Students’ body, UNZASU, calls on government to lower interest rates on student loans


The University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) is advocating for a reduction in the interest rate on student loans, urging the government to consider lowering it from the current 10 percent.

Presently, students from UNZA and the Copperbelt University who receive school grants are required to repay their loans at a 10 percent interest rate upon completion of their studies.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka on Monday, UNZASU Ridgeway Campus president, Rogers Tembo, stated that the Union’s aspiration was for the government to eventually eliminate loan repayments for students.

Tembo acknowledged the government’s fiscal constraints but stressed that the current 10 percent interest rate was excessively burdensome.

Read More: Govt says 2,672 students awarded loans for 2023/24 academic year at UNZA

“During the Kaunda era, these grants were considered bursaries, and students were not required to repay them. However, the repayment structure changed in 2004, with students now obligated to repay loans with a 10 percent interest,” he explained.

While expressing willingness to repay loans, Tembo proposed a reduced interest rate of up to five percent, citing the financial challenges faced by students, particularly given the current economic climate.

“Many students are struggling to meet the 10 percent interest rate. We urge the government to consider the prevailing economic conditions and lend an ear to our plea,” Tembo said.

He further revealed that the Union had initiated discussions with the government on this issue and expressed hope that their proposal for a reduced interest rate would be considered promptly.

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