Monday, May 21, 2012




new-blinkAs part of implementation of the National Higher Education Policy of 1999, the Higher Education Students' Loans Board (HESLB) was established under Act No. 9 of 2004 and commenced operations in July, 2005. Among other things, the Board has been entrusted by the Government with the responsibility to issue loans to students pursuing Advanced/ Higher Diplomas and degree studies at accredited higher education institutions in and outside the country and to collect repayment for all loans issued to students since 1994, so as to make the scheme successful and sustainable.
According to the Act, eligible and needy Tanzanian students who secure admission in higher education institutions to pursue academic programmes that lead to attainment of Advanced/Higher Diplomas or Degrees may seek loans from HESLB to meet part of, or all costs of their education. This stipulation is the legal interpretation of paragraph 6.2 of Higher Education Policy (1999) which ushered in cost – sharing in the provision of higher education in the country. Cost – sharing in higher education is construed to mean a shift in shouldering at least part of the costs of education from the Government, which had hitherto been the main financier, to the beneficiaries.

Section 6 (b) of the Act gives powers to the Board "to formulate mechanisms for determining eligible students for issuance of Loans. Section 6 (c) empowers the Board "to administer and supervise the whole process of issuance and repayment of loans". On the basis of budget limitation, Section 7 (1) empowers the Board to determine maximum number of eligible students to be given loans in any particular year; while section 7 (h) empowers the Board to determine other criteria and conditions governing the issuance of loans, including rate of interest and recovery of loans.
On the strength of these legal powers, these Guidelines and Criteria are hereby issued to prospective loan applicants and the public at large to guide the whole process of application and issuance of loans for 2012/2013 academic year.



Provision of students' loans falls under section 16 and 17 of the Act No. 9 of 2004. Section 16 (1) of the Act provides that:-
2.1 Subject to the provisions of the Act, the Board may provide, on a loan basis, financial assistance to any eligible student who is in need of the loans and who has applied for such assistance as is required to meet all or any number of the students' welfare costs of Higher Education.
The Phrase "Financial Assistance" implies that parents or guardians have the primary obligation of meeting higher education costs of students.
2.2 For purpose of these Guidelines, NEEDY applicant means:-
  • A poor orphan (who has lost both parents)
  • A poor applicant with disability or applicant whose parents have disability.
  • A poor applicant who has lost one parent.
  • An applicant from poor marginalized and disadvantaged groups.
  • An applicant from poor family.
2.3 Loans may be issued to cover either partially or fully the following items;
  1. Meals and Accommodation charges
  2. Books and Stationery expenses
  3. Special Faculty Requirement expenses
  4. Field Practical Training expenses
  5. Research expenses
  6. Tuition Fees


