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Education Ministry introduces interest-free student loan scheme for non-state higher education

July 08, Colombo (LNW): The Education Ministry has launched an interest-free student loan scheme to support high school graduates who are unable to secure admission to state universities.

This initiative, part of the 2017 budget proposals, enables students to pursue degrees at non-state higher education institutions.

The scheme offers up to Rs. 800,000 without any interest. To date, 17,313 students from seven different cohorts have benefited, enrolling in 100 degree programmes at 17 Ministry-approved non-government institutions.

Among these students, 2,353 from the first three cohorts have completed their degrees, with honours degree candidates in the third group nearing completion.

Currently, 10,258 students in the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages are receiving loan payments, while 3,682 students in the seventh stage are pursuing 91 degree courses without financial barriers.

The Education Ministry and the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilisation, and National Policy have sanctioned all necessary approvals for the current batch.

Additionally, the student loan agreements with the Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank are expected to be finalised next week.

To expand the scheme, proposals have been invited from non-government higher education institutions to enrol female high school graduates from 2022 as the eighth batch.

A meeting with relevant stakeholders is scheduled next week at the Ministry of Economic Stabilisation and National Policy.

Efforts are ongoing to ensure the provision of interest-free student loans for 2022 high school graduates to pursue their studies at non-state higher education institutions.

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