Education Loan Disbursements Drop 67% at Gujarat Banks | Ahmedabad News
The latest report of the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) indicates that education loan disbursements in Gujarat stood at Rs 158 crore in the first quarter of 2021-22. Even though disbursements jumped 11.2% from Rs 142 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2020-21 – in which a nationwide lockdown was announced – they remained significantly low compared to the pre-pandemic period .
According to SLBC data, education loan disbursements in the June quarter of 2019-20 stood at Rs 490 crore. This means that in the same quarter of the current fiscal year, disbursements decreased by 67.7% over a two-year period.
“A large portion of student loan disbursements come from students pursuing higher education overseas,” a well-placed source at SLBC said. “However, due to Covid-19, the number of students opting to study abroad has dropped significantly due to restrictions in various countries.” The source added, “Additionally, the unavailability of direct flights was also a reason many students postponed their study abroad plans, which hurt loan take-up.”
Bankers say the severe second wave has been a major deterrent to those considering studying abroad. Compared to last year, the trend of students going abroad has improved. However, it is not as dynamic as in the pre-pandemic period.
“We expect normality in another year, by the fall season next year. This year, more students have opted to study in the United States and even in countries like the Australia and Canada, which have opened up to overseas students,” said Hitesh Devaliya, director of a training institute in Ahmedabad. “As direct flights resume and the Covid-19 situation improves and standards are relaxed by more countries, the demand for study abroad will definitely increase.”