Access to Higher Education in Tanzania: Experiences from Students Who Are Not Beneficiaries of Higher Education Loans

Peer-reviewed article
(2020 Sep) The Cradle of Knowledge: African Journal of Educational and Social Science Research, 8 110-117


Salema Victorini


The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of students who do not benefit from higher education loans in their education. Although the government declared free education for primary and ordinary secondary education, yet the majority of the students who complete secondary education find it difficult to access higher education. The government through her scheme of loans has supported some students through Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB). This Board has the objective of assisting needy and eligible Tanzania students to access loans and grants for higher education. Because of tough eligibility criteria, there are many students who secure chance for Higher Education, and yet they are not qualified for loans. Some of these students get to the university with the support of their parents or guardians. This study was particularly geared to explore their experiences in the university life and to compare their performance with those who are the beneficiaries of the loans. This study used parallel concurrent triangulation design, targeting university students and university loan officers. The findings indicate that students who are not beneficiaries of the loans experience various challenges such as failure to register as students, social isolation, stress, stigma, prostitution, pregnancy and others. The findings also indicate that students who are the beneficiaries of loans perform better than none beneficiaries of the loans. This study suggests that the government should find ways to allocate more funds for students who qualify to access higher education and find other ways of supporting students who qualify for higher education.