by the Minister with the concurrence of the treasury and to secure such loans manner as they deem fit
- To enter into contract with financial institutions for the purpose of loans disbursement and recovery
- To receive and consider all loan applications from eligible persons or students wishing to be considered for the award of the higher education loans and to approve, withhold or reject such request in accordance with the provision of the Act.
- Establish and award bursaries and scholarships which it may consider necessary
Establishment Revolving Fund
- To formulate sound policies for regulation the management of the fund
- To establish and maintain links with other persons, bodies or organizations within or outside Kenya as the Board may consider appropriate for the furtherance of the purposes for which the Board is established
- Invest any surplus funds not currently required for the purpose of the Board in any investment Authority by law for the investment of trust funds with power from time to time to vary or realize those investments.