Students Loan Trust ponders financing only courses relevant to job market

Officials of the Students Loan Trust are considering proposals to finance only tertiary education students whose programs of study are relevant to the job market.

According to them, research has shown that students who undertake courses that meet industrial needs are able to repay their students loan promptly.

At their 2015 annual general meeting in Elmina, President of the Association of Africa Higher Education Financing Agencies Charles Ringers stressed that the time has come to finance “faculties that are resonating with problems of society”.

According to him, students who fall out of this category often struggle to pay back their loans.

“It means you [were in] a wrong faculty, you have no job so that is why you are struggling to pay the loan”.

“… so yes as part of our agenda going forward, we will be looking at the faculty that are repaying their loans”, he told Joy News Central regional correspondent Richard Kwadwo Nyarko.

But Chief Executive of the Students Loan Trust in Ghana Sheila Naa Boamah explained that the proposal is only being considered and won’t be implemented immediately.

Nonetheless, stakeholders within the educational sector need to acknowledge that resources for financing education are scarce.

She noted that teacher trainees and doctors have a “higher chance of getting a job” and so makes it attractive for the SLT to help more students studying these two programmes.

She suggested that spreading scarce resources thinly over students studying several different courses is not the most efficient way to manage resources.

She revealed that graduates who took loans while in school but have not paid are denying others the opportunity to benefit from the SLT.

Some students, who spoke to Joy News, have described proposals by officials of Students Loan Trust as discriminatory.

A lady explained that defaulting students are struggling to get a job because the government has failed to expand the economy.

A struggling economy “is not the fault of the student…it goes back to government”.

She says the SLT proposal means it is “automatically agreeing that some courses are more important than others”.

Story by Ghana||EA

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