PETALING JAYA: The majority of complaints received by the Education Malaysia Global Services, the one-stop centre for international students, concern issues connected to their universities.
For instance, EMGS investigations showed that the primary reason for students having their documents delayed was either due to late renewal submissions by the institutions or their failure to even make the applications to the centre.
“The institutions collected the (students’) passports early but didn’t put in the renewal application, which must be done at least six weeks before the expiry of existing passes,” said EMGS chief executive officer Yazid Abdul Hamid (pic).
“EMGS doesn’t need the students’ passports to process renewal applications,” he said.
He told The Star that the centre only needed the passports when the renewal applications would be given support letters and were ready to be submitted to the Immigration Department for passport endorsement and sticker pass issuance.
“There were also many cases where we could not find the student’s renewal application in our systems,” he added.
Yazid said the centre went through 65 cases with Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan last December and found almost 90% were attributable to the university’s own issues.
He admitted that while there were some applications which were stuck within the EMGS system, it was due to irregularities or infringements, such as the universities applying for visa renewals for students who did not meet the approval requirements of a minimum 80% class attendance and 2.0 CGPA.
“In this case, we can either reject the application, request an explanation or ask the institution to appeal to the department of Higher Education.”
Another serious infringement was renewal applications for different courses from what the student originally enrolled in.
“This means the student pass and visa was approved for a certain course but renewed for a different one.”
EMGS started last year to promote Malaysia as a global education hub. It was also set up to gather data on the quality of higher education institutions, monitor foreign students and approve foreign students’ application process.
Last year, EMGS processed 24,506 applications, a 6% increase from the 23,107 processed in 2012.
The Star revealed last year that thousands of illegal workers had entered the country posing as foreign students, aided by dishonest education centres and colleges working with human trafficking syndicates.
The higher learning institutes and centres would go so far as to falsify attendance records and progress reports for the Immigration Department. Universities also profit off foreign students by charging exorbitant visa prices, with some demanding up to RM1,000 for a processing fee, which costs a mere RM140 with EMGS.
Other universities charge up to RM2,000 for a medical check-up. EMGS does it for only RM250.