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Seychelles introduces Educational Loan Scheme for university students, ends Part-Financing Scheme

Victoria, Seychelles | March 28, 2024, Thursday @ 11:12 in National » GENERAL | By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3419
Seychelles introduces Educational Loan Scheme for university students, ends Part-Financing Scheme

Students who qualified for scholarships in 2024. (Seychelles Nation)

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Students in Seychelles who want to pursue higher education but have not qualified for fully-funded scholarships for university studies can now do so through a student loan under the new Educational Loan Scheme.  

The statement was made in the National Assembly on Wednesday by the Minister for Education, Justin Valentin, who also announced that the government's Part-Financing Scheme has stopped with immediate effect.

The minister said that requests for university studies, including overseas ones by both students and employees, are continuously increasing.

"Given Seychelles' economic status as a high-income country, the number of scholarships we get from other countries or organisations has decreased. So the Ministry of Education has a significant challenge to better and more effectively use its scholarship budget. Because of the many demands, the government put in place an Educational Loan Scheme in operation since May 2023," said Valentin.

The student loan under the Educational Loan Scheme is not more than SCR 800,000 ($58,500) and is given to support a study in a field that is a priority for Seychelles and based on the interest rate of the respective banks, the government will subsidise 4 percent of the interest rate.

Valentin said "A student will start repaying the loan after having completed the study and has started earning a salary. The government is the guarantor for each student."

The Educational Loan Scheme is supported by five commercial banks as well as the Seychelles Credit Union, the Central Bank of Seychelles, and the Seychelles Bankers Association. The final decision for approval of the loan remains with the banks.

Aside from students who have not qualified for a fully-funded scholarship, the loan will also be available for a student who wishes to study in another university and not the one chosen by the Ministry of Education. The loan will help cover the difference in cost but will not exceed the SCR 800,000.

Valentin said the Part-Financing Scheme has stopped due to several issues and concerns.

"We saw during these past few years that the part-finance option has put a lot of financial pressure on parents. Certain parents did not honour their commitments and finally, the [government] system had to pay for the student to complete the study," he added.

Additionally, more students are expected to qualify for a fully- funded scholarship thanks to adjustments being made to the scholarship policy.

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Tags: National Assembly, Educational Loan Scheme, scholarship policy

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