Eligible students for loans in 2012/2013 academic year must meet the following conditions (for First Degree or Advanced/ Higher Diploma students):-
3.1 Must be a Tanzanian (as defined by HESLB Act No. 9 of 2004, as amended).
3.2 Must have applied for a loan through the Online Loan Application System (OLAS).
3.3 Must have been admitted into a fully accredited/registered Higher Learning Institution as a candidate for a First Degree or Advanced/ Higher Diploma on full time basis through Central Admission System (CAS) or other accepted system.
3.4 Must be a continuing student who has passed the examinations necessary to enable him/her to advance to the next year or stage of study.
3.5 Must be a person who is not fully funded by other organizations or sources.
3.6 Must either be first time direct applicants who are form six leavers. These will include only applicants who completed their Advanced Secondary Education (form six) between 2010 and 2012.
A first time direct applicants under the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). These include only applicants who completed their NTA level six (6) between 2010 and 2012 as well as applicants who completed their Diploma in Teacher Education between 2010 and 2012 years.
A first time indirect applicants admitted into Health Sciences, Education (Science) and Education (Mathematics) programmes only. These include only applicants who completed their Advanced Secondary Education (form six) more than two years ago; NTA level six (6) more than two years ago and or those who completed their Diploma in Teacher Education more than two years ago.
A first time equivalent qualifications applicants admitted into Health Sciences, Education (Science) and Education (Mathematics) programmes only. These include all applicants who are holders of other Diplomas recognized by NACTE; Diplomas from outside Tanzania accredited by NACTE; degree holders intending to join other degree programmes and form six leavers who have attended a one year certificate course which is recognized by NACTE.
3.7 Given the high demand for student loans viz a viz a limited budget, priority shall be given to applicants who will be admitted to pursue National Priority Programmes which for the time being shall be the following:-
3.7.1 Education (Science) and Education (Mathematics).
3.7.2 Health Sciences (Doctor of Medicine, Dental Surgery,
Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing).
3.7.3 Civil and Irrigation Engineering.
3.7.4 Education Non- Science and Non Mathematics
(through Means Testing)
3.7.5 Engineering (Those recognised by Engineers Registration Boards, including Computer Engineering and Architecture) through Means Testing.
3.7.6 Agricultural Sciences (through Means Testing)
3.7.7 Animal Sciences (through Means Testing)
3.8 All other candidates admitted into programmes other than Health Sciences, Education (Mathematics) and Education (Sciences) on the basis of indirect or equivalent entrance to HEI may not be eligible for loans.
3.9 Overseas students under bilateral agreements between the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and other Governments.
3.10 Students studying at the Open University of Tanzania for a maximum period of six (6) years (through Means Testing). Students admitted at the Open University of Tanzania will be eligible for only two loanable items (tuition fee, and Books and Stationery.
3.11 Postgraduate students
In order to enhance adequacy of academic staff in local Higher Education Institutions, a limited number of loans will be available to academic staff pursuing Masters and PhD courses. Loan applicants for Masters or PhD programmes must meet the following conditions:-
3.11.1 Must be a Tanzanian
3.11.2 Must have been admitted to a fully accredited/registered higher education institution in Tanzania.
3.11.3 A person who is not fully funded by other organizations or sources.
3.11.4 Must have applied for Loans through the Online Loan Application System (OLAS).
3.11.5 Must hold a first degree or Advanced/Higher Diploma with a minimum of Upper Second Class (for applicants pursuing Masters Degrees) or Master's Degree with minimum of Upper Second Class (for applicants pursuing PhD degrees).
3.11.6 Must be an academic staff at a fully accredited/registered higher learning institution in Tanzania
3.11.7 Must have been officially nominated by the employer and obtained endorsement by the Deputy Vice Chancellors/Principal/Provosts/Rectors for Academics Research and consultancy or Deputy Vice Chancellors/Principal/Provosts/Rectors for Finance and Administration, of the respective institution.
3.11.8 The employer must have signed the Financing Agreement between the Higher Education Students' Loans Board and Higher Education Institution.
3.11.9 She/he must have started to repay previous loan instalments at least for unbroken period of twelve months, or a lump sum of the same instalments if he/she is already a student loans beneficiary.


According to the Act, the Board may provide loans to cover either all items or any of the items stipulated under section 2.3 above.

4.1 Means Testing System

The Board has since 2011/2012 academic year reviewed the Means testing system to make it Simple, Transparent and Fair.
The Means Testing System considers School Fees paid in O – level, A – Level Secondary Schools or Ordinary Diploma as indication of applicant's ability to contribute to the costs of higher education.
Thus, Applicant's neediness shall be measured as a difference between the higher education costs (Meals and Accommodation charges, Books and Stationery expenses, Special Faculty Requirement expenses, Field Practical expenses, Research expenses and Tuition Fees) of a particular institution of study and the applicant's ability to pay for his/her own education; multiplied by a factor to acknowledge the high return of Higher Education to the applicant. The factor ranges from 1.1 to 1.5 depending on the magnitude of Tuition Fees paid at O-Level and A-Level Secondary/Ordinary diploma Education. The higher the magnitude, the higher the factor.
In addition, the system shall make adjustments to cover for Loan applicants with special socio-economic disadvantages such as Orphanage, Disability (of Parents/applicants) and Single parency.
Under the new Means Testing System, the whole loan shall be aggregated to one lump sum amount. Out of that, the Tuition Fee and Special Faculty Requirement components shall be paid directly to the Institution of study, whereas the remaining amount shall be paid to the student quarterly.
The Means Test shall be applicable to first time applicants on Tuition fee and Special Faculty Requirements loan items only. The other four loan items meals and Accommodation, Books and Stationery, Field Practical Training and Research may be allocated one hundred (100) per cent loans.

4.2 Coverage of the Means Testing System

The new means test system shall be applicable to the first time loan applicants in the 2012/2013 academic year and subsequent years who will be admitted to pursue all programmes that will not be eligible for 100% loans.

4.3 Number of Students to be Granted Loans

In view of limited loanable funds budget, and pursuant to section 7 paragraph (1) of Act No 9 of 2004 (as amended), the Board in 2012/2013 academic year shall issue loans to a limited number of applicants as per allocated budget.
In view of limited loanable funds budget, candidates who are able to meet costs for higher education, are strongly advised not to apply for loans from the Board.

