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Prime Minister, James Marape says the Government has allocated K65.1 million in the 2022 Budget to the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) to continue supporting students who need financial assistance.

He said this today (January 25 2022) when giving an update on higher education in the country.

“This Government is fully-committed to ensure quality education is accessed by all students in an affordable manner,” PM Marape said.

“The HELP is a signature programme introduced by my Government in 2019 when we took office, and was first implemented in 2020

“This is a loan scheme for the students who cannot afford school fees in tertiary institutions.

“It has been managed and coordinated by the Department of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (DHERST).

“The HELP remains a successful programme since its inception in 2020.”

PM Marape said the programme would generate its first dividends in 2022 when the first post-graduate students who had applied last year (2021), and would graduate this year (2022), commence repaying the loan.

“The dividends will be saved in what is called Higher Education Endowment Fund,” he said.

“This facility will generate return and in turn self-sustain the programme in the long run.”

PM Marape commended DHERST Acting Secretary Dr. Francis Hualupmomi, who under the political leadership of Minister, Wesley Raminai, had introduced new mechanisms to transparently manage the HELP.

“Dr Hualupmomi has extended the HELP to post-graduate students in 2021,” he said.

“This decision will now result in payment of first dividends by the working class post-graduate students.”

PM Marape said another important positive outcome was an increase in spaces available for 2022 school-leavers.

“The number of spaces available for Grade 12 school-leavers in all tertiary institutions in the country has increased from 11,000 in 2021 to 15,171 in 2022,” he said.

“This is largely attributed to a participation of some new institutions in the higher and technical education system in the country.

“Technical education is another of my Government’s policy initiatives in skilling up the labour force for the upcoming extractive industry projects.”


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