ABSTRACTA students’ Loan scheme is one among many alternatives for financing higher education in various countries around the world. Tanzania is one of the countries that have been practicing loan scheme system for financing higher education sub-sector. The purpose of this study is to examine the performance of the students’ loan scheme in Tanzania basing on the views of the stakeholders, mostly higher education students who are the main beneficiaries of the scheme.
Some university students at the University of Dar es Salaam, the policy makers and policy implementers in the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and the Higher Education Student Loan Board respectively, were identified for the study. The study was guided by two research questions. These are: what is the performance of higher education student loan scheme in terms of the procedures for loan application and money disbursement; and does the student loan scheme contain the structures for loan recovery to the extent of being able to recover the loan?
A qualitative strategy has been used in this study. Multiple methods were used for data collection, namely semi-structured interview, group discussion and documentary analysis. Twelve students of different academic years of study and student leaders at the student organization level, two policy makers and two policy implementers were interviewed. Twenty students were involved in a focused group discussion. And various documents including policy documents, guidelines and website documents were analyzed. Data collected was analyzed by induction process.
The findings show that the loan scheme in Tanzania is partly not performing well in terms of application procedures, disbursement of funds to students and loan recovery. Therefore to make the loan scheme perform at the convenience of the stakeholders, it is recommended that the government should decentralize the HESLB to district level (establish the district offices). By doing so some services such as distribution and collection of loan application forms and means-testing can be done at the district offices. In addition, it is recommended that the loan application forms can also be stationed at Advanced Secondary Schools to make it easy for the applicants to access them as most of the applicants are students from these schools.