The government has decided to launch a programme where a bank loan of Rs. 1.1 million will be granted without any interest to students who have excelled at the Advanced Level Examination but do not get the opportunity to enter state universities due to strong competition.
This loan will be given to enable them to study in private universities in the country for a degree suitable for obtaining a job.
State minister of finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that the loan facility will be granted to students with high Z-Scores to study courses where there are ample job opportunities through private universities.
Previously, a sum of Rs. 800,000 was granted interest-free through the Bank of Ceylon for students to enable them to engage in degree courses.
Under the new programme, Minister Siyambalapitiya said that a sum of Rs. 800,000 as well as Rs. 300,000 on behalf of daily expenses will also be provided.
It has been extended so that students can obtain this facility through the People’s Bank as well as the National Savings Bank.
The cabinet paper regarding this is to be submitted to the cabinet by the minister next Tuesday.
Arrangements will be made in the future to grant this facility to 500 students based on instructions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
After obtaining this loan facility and then leaving the university, while engaged in a job this loan has to be paid back within a year.
Since loan interest is 25% at present, students who want to study in universities are unable to engage in higher education by obtaining a loan to pay costs.
Their parents also cannot bear the burden of such high-interest loans.
Taking this situation into consideration the State Minister said that the loan facility for higher education without interest which had been halted will recommence.