Following is a question by the Hon Audrey Eu and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (April 2):
Will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the number of default cases in repayment of loans, and the total amount of default payment involved, in respect of each loan scheme for tertiary students in each of the past three financial years; and
(b) whether it has formulated measures to assist the graduates who are unable to repay their loans; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
(a) There are four student finance schemes that provide loans for meeting tuition fee payments and/or living expenses. On completion of their studies, loan borrowers repay their loans in quarterly instalments. Failure to repay two or more consecutive quarterly instalments constitutes a default case. The number of default cases and the amounts in default relative to the loan repayment portfolio in the past three financial years are set out in Annex.(PDF format)
(b) The Student Financial Assistance Agency will consider applications for deferred loan repayment on the merits of individual cases. Approval may be granted if the applications are made on grounds of financial hardship, further studies or serious illness. The applications have to be supported with such valid documentary proofs as financial records, student cards or medical certificates.
End/Wednesday, April 2, 2003