Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan has asked the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Training, Viet Nam Bank for Social Policies and several other agencies to analyse the total amount of funds needed for student loans in the 2010-11 academic year.
The report will help the Government set loan amounts in accordance with higher tuition fees.
Nhan asked the Viet Nam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) to adjust loans for students whose families live near the poverty line so that the loans are lower than those offered to poor students.
The bank was also ordered to provide loans for a maximum of 12 months to students whose families were affected by unexpected financial difficulties caused by natural disasters, storms and floods.
The VBSP suggested that the Government pump VND5 trillion (US$256.4 million) to provide loans for poor students at various education levels.
In response to this suggestion, the deputy prime minister has asked the Ministry of Finance to report on specific spending plans and submit its own proposals to the Prime Minister.
The Government is seeking ways of mobilising capital from long-term loans from Official Development Assistance (ODA) sources at reasonable interest rates to serve the student loan programme, according to Nhan.
According to the VBSP, it had provided loans worth a total of VND24 trillion ($1.23 billion) for more than 1.9 million poor students nationwide through August. The loan programme has been running since March 1998. — VNS