Conditional offers for higher education

PETALING JAYA: Higher education institutions can give students conditional offers next year based on the track records of their learning achievements and academic progression.

The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) said this is in cases of delayed official exam results released by the authorities and certification bodies due to the Covid-19 crisis.

These students (with the conditional offers), however, may only be enrolled in Mata Pelajaran Pengajian Umum (MPU), common university or open elective courses while waiting for their official results.

“Students whose official exam results do not meet the programme entry requirements must be transferred to other suitable programmes based on their achievements.

“This must be clearly mentioned in the conditional offer letters issued by the institutions to the students,” MQA told The Star.

While the general requirements for student admissions are based on their secondary school exams, MQA said entries into specific fields or levels of studies may additionally require achievements in English proficiency tests.

MQA said it is closely monitoring the national and international exams’ postponement and cancellation trend due to the disease outbreak.

The MQA’s local student admissions guide issued on April 14 for current times, it added, is only applicable to this year’s intake, though it may be extended to next year if the Covid-19 situation continues.

“This is, however, subject to further deliberations and discussions with the relevant authorities,” it said.

The proposal by the Malaysian Association for Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) to allow the use of forecast results, however, requires further review, it said.

“This is to ensure student admissions are conducted based on official results issued by the authority of a country or certification body.”

In an immediate response, Mapcu president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh said although it appears there is a concession, MQA’s decision is not applicable to foundation or pre-degree courses.

“Foundation courses do not include MPU subjects and are rarely constructed with open electives.

“Therefore, this does not really address Mapcu’s request to allow the use of forecast results conditionally with a view of commencing the foundation courses.”

In some cases, he said, students will have missed a complete year before they can embark on their degree programmes.

For example, if a student wishes to go to Australia for his degree, he will lose one complete year.

“These are extraordinary times that require extraordinary solutions and therefore Mapcu is calling for a review to allow forecast results just like they were allowed for 30 years.”

On April 17, The Star front-paged Mapcu’s appeal to the Higher Education Ministry and MQA to allow, as an exception, the country’s universities and colleges to admit students based on their forecast results.

With Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) exams postponed, students will only be able to continue their private tertiary education in May 2021 at the earliest, unless forecast results are allowed, Parmjit had said.

Waiting for the actual results to be released would be unsustainable for the industry, Parmjit had pointed out.

For over 30 years, students were allowed to use forecast results as a conditional entry into tertiary courses until May 2014 when the ministry issued a circular reminding private tertiary institutions that forecast SPM results could not be used for enrolment into pre-university programmes.

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MQA , Mapcu , SPM , forecast results , trial results , Covid-19 , MCO


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