Barclays Bank of Kenya has launched a three-year program which will provide financial support for bright but needy university students in partnership with the Higher Education’s Loans Board (HELB).
Barclays Bank of Kenya Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Awori says the bank has set aside Sh65 million to support the loans board for the 2017/18 academic year with each student expected to receive tuition and accommodation fees, laptop purchase and upkeep money that amounts to Sh150, 000.
Speaking at the launch on the 4th of September, Mr. Jeremy Awori said, “This program gives us a chance to impact the lives of young Kenyans who excel academically but are financially disadvantaged. It will support young people, who otherwise would not be able to pay university fees, access quality education and therefore contribute positively to the growth of our economy.”
According to Awori, the Scholarship will primarily benefit students who are orphans or are from single parent households. Awori further assured that the funds will be equally distributed among the intended beneficiaries.
“To drive diversity and inclusion, the bank will ensure that beneficiaries meet a 50:50 gender split and that at least 4 percent of the beneficiaries will be persons living with disabilities. Beneficiaries will be drawn from all the 47 counties,” he said.
Awori noted that the bank will be working closely with HELB who will help administer the fund on behalf of the bank.
“This is the culmination of a journey that has seen our citizenship programme, evolve from philanthropy to the current strategic business approach under our shared growth agenda. The shared growth approach is about making decisions and doing business that provides our clients, customers, shareholders and the communities we serve with access to a prosperous future,” said Awori.
In 2016, the bank launched the ‘Ready to Work programme’, which is a free online programme that provides students in tertiary institutions with money, life, entrepreneurship and job skills required to enable them to make a smooth transition into the world of work.
HELB Chief Executive Officer, Charles Ringera who welcomed the bank’s move called on for more external resource mobilization to supplement the body through its funding program.
“In the spirit of devolution and public private partnerships, interested parties who wish to partner with us in empowering the dreams of Kenyan youth through higher education students financing solutions are welcomed to engage with us,” said Ringera.
Ringera pointed out that HELB currently has 15 partners and is currently managing external funds in excess of Kshs 1.5 Billion outside the traditional funding sources.