The Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grants Board says it is now fully established appealing to all former student beneficiaries from the University of Malawi (Unima) and Mzuzu University (Mzuni) to repay their outstanding matured loans they acquired during their time of study at the universities.
The board’s executive director Chris Chisoni advised former students ar to verify with the Loans Board Secretariat on the status of their loans and agree with the Board on the modalities of loan payment.
“All loans accessed during academic years 1985 to 2012 or earlier are considered as matured loans and are due for payment. Therefore they shall be expected to be fully repaid within a period not exceeding 12 months from April 2016; notwithstanding the Limitation Act as per the HESL&GB Board’s Act part 4, section 4, subsection K,” said Chisoni in a statement.
The Board has intensified efforts to recover up to K1.7 billion matured loans acquired by the former student beneficiaries from 1985 to 2012 in order to make the scheme viable, evolving and sustainable to meet the ever increasing demand for support by needy and deserving students in the country’s institutions of higher learning.
It adds that it will do all it can to recover all the overdue students’ loans which are public funds expected to develop into a revolving fund that will benefit all the upcoming generations of the nation.
HESL&GB stipulates that, the Secretariat of the Board will contact and interface with all the employers specifically their Human Resource departments and the professional bodies as they trace the former beneficiaries toward the recovery of the loans.
“Failure by an employer to disclose the existence of the former students’ loans beneficiaries under their employment will attract a penalty fee of MWK1 million for each employee according to the HESL&GB Act Section 30, subsection 1,” Chisoni added.
Chisoni pleaded with managers from both public and private institutions to support the board by tracking down the former student beneficiaries employed in their institutions.
He warned that after April 2017, employers who fail to disclose the existence of the former beneficiaries under their employment will attract a penalty fee of K1 million for each employee.
The HESLGB was mandated by the 2015 Act of Parliament No. 2 to support access to higher education through the provision of loans to needy and deserving students in higher education institutions and one way to achieve this mandate is by collecting all outstanding loans from former students.