University of Nairobi students will soon start using biometric identity cards.

The cards will serve the purposes of security, identification and as an ATM card, which will enable students’ access the various services simply by swiping.

The idea is being proposed by Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and has been successfully implemented by other universities among them: Maasai Mara University, Pwani University, Egerton and Moi University. Higher Education Loans Board has been at the forefront in funding students to enable as many students as possible to afford higher education in the university and technical colleges.

Mr Charles Ringera, Chief Executive Officer, HELB, observed that funding higher education is a challenge the world over and even developed nations still experience challenges in supporting all students in the institution of higher learning.  He observed that students will soon be exposed to financial literacy classes to enable them to manage their finances prudently and put the money to good use.

Mr Ringera also took the opportunity to request the University to help it in tracking 8.5 billion shillings outstanding. Since its inception in 1974, HELB has given out 62 Billion shillings and working closely with the alumni office and the academics department to get the loan defaulters.

University of Nairobi, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi welcomed the biometric identity cards initiative and urged the relevant technical committees to work on the details. The technical committee will consist of finance, administration, procurement and security personnel who will work with respective banks to have the biometric system implemented.

Once implemented the card will enable Application Programming Interface (API) integration with the student portal and the students will access the services seamlessly.

Also present during the meeting were David Ndegwa Wachira, Board Chairman, Higher Education Loans Board and Prof. Timothy Wachira, representative of the  Vice-Chancellors and Principals of private universities.

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