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Equity implications of financing students in higher education through a student loan scheme: The case of the Kenyan higher education loans board

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Author: 
John Mugun Boit
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

The paper highlights the tremendous efforts that the Kenya Government has made in the provision of higher education opportunities. However, despite efforts to equalize opportunities at this level there is concern for disparities. Inequitable access and participation of the various socio-economic groups in education are considered the cause of such disparities. The quantitative expansion of higher education undertaken by the government since the 1960’s appears to have negatively impacted on equity.The paper argues that higher education is biased for and against certain groups of people in society terms of the social class composition of students. This is a worldwide phenomenon and needs to be addressed using multi-prong approaches. In higher education however, the government can reasonably enhance equity and increase participation of students from poor family backgrounds by providing financial support to needy students. To equalize opportunities the financial assistance that is managed through Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) should be selective and repayable when students have graduated and are working - delayed payment programme.

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