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MSB withdraws Univesity Loan Forms after pressure from students

The Malawi Savings Bank has withdrawn the newly introduced Public University Students Loan scheme application forms for public university students in Malawi.

In an e-mail response, Business Development and Marketing Manager for the bank Dora Banda told Zodiak Radio on Monday morning that the forms will be temporarily withdrawn until they meet with student leadership, the University and Government through Ministry of Education – Higher learning to agree on the way forward.

According to her the meeting will be held sometime this week.

However, University of Malawi Students Union Vice president Chitsanzo Satheka told Zodiak that the meeting has been proposed to be held on Friday.

In a letter dated November 16 addressing to the president of Bunda College of Agriculture students union, MSB said it has revised the loan application form to meet standards adopted and used by international bodies involved in administration of loan schemes for higher education.

MSB's focus in revising the loan forms is on ensuring that the bank easily trace eligible needy students.

The bank also believes that the new loan forms would enable the bank to recover the loans easily, while the recipients think otherwise.

According to UMSU Vice President Satheka the loan forms are prohibitive as they want to hinder students to access the loans.

On Saturday student bodies from both the University of Malawi and Mzuzu University met in Lilongwe and gave the bank a four-day ultimatum to review the form.

Student Union President of Mzuzu University Moses Chalera told Zodiak Online that students from Mzuni would not use the forms.

According to him, the forms are designed in such a way that beneficiaries will cough a lot just to get relevant signatures, which will require a lot of travelling.

During the Saturday's meeting the two student bodies from Mzuzu University and University of Malawi agreed to demand explanations on why MSB has introduced the new form.

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