Sunday, December 17, 2017
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To Offer an Interest Free Loan Scheme for Higher Education

The plan launched is an offer of an Interest-Free Student Loan Scheme in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka.
This loan scheme is offered for Advanced Level students who have qualified for university entrance but have not been able to secure a seat in a state university to pursue a Degree of their choice.
In this endeavor, Horizon as a campus recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education will provide opportunities to those students who are unable to bear the cost of course fees of their degrees affiliated with foreign universities, the opportunity to finance their higher education after they complete their studies and enter employment. Similar models are currently available in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.A.
Hon.State Minister of Higher Education & Highways -Mohan LalGrero,who was present at the launch of this program said that this was a historical day of the Sri Lankan education sector, where all students in the country will have access to higher education degrees of their choice . Also present at this function were Mr. D. M. Gunasekara(General Manager – Bank of Ceylon), Mr.UpulDaranagama (Chairman Horizon Group),Mr.AjithaWanainghe (CEO Horizon Campus)
,Dr.RuwanPerera (Acting Vice chancellor Horizon Campus ),Prof. T. Thanaraj Dean, Faculty of Education,Horizon Campus, Dr. AmalRajapakse, Dean, Faculty of Information Technology Horizon Campus, Mr. Terence Kahapolarachchi Dean, Faculty of Management Horizon Campus and Mr. ThilinaRajapakse Project Director – B.Ed,Horizon Campus.
Mr.UpulDaranagama, Chairman of Horizon Campus, said “ By partnering in this loan scheme with the Government we can expect to produce a pool of high level human capital, which is essential for the economic and human development of the country and is therefore of central importance toit’s future development .
In line with the Budget Proposal of 2017 that suggested to provide opportunities to students who are qualified in G.C.E (A/L) but miss out universityentrance, this student loan scheme, will offer a maximum loan amount of Rs.800,000.00per student for the entire course of study.
Programs offered at Horizon campus for this loan scheme include the Bachelor of Science in Business Management (HRM) , Bachelor of Management Honors in Marketing, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Bachelor of Information Technology in Networking and Mobile Computing(Honors) and Bachelor of EducationThe students who sat for G.C.E (A/L) in 2015 are eligible for this scheme who have scored at least ‘S’ grades in all three approved subjects in one and the same sitting.
Each student will be given any number of preferences for the degree programs based on their personal interest, with the highest priority being given to the first preference of the program of the applicant.
An online system hosted under www.studentloans.mohe.gov.lk can be used to submit the application by the qualified applicants with a payment of Rs.200/ . Selected students need to enter into a loan agreement with the Bank of Ceylon which provides these loan facilities. Students who are selected for the 4 years Degree program will be given a total period of 12 years as loan repayment period, whilst students who selected for the 3 years Degree program will be given a total period of 10 years as loan repayment period.
Mr.Daranagamaadded “Any country risks falling behind in the knowledge-driven global economy if it doesn’t expand its higher education sector.
As such, Government-backed student credit is a financial instrument well suited to funding higher education.Such a scheme would eliminates the financial barriers to higher education, while retaining fair cost-sharing and the signaling virtues of price.
If managed correctly, it could deliver increased access and academic excellence more effectively than other funding options. I personally believe that this well-designed student loan scheme is the solution to Sri Lanka’s higher education funding crisis and this is the reason that we at Horizon endorse this move and have also partnered in this initiative .

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