PETALING JAYA: Statistics show that the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) will not be able to sustainably provide loans in the future given its current financial scenario, says the corporation’s Public Consultation Independent Advisory Panel.
This means that students keen on applying for PTPTN loans in the future may need to turn to other scholarship funds, said the panel’s chairman Sheikh Shahruddin Sheikh Salim.
“The total number of students requiring loans from PTPTN is on an upward trend and is expected to grow from 180,000 today to 250,000 by 2040,” he said during PTPTN’s first public consultation town hall session at Universiti Malaya yesterday.
Four more public consultation town hall sessions are scheduled to be held until the end of May.
Sheikh Shahruddin called for more participation from the public to review the 10 big ideas put forward in its public consultation paper so that they could help guide the government in making the best possible policies on PTPTN loan repayment.
Describing the matter as being of “national importance”, he said: “Given that PTPTN’s RM40bil debt has considerable financial implications for the nation and taxpayers, we urge Malaysians to review the 10 big ideas and weigh in with their opinions.
“The future of higher education funding affects every Malaysian. While current borrowers may feel that they are the biggest group affected by PTPTN’s repayment policies, there is a large group that may not realise that they too have a significant stake in the decisions that have to be made,” he said.
The panel, said Sheikh Shahruddin, hoped that all parties – parents, students, employers, NGOs, financial institutions and members of parliament – would cooperate and provide the much needed feedback.
On May 16, PTPTN announced the start of a public consultation process aimed at garnering feedback on ideas regarding a new affordable loan repayment scheme and measures to improve PTPTN’s loan sustainability for future generations.
The 10 big ideas introduced were deferment of repayment for those earning below RM2,000, or for those earning less than RM4,000, implementing Income Based Repayment, mandatory salary reduction, exercising full enforcement by taking legal action, enforcing strict measures on hardcore defaulters, implementing a guarantor system, replacing full scholarships with partial waivers for first-class graduates, increasing the current 1% ujrah for new loan borrowers, and reducing or discontinuing loans to low and non-rated private institutions and courses.
Those who wish to contribute insights can log onto https://www.ptptn.gov.my/kertas-konsultasi-rakyat/