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Makerere University, Stanbic Bank Launch a Student Laptop Hire Scheme

Makerere University and Stanbic Bank Uganda have unveiled a new financing scheme aimed at supporting blended learning by enabling staff and students to acquire laptops on a hire purchase basis.

Makerere University and Stanbic Bank Uganda have unveiled a new financing scheme aimed at supporting blended learning by enabling staff and students to acquire laptops on a hire purchase basis. With a down payment of USD$20 (roughly UGX 72,767) a student can acquire a new laptop and pay for it over a period of 3 years. The much sought-after scheme was launched on Thursday last week at Makerere University in Kampala.

The launch of the scheme comes at a time when the University prepares to open fully for all its students this week, who will study under the blended mode of learning —both physical and online lectures.

Stanbic Bank Uganda CEO, Anne Juuko.
Stanbic Bank Uganda CEO, Anne Juuko.

Stanbic Bank Uganda Chief Executive Officer Anne Juuko said the partnership will see Stanbic Bank Uganda support Makerere University to deliver on its mandate, better. She added that the arrangement was part of Stanbic’s pioneering spirit of recognizing the challenge and desiring to be part of the solution.

Juuko said the Covid-19 Pandemic changed the way learning is delivered to students which we must adjust to because it is the “new normal”. During the lockdown, she said, universities resorted to online teaching, but students did not have laptops to partake in digital classes —through this scheme, Stanbic Bank is providing a future readiness solution.

“This initiative is also one way of walking the talk of our business purpose —Uganda is home, we drive her growth. When education services reopened after two years of inactivity, Stanbic was the only bank that waived all unpaid accumulated interest on loans owed by schools, up to December 2021. We shall continue to play this corporate leadership role,” explained Juuko.

Juuko emphasized that it is the duty of employers [in Uganda] to partner with institutions to produce graduates that are employable. “I can tell you now that if you are not digitally savvy, you cannot be employed, that is the gold standard that has been set by the market,” she said.

Juuko says students having acquired laptops will now be in a position to carry out their research projects and other assignments.

The Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe applauded Stanbic Bank for being a longstanding partner of Makerere University and willingly agreeing to support the acquisition of laptops by students eager to embrace digital learning.

“If our students cannot do digital learning, then who is going to push our country into the digital era? On this note, let us be serious as a country and support digital learning because that is the future,” said Nawangwe.

Nawangwe also reminded the students’ community that the University had arrangements with MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda to zero-rate the University’s online platforms in a bid to make digital learning affordable. The arrangement began at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.

In addition to zero-rating the University’s online platforms, Nawangwe said they are in talks with the University’s Internet Service Provider, Research and Education Network of Uganda (RENU) to grant similar access to other platforms such as Zoom, a development he says will facilitate digital learning.

Makerere University has a population of over 35,000 students who have the potential to take advantage of the ‘Student Laptop Hire Scheme’.

Shamim Nambassa, Guild President of Makerere University.
Shamim Nambassa, Guild President of Makerere University.

Shamim Nambassa, the Guild President of Makerere University said the bank has given the education system meaning with this offering. “It is now time to say that we the students are the cream of Africa in line with Makerere University’s 100 years’ celebration theme of building a transformed society.”

The bank chose to start with Makerere University but plans to roll out the scheme to the rest of the institutions across the country.

Sam Mwogeza, the Executive Head, Consumer & High Net Worth Products at Stanbic Bank Uganda said students seeking to acquire financing for new laptops will have to do so through their parents or guardians. They will be required to fill out a form obtainable at any Stanbic Bank branch across the country. “The scheme is designed to help parents with a steady source of revenue to apply and access the laptop financing on behalf of their learners,” he noted.

Mwogeza explained that “With the most affordable laptop priced at UGX2.1 million, one can now access a loan and pay UGX58,000 in monthly installments over a three-year period. Parents are allowed to do early repayment of the loan without being charged.”

Parents who are Stanbic Bank customers simply have to apply for an unsecured loan of up to UGX5 million and once approved, the details of the student are sent to the contracted vendor who then delivers the laptop to the beneficiary. To circumvent risks such as theft and damage, the bank will have all laptops purchased under the scheme, fully insured.

The scheme will be managed through FlexiPay —an all-in-one digital solution that allows customers to make charge-free payments efficiently with real-time reconciliation and easy tracking.

ALSO READ: MTN UGANDA, M-KOPA TO AVAIL SMARTPHONES AT INSTALLMENT PAYMENT TERMS

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Joan Banura

A journalist at heart 💜 with a passion for Tech.
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