KUALA LUMPUR: Fees for undergraduate programmes at public universities will remain the same despite a lower allocation in Budget 2016.
The Higher Education Ministry, which saw a 15% drop to RM13.3bil in allocation, said it would continue carrying out its duties as usual.
However, minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (pic) said public universities were about 80% to 90% dependent on the Government.
“In the Malaysia Education Blueprint, it is clearly stated that public universities need to reduce their dependency on the Government,” he said at the launch of the International Education Task Force yesterday.
He noted that there were 12,000 professors whose expertise could be used in research and consultation for companies to diversify the income of universities.
On the task force, Idris said its task was to improve the management of international students in the country.
He said the task force would discuss strategies to position Malaysia as a regional education hub with a target of 250,000 international students in 2025.
The members of the task force include secretaries-general of the Home Ministry, Tourism and Culture Ministry, the Immigration Department, the police, representatives of higher education institutions, and the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu).
Idris also noted that Malaysia and Indonesia had signed an MoU to pave the way for students of either country to be given a two-year visa.
He added that the Home Ministry had approved a dependent pass to students with more than one wife, citing Arab students as an example.
To encourage the enrolment of international students in short-term courses, he said the Home Ministry had approved social visit passes for programmes that were less than three months.
“In our inaugural meeting, the task force reached a consensus on two issues, namely to allow students to apply for their international student visas by themselves and to issue visas to students for the duration of their studies,” he said, adding that they would both be implemented early next year.
“This way, students won’t have to renew their visas yearly or do them through their institutions,” he said.
The task force is scheduled to meet twice a year.