Varsity students can remain at hostels

Concerned: Staff and students of UTAR looking at the notice of closure starting from today till March 31.

PETALING JAYA: International and local students of public and private institutions of higher-learning do not have to evacuate their hostels and dormitories amid the Covid-19 pandemic, said Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh.

So far, Mapcu has not heard of any institutions calling for their students to vacate hostels or dormitories, he added.

“International students are not being forced to return home but it is encouraged as there is a lot of anxiety among their families over their safety and well-being, ” he said.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor said students can choose to stay or return home.

“Students having difficulty returning home can remain here with special permission from the university.

“UKM will ensure that the safety of all in the campus is paramount.

“But those who stay must observe the circulated guidelines.”

Prof Hamdi added that UKM was coping well amid the pandemic.

“UKM is doing as advised by the Malaysian National Security Council and ministry. All classes are now being done online, ” he said.

Taylor’s University Student Residences vice president Elaine Yap said its residences will remain operational and will continue to be a “second home” to its residents.

She added resident orientations, events and activities will be replaced with online alternatives.

“New residents are welcome to check in as per schedule.

“Our commitment is to ensure preventive measures are put in place during this challenging period and measures such temperature screenings for all staff, residents and visitors; limiting access to the hostel premises through a single entry/exit point are implemented in Taylor’s student residences.

“We have implemented mandatory travel declaration and we have increased cleaning and sanitation protocols for high-frequency touchpoints to help prevent contagious spread, ” she said, adding that the helpdesk will remain open as usual.

The Malaysian National Security Council (NSC) movement control order stated that students staying in hostels provided by their institutions are required to remain in their residences during this period.

“Foreign students who decide to stay in Malaysia must report to the management of their institutions and adhere to the control order.

“However, foreign students are advised to return to their home countries during this period, ” said the NSC.

It said students who leave are not allowed to return during the control order period.

On the other hand, Malaysian citizens studying or residing abroad are allowed to return during the restriction period.

“However, that individual must go through health screening and voluntary self-quarantine.”

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