At least 1,460 students have been awarded government study loans by the Higher Education Students Financing Board (HESFB) to pursue diploma and undergraduate courses.
Of these, 1,064 (73 per cent) are male while 396 (27 per cent) are female. Out of that number, 207 are diploma students.
Some 4,218 students applied for the loans compared to 3,764 in 2016.
Speaking at Uganda Media Centre yesterday, the HESFB chairman, Prof Callisto Locheng, said: "The board called for loan applications on June 15 and 16 and the deadline was first set for August 4. It was later extended to August 30 which gave a chance to students who received admission letters late to apply for the loans," Locheng said.
He added that while beneficiaries represent a national outlook, the board continues to engage Amudat, Moroto and Nakapiripirit districts which had no applicants.
While the scheme first covered science programmes, the board has approved four humanities programmes under affirmative action for 13 students with disabilities.
State minister for higher education John Muyingo yesterday awarded a certificate to Hatiika Namyalo, who graduated with a diploma in nursing last year, for fully repaying her loan. Namyalo, currently employed at Baptist seminary as a nurse, was one of the pioneers of the scheme in 2014.
She was loaned Shs 3.821m to study at Jinja School of Nursing and Midwifery. HESFB executive director Michael Wanyama encouraged students to apply online in future.
"Our selection criterion is very robust and transparent because we select only the poorest from the poor. There is no need to deliver forms at our offices," Wanyama said.
Eighteen chartered universities and 33 Other Tertiary Institutions were approved to participate this year. They include Gulu, Kabale, Lira, MUST, Muni, Bishop Stuart, Bugema, Nkumba, UCU, UMU and Kampala University.
Full list of all the 1,460 successful degree and diploma beneficiaries in today's print edition