4.4 Award of One Hundred Per-cent (100%) Loans

To motivate candidates to join professions which currently have critical shortages, the following programmes shall be awarded up to one hundred (100%) per cent loans:-
4.4.1 Health Sciences as defined in section 3.7.2 above.
4.4.2 Bachelor of Education with Science, Bachelor of Science with Education and Bachelor of Education (Mathematics).
4.4.3 Irrigation Engineering.

4.5 Candidates admitted into Education Non- Science and Non Mathematics Education Programmes.

Candidates admitted into education programmes which are non- science and non mathematics education programme shall be eligible for Means Tested loans of not less than fifty (50%) per cent.

4.6 Applicable Tuition Fee Rates

Tuition Fee for first time applicants approved for loans in 2012/2013 academic year as well as second year loan beneficiaries shall be pegged to the equivalent tuition fees paid in Public Higher Education Institutions.

4.7 Continuing students who are loan beneficiaries

All other continuing students loan beneficiaries shall continue to receive their loans as per their previous Means Test grades.

4.8 Tuition Fee

The Board may provide tuition fee loans of between 0% and 100% based on the comparable rates charged by public institution and also depending on the types of the programme offered by the comparable Public institutions.
The ceiling of Tzs 2.6 million that was set on medical related programmes over the past four academic years shall continue to be in force during 2012/2013. Also, given increased demand for loans, and limited budget available, HESLB shall, unless directed otherwise by the Government, continue to issue Tuition Fees loans based on the rates that prevailed in previous year, (2012/2013) academic year for both new and continuing students, for all programmes of study.
Tuition fee funds shall be paid directly to the higher learning institutions but the student borrower shall have to acknowledge receipt of the funds by signing on a copy of the payment list issued by the Board. It will be the responsibility of the Higher Education Institutions to obtain the signatures of the students on the Tuition Payment lists and submit the same to the Board within sixty (60) days after receipt of the funds.

4.9 Field Practical/Teaching Practical Work expenses

The Board may provide Field Practical Training/Teaching Practical (FPT) loans at the rate of Tzs 10,000 per day up to a maximum of 56 days in a year. FPT loans shall not be subjected to Means Testing.
However, 3rd, 4th and 5th year continuing loan beneficiaries shall continue to receive their Field Practical/Teaching Practice loans as per their previous year means test grades.
The Board may provide such loans for those programmes that require Field Practical Training (FPT) as recommended by the respective Higher Education Institutions and approved by the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) and the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE).

4.10 Special Faculty Requirements

Subject to Means Testing results, the Board may provide Special Faculty Requirement (SFR) loans of between 0% and 100% but only for study programmes that require special faculty requirement items and only for specified items as approved by TCU/NACTE based on the rates comparable to public institutions.
Funds for special faculty requirements shall be paid directly to the Higher Learning Institutions but respective student borrowers shall have to acknowledge receipt of the funds by signing on a copy of the payment list issued by the Board.
Within the amount allocated for Special Faculty Requirements, eligible and needy students with disability may be provided with loans to cover special academic material requirements as may be determined by the Board.

4.11 Meals and Accommodation

The Board may provide loans for Meals and Accommodation at the rate of Tzs 7,500 per day while on campus for theoretical instructions in the academic year.

4.12 Books and Stationery expenses

A maximum of Tzs 200,000.00 per annum for Books and Stationery may be granted to eligible and needy students. However, loan beneficiaries from Open University of Tanzania (OUT) may be granted books and stationery loans for 3 to 4 academic years only (depending on the programme of study) and not every year.

4.13 Research expenses

The Board may provide loans of 100% for Research expenses in selected fields only, based on the rates applicable at public institutions and as may be endorsed by either TCU or NACTE. These fields include:-
  • Health Sciences (which includes Doctor of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dental Surgery, Pharmacy and Nursing)
  • Engineering
  • Agriculture
  • Other eligible undergraduate programmes may be given loans to a tune of Tzs 100, 000.00 in their final year of study


5.1 Interest of Loan Issued

For the purpose of retaining the value of loans issued as well as making the loan scheme sustainable, all loans issued beginning 2011/2012 shall bear Interest rate equal to 6% (six) percent, per annum.

5.2 Students with multiple admissions

The Board shall not disburse loan to any eligible candidate admitted into more than one Higher Education Institution. Loan applicants and Higher Education Institutions are hereby advised to ensure that a candidate is admitted into only one Institution. The Board shall not be responsible for delayed or non- disbursement of a loan arising from a problem of multiple admission.

5.3 Students shifting from one Institution to other Institution

To avoid misdirection of loan funds for students admitted at one HEl who later choose to shift to another HEl, the Board shall not raise a duplicate loan payment to such students. Instead, loan applicants who shifted to other HEl will have to wait until the Board receives back the funds from HEl where it was initially paid.
The Board may re-direct the loan funds to the Institution where the student has shifted to subject to obtaining written confirmation from TCU/NACTE that, the transfer of institution has been approved as well as written report that the candidate has actually reported and registered at the new HEl.

5.4 List of Candidates admitted into Higher Education Institutions

To ensure compliance and enforcement of quality issues in higher education, only candidates in the official admission lists approved by the TCU or NACTE for respective institutions shall be considered for loans. Higher Education Institutions are advised to strictly submit lists of admitted students through either TCU or NACTE. Admission lists submitted directly to the Board by Higher Education Institutions shall not be considered.

5.5 Mode of Application

The Board has since 2011/2012 academic year introduced an Online Loan Application System (OLAS) with the aim of simplifying and increasing efficiency of the loan issuance process.
Candidates wishing to apply for loans for the 2012/2013 application cycle are advised to apply through OLAS; print out the application form and Loan Agreement, appropriately sign the same, attach the necessary documentations and submit to the Board through a EMS or registered mail to:-
The Executive Director, Higher Education Students' Loans Board, TIRDO Complex, Kimweri Road, Msasani, P.O. Box 76068, DAR ES SALAAM.
Applicants are advised to maintain a copy of the application form and the receipt of mailing the application for subsequent tracking purpose of the application form.
Eligible needy candidates are advised to visit HESLB website to farmiliarize themselves with OLAS before attempting to apply.

5.6 Loan Application Fees

First time applicants must pay non-refundable one-off application fee of Tzs 30,000.00 through M-Pesa, Tigo- Pesa or Airtel money.

5.7 Application Deadline

Loan Application cycle for 2012/2013 academic year will start on 16th April, 2012 and come to end on 30th June, 2012. Application lodged beyond this date shall not be honoured.

5.8 Mode of Disbursement of Approved Loans

In order to expedite disbursement of approved loans and minimize the possibility of wastage arising from disbursing loans from the Board directly to the students bank accounts, all loans shall now be paid through Higher Education Institutions. The Higher Education Institutions upon being satisfied that the student loan beneficiary has passed all the necessary examinations allowing him/her to advance to the next level of study or has reported and Registered shall remit to the student bank account the amount of loan so far received from the Board.


A list of Candidates and awarded amounts for eligible loan applicants shall be posted on the Board's website as and when the process of means testing is completed.


Applicants who are not satisfied with the Awarded Loan Amounts may appeal to the Board as stipulated in the HESLB Regulations of 2008 and as clarified below:-
7.1 All appellants must complete the relevant Online Appeal Forms, make a printout of the same and attach thereto the necessary supporting documents. The Online Loan Application System is accessible at

7.2 Appeal Fee (Tzs. 5,000 per appeal)

All appeals will attract a non-refundable fee of Tzs, 5,000 per appeal which should be paid using Tigo Pesa, M-Pesa or Airtel Money and the Transaction ID generated should be input into the Online System prior to printing the completed appeal form, otherwise the appeal will not be considered.

7.3 Routing of Appeals through Loan Officers at the institutions of study

Appeals must be routed through the Loan Officers at the respective Higher Education Institution who will collect all appeals from his/her respective institution and submit them under a covering letter to the Board. The Board will not accept any appeal that will be submitted directly by students to the Board.



8.1 Grants Items

Grants may be issued to cover either partially or fully the following items;
• Tuition Fees
• Books and Stationery expenses
• Special Faculty Requirement expenses
• Field Practical Training expenses
• Research expenses

8.2 Eligibility Criteria

Issuance of grants to Higher Education Students shall be governed by the following conditions and procedures:
8.2.1 A limited number of grants shall be issues to direct students admitted into fully accredited HEls in Tanzania to pursue MD, DDS or BVM.
8.2.2 Must have obtained outstanding academic performance of Division I or II at Advanced Level Secondary Education or a first class for Assistant Medical Officers.
8.2.3 Must have registered for studies with the HEls.

8.2 Signing of Bond

Students awarded Grants shall be required to sign a Bond with the Board, where the student upon graduation shall work within Tanzania for a period of not less than five (5) years. 8.3 A separate advertisement calling for applications for grants shall be floated in the news media in July, 2012.
Issued by:-


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