EDUCATION and knowledge are vital prerequisites for any nation to succeed and this has been held at the apex by the Barisan Nasional government.
Towards this end, the Government takes cognisance that human capital development requires funding to ensure all, irrespective of their economic background, have access to education.
Since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took over as Prime Minister in 2009, the Government has given RM44bil worth of scholarships for students pursuing pre-university, degree and postgraduate programmes.
It is part and parcel of the Government's investment in human capital development to ensure that the younger generation – the assets of the country – can unleash their true potentials.
Going forward, there is more to be given out to students who wish to pursue their tertiary education this year and next.
For instance, in the Budget 2018 that was unveiled last October, Najib announced a sum of close to RM8.1bil allocated to be given out in the form scholarships, training, textbook and per capita grants.
The Public Service Department (JPA), the Higher Education Ministry and the Health Ministry have been allocated a sum of RM2.2bil.
Apart from that, a sum of RM90mil has been set aside for the MyBrain Programme for 10,600 individuals to further their studies in Masters and PhD.
Mara has been allocated RM2.5bil – the highest ever provided for the institute of training and skills development that undertakes programme primarily for bumiputra. The amount allocated is estimated to benefit some 90,000 students including 1,500 in critical fields such as artificial intelligence, signalling and rail.
There is also an allocation of RM4.5mil for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Outstanding Student Scholarships. The scholarships are to encourage TVET graduates to pursue their studies.
As in past years, students in higher learning institutions and Form Six are given book voucher assistance of RM250 each. This will cover 1.2 million students nationwide.
In his blog post last month, Najib stressed on the importance of education and children from families that are less fortunate can change their lives and that of their families.
"With their own hard work and the Government's assistance, children of Felda settlers, fishermen or farmers are now able to successful as architects, accountants, doctors and lawyers.
"This concept of social mobility will continue to be championed to build a fait and inclusive society and nation.
"I hope the younger ones can grab these scholarship opportunities to chart a bright future for themselves and use it as a platform to contribute to the country in future," he wrote.
The Prime Minister said applications for the scholarships are still open. The following is an overview of the scholarships and the prerequisites:
JPA 9A+ Sponsorship Programme: This is for outstanding SPM students who have scored A+ in at least nine subjects to further their studies at universities in Malaysia.
Candidates will be offered sponsorships via variable loan for pre-university studies until the first degrees subject to conditions and fields of studies.
The variable loan will be converted into a scholarship if the sponsored graduate serves in the JPA.
For those serving in government-linked companies (GLCs) after they have graduated, they have to repay 25% of the sponsorship received while those who work in private company within the country will have to repay 50% of the amount.
For more information on the list of universities and courses that the programme covers, log on to http://esilav2.jpa.gov.my/
JPA Japan, South Korea, Germany and France Special Programme: Applicants must have at least 7 As in their SPM including for Bahasa Melayu, English, Mathematics, History, Additional Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.
The special programme is a sponsorship by JPA in the form of variable loan, open to SPM leavers who are interested in pursuing engineering, science and technology and social science in Japan, South Korea, Germany or France.
Students will also be sponsored for a preparation programme before heading off to one of the four countries to do their diploma or degree.
Local Degree Programme (PIDN) by JPA: Those eligible to apply should be in the first year of their degree programme, aged below 22 (23 for remove class students) and have completed at least the first semester.
Successful applicants will be sponsored via variable loan for their first degree in public universities, premier polytechnics and Government-linked universities as laid out by the JPA.
For programmes with CGPA, applicants need to obtain at least 3.30 or equivalent for their first year examinations while for programmes without CGPA, students need to have at least a pass or equivalent to be eligible to apply.
Mara’s SPM Leaver Excellent Students Programme: Various education loans are provided to bumiputra students pursuing their tertiary education from degree programmes up to PhD level in selected universities, local and abroad.
Selection of applicants are made based on them having a set of excellent SPM results.
The priority of areas of studies are Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
Successful applicants will first undertake preparatory and pre-university programmes at selected institutions. Those who satisfy the prescribed academic requirements will then be sent to pursue their degrees.
MyBrainSC by Higher Education Ministry: Open to Malaysians pursuing their first degree, master's degree or PhD to encourage excellent students pursue fields in pure sciences such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics.
For applicants planning to pursue their first degree, they need to be 21-years-old or younger and have excellent scores in their pre-university studies. (CGPA of 3.6 in their science foundation studies, matriculation, STPM or diploma; 1800/2400 for SAT; 40/45 for International Baccalaureate and four As for A-Level.
Master programme applicants need to be 28-years-old or younger and have a CGPA score of 3.65 or a first class for the pure science degrees.
PhD programme applicants have to be 35-years-old or below and have a CGPA score of 3.65 or a first class for the pure science degrees.
Log on to https://biasiswa.mohe.gov.my/MyBrainSc/ for more information.
MyBrain15: The programme comprises MyMaster, MyPhD and MyPhDIndustri. It kicked off in 2008 with an aim of producing 60,000 PhD holders by 2023.
While there are age limits for MyMaster and MyPhD at 35 and 45 respectively, there is no age limit for MyPhDIndsutri.
For more information, log on to https://biasiswa.mohe.gov.my/MyBrain15/v2/
King's Scholarship: It is the most prestigious government scholarship for Malaysians to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in the field of science and technology, economics and law in local or foreign higher educational institutions.
To be eligible, one must not be above 35-years-old in the year of commencing studies, have a Bachelor's or Master's degree recognised by the Government with a minimum CGPA of 3.75 or first class honours or equivalent, active involvement co-curricular or community activities or produced creative or innovative work.
Applicants should also be proficient in more than one language and already secured a place in a local public higher education institution or a leading international university.
For more information, please visit https://www.najibrazak.com/en/we-delivered/education/
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