Bawumia unveils “No Guarantor Student Loan Policy”

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Bawumia
Bawumia

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has outdoored the “No Guarantor Student Loan Policy” for tertiary education at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technolgy (KNUST) in Kumasi.

The Policy is a promise the Akufo-Addo-led Government made during the 2020 Elections, intended to make tertiary education accessible to the Ghanaian youth, especially beneficiaries of the Free Senior High School Policy.

This means that the restrictive policy of students having to provide three SSNIT contributors as guarantors before they could access loans for tertiary education has been abolished.

Speaking at the launch of the Policy on Wednesday, Vice President Bawumia explained that for qualified young Ghanaians to access their students’ loan, they only had to provide their Ghana-Card.

The roll-out of the pro-poor policy, he said, would henceforth remove barriers and significantly increase inclusive access to tertiary education.

“The removal of the guarantor requirement is a critical first step to ensuring cost is not a barrier to access and participate in tertiary education,” the Vice President said.

“Indeed, these are exciting times to be a youth in Ghana. One can go through education from basic to tertiary with guaranteed support from Government.”

Globally loans had enabled financially-challenged individuals to go through universities and pay after graduation, therefore, he said the Akufo-Addo-led Government had introduced the policy to ease the burden on students, parents and guardians.

Dr Bawumia provided statistics of many students who could not access the guarantor-required students loans and so denied access to tertiary education.

Out of 325,000 eligible students who submitted applications to access the Student Loans portfolio, only 9.6 per cent obtained the loans during the 2019/2020 academic year.

Similarly, only 8.4 per cent of eligible students could access loans during the 2016/2017 academic year, while 9.8 per cent accessed in 2017/2018, and 8.6 per cent in 2015/2016.

The Vice President said during the 2019/2020 academic year, 42 per cent of the 7,552 loan applicants could not submit their completed forms because of the difficulty in finding eligible guarantors.

“We promised to remove the guarantor requirement as a condition for loan access in the 2020 Manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).”

In fulfilment of the promise, the Government has revised the policy, hence tertiary students will no longer present a guarantor to access students loan.”

Therefore, effective this academic year, all eligible tertiary students would have to submit only their Ghana-Cards to access the loans.

Dr Bawumia expressed delight over the investment the Government had made in digital infrastructure, thus making it possible to use the Ghana-Card as a reliable national identity.

“This is one of the benefits we derive as country by prioritising digitalisation. It is at the core of every serious economic management.”

“All qualified students are required to apply online to the Ghana Students Loan Trust with their Ghana-Card.”
“Successful applicants will have their fees paid directly to their tertiary institutions.”

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