The Contribution of Student Loan Scheme towards Access of Higher Education at Makerere University, Uganda
Opiema, Michael Wanyama
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The purpose of the study was to examine the contribution of the student loan scheme towards access to higher education at Makerere University with a view to improve efficiency of the loan scheme and benefit more nationals. To achieve this, the researcher adopted a cross-sectional research design and this was considered necessary for the effective accomplishment of the study. From a study population of the 220 respondents who the researcher targeted, a sample of 157 individuals was selected, and these included students of Makerere University only because this was the study case. The unit of inquiry included Higher Education Students Financing Board management, Ministry of Education officials and the students who have benefited from the loan scheme. To achieve this, the researcher administered questionnaires and carried out interviews to gather the data. The questionnaires proved to be both valid and the reliable. The quantitative data gathered from the field was entered and analysed using the SPSS programme. Statistical models such as percentages, correlations and regressions were used to address the research study objectives. Qualitative data, on the other hand, was analysed by considering the emerging themes in the research data. The findings revealed that there are positive relationships between all the independent variables, that is, Student Loan Coverage, Loan Repayment, Loan Targeting and the Access to Higher Education. The findings were as well proven by the Regression model. Upon the basis of these findings, a number of the recommendations were made, such as the continuous assessment of the loans scheme for improvement. This will involve using the schemes of the developed nations for feedback. Another key recommendation that should ensure the sustainability of the entire programme is to continuously alert and sensitize the students on the scheme about the importance of repaying these loans. Failure to do this will mean the students will be eroding the chances of access to higher education that other students would benefit from.