In Guyana, the government has announced that it’s set to begin phase one of its planned Student Loan Write-Off Programme for former students of the University of Guyana.

This first phase could potentially benefit more than 13,000 students who have GY $11 billion in student loan debt.

Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, made the announcement in a televised address Monday, noting that the programme is in keeping with the government’s 2020 manifesto.

In this first instance, the government will write off all loans owed by Guyanese who can demonstrate that they completed their studies, graduated, and were employed in Guyana for a minimum of three years.

Applicants are expected to show proof of 156 contributions to the National Insurance Scheme.

The write-offs are dubbed ‘Free UG’, and are part of plans by the PPP-Civic administration to make tertiary education in Guyana free by 2025.