Thursday, February 20, 2014

College Tuition Loans...

Grace Uwantege
UOB has launched many special purpose loan and deposit products. One strategic area is education finance or EduFinance in short.

Under UOB's EduFinance program, UOB has launched school fee loans to provide funding for parents to pay the school tuition for their children or loved ones to be paid over a school term. UOB has financed almost 1,000 parents or 12,00 students.

UOB has also launched school improvement loans designed to help small private school entrepreneurs who provide quality schooling for children nearby. These loans are used to build additional classrooms, establish computer labs, install fences or buy land for expansion in the future. This product was pilot-tested in 2013 and is being scaled up in 2014. To date, we have provided these loans to 15 schools.

UOB has also launched college tuition loans that are designed to help students or parents finance college education costs. This product has been struggling mainly because of the uncertainty related to the job insecurity after the schooling. But we have had some success with vocational students.

Here is one story that exhibits how the college tuition loan has helped this young lady, called Grace Uwantege. .

Grace's father learned about an American institute, Akila Institute for Women, which focuses on providing first class academic training for girls about the hospitality industry. The school's tuition is expensive, but the school arranges scholarship for all students for the most of  the tuition fee. Naturally, the selection process is rigorous. Grace passed the admission test.

Although Grace passed the admission test, she still had to secure a funding for the balance of the tuition fee because Grace's family income was approximately $224 per month, which was not enough to pay for Grace's tuition, plus living expenses for seven members of her family. 

Grace also learned about UOB's college tuition loan program and received the loan to cover all tuition costs until graduation. 

Grace completed her education, earned a good score and has been hired by Marriott Hotel as an intern to be trained in Dubai for a year. She is expected to be one of the starting staff for Marriott Hotel under construction in Kigali, Rwanda. This Marriott Hotel is the first Marriott branch in the Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Here is Grace's statement:

To me this was a wonderful experience as I learned to live in a country far away from my parents. My internship was successfully done and I am in Rwanda as MARRIOTT STAFF waiting for new appointment in Rwanda, as one of the supervisors. I am really grateful to UOB RWANDA that decided to support young students through this kind of tuition fee loan. It just opened the new door of opportunity for me and I know I am not the only one.”

It is my prayer that there will be more students like Grace who can complete their college training to become contributing citizens of Rwanda. - Jeffrey

No comments: