HIGHER EDUCATION LOANS AND SCHOLARSHIPS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
THE HIGHER EDUCATION LOANS AND SCHOLARSHIPS BOARD

   3.   Establishment of Board

   4.   Seal of Board

   5.   Functions of Board

   6.   Composition of Board

   7.   Proceedings of Board

   8.   Committees

   9.   Emoluments

   10.   Director

   11.   Deputy Directors, Secretary and other staff

   12.   Disclosure of interest

   13.   Prohibition of publication or disclosure of information to unauthorised persons

   14.   Oath on appointment

   15.   Immunity

PART III
THE HIGHER EDUCATION LOANS AND SCHOLARSHIPS FUND

   16.   Establishment of Fund

   17.   Disbursement from Fund

   18.   Fund Manager and other staff

   19.   Bank account

   20.   Investment of Fund

PART IV
ADMINISTRATION OF LOANS AND SCHOLARSHIPS

   21.   Eligibility for loan or scholarship

   22.   Application for loan or scholarship

   23.   Consideration of, and decision on, application for loan or scholarship

   24.   Extent of loan or scholarship

   25.   Conditions of loans and scholarships

   26.   Loans and scholarships offices at higher education institutions

   27.   Obligations and liability of loan beneficiary

   28.   Obligations of employer

   29.   Obligations of Zambia Revenue Authority

   30.   Default and recovery of loans

   31.   Record of loans and scholarships

   32.   Loan insurance scheme

PART V
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

   33.   Funds of Board

   34.   Financial year

   35.   Accounts and audit

   36.   Annual report

PART VI
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   37.   Regulations

   38.   Savings and transitional provisions

      SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to establish the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board; establish the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Fund; provide for the granting, administration, investment, payment and recovery of loans; provide for the administration and granting of scholarships; facilitate the mobilisation of financial resources for loans and scholarships; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental, to the foregoing.

[13th April, 2017]

Act 31 of 2016,

SI 32 of 2017.

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“appointed date” means the date appointed by the Minister under section 1;

“associate” means—

   (a)   a person’s nominee or employee;

   (b)   a person’s conjugal partner or former spouse;

   (c)   a firm of which a person, or the person’s nominee, is a partner or in charge or in control of its business or affairs;

   (d)   a company in which a person or the person’s nominee, is a director or is in charge or in control of its business or affairs, or in which the person, that person’s nominee, holds a controlling interest or shares amounting to more than 30 percent of the total share capital; or

   (e)   the trustee of a trust, where—

      (i)   the trust has been created by the person; or

      (ii)   the total value of the assets contributed by the person before or after the creation of the trust, amounts at any time, to not less than 20 percent of the total value of the assets of the trust;

“Board” means the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board established under section 3;

“Director” means the person appointed as Director under section 10;

“committee” means a committee of the Board established under section 8;

“continuing student” means a student who has passed the examinations necessary to enable the student to advance to the following year or stage of study;

“Emoluments Commission” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“extraordinary meeting” means a meeting convened at any time for special business of the Board;

“Fund” means the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Fund established under section 16;

“Fund Manager” means a person appointed as such under section 18;

“higher education” has the meaning assigned to it in the Higher Education Act, 2013;

“Higher Education Authority” has the meaning assigned to it in the Higher Education Act, 2013;

“higher education institution” has the meaning assigned to it in the Higher Education Act, 2013;

“liability” means a debt, charge or obligation whether present or future, actual or contingent and whether payable or to be observed or performed in Zambia or elsewhere;

“loan” means a loan granted to a student by the Board for the purpose of defraying the costs connected with the education at a local higher education institution, including costs connected with the Board and lodging of the student for the purposes of attending the higher education institution;

“loan beneficiary” means a student or former student who is or was granted a loan under this Act;

“member” means a member of the Board;

“ordinary meeting” means a scheduled meeting of the Board;

“relative” means—

   (a)   a person’s son, daughter, brother, sister, nephew, niece, parent, uncle, aunt, grandparent or cousin; and

   (b)   a person’s spouse or the spouse of any of the persons mentioned in paragraph (a);

“repeating student” means a student who, for any reason, is compelled to repeat a term, semester or academic year;

“scholarship” means an award granted to a student by the Board for the purpose of defraying the costs connected with the student’s education at a local or foreign higher education institution, including costs connected with the Board and lodging of the student for the purpose of attending the higher education institution;

“Secretary” means the person appointed as Secretary of the Board under section 11;

“student” means a Zambian admitted to, or registered as a student at, a local or foreign higher education institution as a candidate for a degree, diploma or doctorate;

“Zambia Institute of Human Resources Management” means the Zambia Institute of Human Resources Management established under the Zambia Institute of Human Resources Management Act, 1997; and

“Zambia Qualifications Authority” has the meaning assigned to it in the Zambia Qualifications Authority Act, 2011.

PART II
THE HIGHER EDUCATION LOANS AND SCHOLARSHIPS BOARD

3.   Establishment of Board

There is established the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board which is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and of being sued in its corporate name, and with power, subject to the provisions of this Act, to do all such acts and things as a body corporate may, by law do or perform.

4.   Seal of Board

   (1) The seal of the Board shall be such device as may be determined by the Board and shall be kept by the Secretary.

   (2) The affixing of the seal shall be authenticated by the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson and the Secretary or any other person authorised in that behalf by a resolution of the Board.

   (3) A contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not be required to be under seal, may be entered into or executed without seal on behalf of the Board by the Secretary or any other person generally or specifically authorised by the Board in that behalf.

   (4) A document purporting to be a document under the seal of the Board or issued on behalf of the Board shall be received in evidence and shall be deemed to be so executed or issued, as the case may be, without further proof, unless the contrary is proved.

5.   Functions of Board

   (1) The functions of the Board are to—

   (a)   receive and consider loan and scholarship applications from students for the award of loans and scholarships;

   (b)   administer loans and scholarships for students;

   (c)   determine the criteria and terms for the grant of loans and scholarships, and the rate of interest and recovery of loans;

   (d)   establish systems to secure the repayment of loans by students and the efficient utilisation and application of scholarships;

   (e)   monitor and evaluate the operations and performance of the Fund and ensure accountability of the Fund by determining appropriate procedures for its management;

   (f)   formulate policies and guidelines for the control and management of monies for loans and scholarships and ensure their implementation;

   (g)   formulate policies to determine—

      (i)   the terms of disbursement of money from the Fund to students granted loans or scholarships by the Board;

      (ii)   the maximum amount of money to be granted by the Fund to students granted loans or scholarships by the Board; and

      (iii)   the sectors of the economy in which the monies of the Fund may be invested;

   (h)   establish structures and guidelines to ensure fairness in the disbursement and application of the Fund;

   (i)   advise the Minister on policy matters concerning provision of scholarships and recovery of loans from loan beneficiaries;

   (j)   promote the mobilisation of donations and grants from the public and private sectors for educational purposes and investment for purposes of the Fund;

   (k)   provide financial advice in educational matters to higher education institutions, parents, students and investors in the education sector;

   (l)   collaborate with organisations with similar functions within and outside Zambia; and

   (m)   perform any other functions conferred on the Board by or under this Act or any other written law.

   (2) The Board may, in carrying out its functions under this Act—

   (a)   cause to be kept and maintained a register and other records of students granted loans and scholarships by the Board;

   (b)   determine the maximum number of eligible students to be granted loans and scholarships in a particular year based on availability of funds;

   (c)   charge fees for services rendered by the officers and other employees of the Board; and

   (d)   consider and approve its annual work plan, budget and estimates and monitor and review its financial statements.

6.   Composition of Board

   (1) The Board consists of the following members appointed by the Minister—

   (a)   one representative each of the Ministries responsible for—

      (i)   higher education;

      (ii)   finance;

      (iii)   foreign affairs; and

      (iv)   labour;

   (b)   a representative of the Public Service Management Division;

   (c)   a representative of the Attorney-General;

   (d)   the Director-General of the Higher Education Authority;

   (e)   the Director of the Zambia Qualifications Authority;

   (f)   a representative of the Bankers’ Association of Zambia;

   (g)   a representative of the Zambia Federation of Employers;

   (h)   a representative of the Zambia Institute of Human Resources Management; and

   (i)   the Director, as an ex-officio member.

   (2) A person shall not be appointed as a member of the Board if that person—

   (a)   is not a citizen of Zambia;

   (b)   is an undischarged bankrupt;

   (c)   has a mental or physical disability that makes the person incapable of performing the functions of a member; or

   (d)   is convicted of an offence under this Act or any other written law and sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months without the option of a fine.

   (3) The Chairperson of the Board shall be appointed by the Minister.

   (4) The Board shall elect the Vice-Chairperson of the Board from amongst themselves.

   (5) A member of the Board shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of appointment and is eligible for reappointment for one further term of three years.

   (6) A member may resign upon giving one month’s notice, in writing, to the Minister.

   (7) The office of member becomes vacant if the member—

   (a)   dies;

   (b)   is absent, without reasonable excuse, from three consecutive meetings of the Board of which the member had notice without the prior approval of the Board;

   (c)   ceases to be a representative of the organisation which nominated the member;

   (d)   is found guilty of professional misconduct by the relevant professional association or body;

   (e)   is convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months without the option of a fine;

   (f)   is mentally or physically incapable of performing the duties of a member; or

   (g)   is declared bankrupt.

   (8) The Minister shall, whenever the office of a member becomes vacant before the expiry of the term of office, appoint another person in place of that member but that person shall hold office as a member only for the unexpired part of the term.

7.   Proceedings of Board

   (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Board may regulate its own procedure.

   (2) The Board shall meet for the transaction of its business at least once in every three months at such places and times as the Chairperson may determine.

   (3) Six members shall form a quorum at a meeting of the Board.

   (4) There shall preside at a meeting of the Board—

   (a)   the Chairperson;

   (b)   in the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson; and

   (c)   in the absence of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson, such other member as the members present may elect for the purposes of that meeting.

   (5) A decision of the Board on any question shall be by a majority of the members present and voting at the meeting and in the event of an equality of votes, the person presiding at the meeting shall have a casting vote in addition to that person’s deliberative vote.

   (6) Where a member is for any reason unable to attend a meeting of the Board, the member may, in writing, nominate another person from the same organisation to attend the meeting in that member’s stead and such person shall be deemed to be a member for the purpose of that meeting.

   (7) The Board may invite a person whose presence is in its opinion desirable to attend and to participate in the deliberations of the meeting of the Board, but that person shall have no vote.

   (8) The validity of any proceedings, acts or decisions of the Board shall not be affected by any vacancy in the membership of the Board or by any defect in the appointment of any member or by reason that any person not entitled to do so took part in the proceedings.

   (9) The Board shall cause to be kept minutes of its proceedings.

8.   Committees

   (1) The Board may, for the purpose of performing its functions under this Act, establish such committees as it considers necessary and delegate to any of those committees such of its functions as it considers fit.

   (2) The Board may appoint as members of a committee, persons who are or are not members of the Board, except that at least one member of the Board shall be a member of a committee.

   (3) A person serving as a member of a committee shall hold office for such period as the Board may determine.

   (4) Subject to any specific or general direction of the Board, a committee may regulate its own procedure.

9.   Emoluments

A member of the Board or any committee of the Board shall be paid such emoluments as the Emoluments Commission may determine.

10.   Director

   (1) The Board shall appoint a Director on such terms and conditions as the Board may determine.

   (2) The Director shall be the chief executive officer of the Board and shall be responsible, under the direction of the Board, for the day-to-day administration of the Board.

   (3) The Director shall attend meetings of the Board and may address those meetings but shall have no vote on any matter.

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