Statistics show that out of 325,000 students who applied for students loan in the 2019/20 academic year, only 9.6% were able to access the loan.
Similarly, only 8.4% of eligible students could access loans in 2016/2017, 9.8% in 2017/18 and 8.6% in 2015/16.
Further, in the 2019/20 academic year, 42% of loan applicants could not submit their completed forms because of difficulty finding eligible guarantors
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia disclosed this when he launched the ‘No Guarantor Student Loan Policy’ to allow students in tertiary institutions to access loans without providing guarantors.
With the new policy, the cumbersome and restrictive old policy of students providing three SSNIT contributors as guarantors before they could access student loans for tertiary education has been abolished.
The new policy now makes it possible for qualified students to access loans to fund their tertiary education using their Ghanacard.
Speaking at the launch on Wednesday, Vice President Bawumia said the coming into fruition of the pro-poor policy, would remove barriers and significantly increase inclusive access to tertiary education.
“The removal of the guarantor requirement is a critical first step to ensuring cost is not a barrier to access and participation in tertiary education,” Dr Bawumia said.
The Vice President noted that globally, loans have enabled financially challenged individuals to go through Universities and pay after graduation.
“We promised to remove the guarantor requirement as a condition for loan access… In fulfilment of this promise, the government has revised the policy; hence, tertiary students will not have to present a Guarantor to access student loans. Effective this school year, all eligible tertiary students will have to submit their Ghana Card to access the loans,” Dr Bawumia said.
Dr Bawumia also expressed delight that the No Guarantor Student Loan Policy has been made possible through the Ghanacard thanks to the investment the government has made in digital infrastructure, which has made the Ghanacard a reliable national identity card for Ghanaians.
“This is one of the benefits we derive as a country by prioritizing digitalization. It is at the core of every serious economic management.”
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD