Lending for Learning

Designing a Student Loan Programme for Developing Countries

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Student loan programmes now operate in over 30 countries, both less developed and more developed. Students borrow from government agencies or commercial banks to finance their higher education. Several developing countries are now considering introduction of student loans as a way to reduce the heavy burden of higher education on public budgets.

This book draws from experience in both developed and developing countries in order to help policymakers design a student loan programme for a developing country. It examines 10 crucial policy questions, which include:

• Who should be eligible for student loans?

• What should be the repayment terms?

• How should loan repayments be collected?

No single ‘ideal model’ is put forward, because the choice between alternative types of student loan must depend on conditions in the country. However, the book contains much practical advice, and shows how a computer model can be designed to help policymakers compare alternative loan programmes.




The shortage of resources for educational development is a recurring theme in the history of public education systems. Some countries have enjoyed brief periods of their history when they have been relatively free from such pressures. However, such respites have generally been short-lived, and the majority of countries have had to live with financial constraints preventing them from expanding educational services as rapidly and as extensively as they would wish.


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