Discussions underway with public varsity VCs regarding fees, says Higher Education DG

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 03 Jun 2020

PETALING JAYA: Cheaper fees could be on the cards for public higher education institution (IPTA) students, says Higher Education director-general Prof Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak.

He, however, said the ministry needs to consider the institutions’ financial situation and who will compensate the losses incurred by IPTAs if fees are reduced.

“We need to take into account the IPTA’s financial sustainability as they are also facing the same challenges (as private higher education institutions), ” he told The Star.

He added that discussions are already underway with the vice-chancellors of the IPTAs and they will present their findings to the Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad.

“We will make an announcement on the matter soon after looking at all aspects, ” he said, adding that this does not mean there will be a reduction in fees.

He also said that the ministry can work together with the public institutions as they fall directly under the ministry’s jurisdiction.

Prof Mohamed Mustafa said they would take into account students’ views on the matter as well.

Bernama reported on Monday (June 1) that there were calls by parents and students to have the fees lowered.

This is because students are not fully utilising the facilities on campus when most of them returned to their hometowns when campuses shut down due to the movement control order.

He also said it is up to the private institutions if they want to restructure their fees.

“It is entirely up to the private sector because they have their own cost analysis to consider, ” he added.

However, he said, these institutes should consider the expectations of students and parents who want the fees lowered.

On another matter, Prof Mohamed Mustafa said the ministry is in discussion with the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), telecommunications companies regarding providing gadgets and Internet access to tertiary students.

This is in line with the ministry’s announcement that all teaching and learning activities will be conducted online until Dec 31.

“We need to assist the students by providing data plans for them.

“If they have to pay the fees and at the same time have to pay for their own data plans to study online, it will cost them more, ” he said.

“This is something we want to avoid, ” he added.

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