MORE than 500,000 students have benefited from the government’s move to reduce the fees for dormitories, services and activities at public universities by 15% due to the Covid-19 pandemic, says Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Mansor Othman.
“The ministry has discussed with the Finance Ministry to find the best solution to this.
“The discount will be given for the second semester of the 2019/2020 academic session, involving an allocation of RM72mil and benefiting a total of 523,318 public university students across the country after the decision was made, ” he told Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort) during Question Time.
Azizah was asking the ministry to state the latest status regarding the government’s decision to reduce fees at public and private higher learning institutions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mansor said the reduction of fees at public universities was on top of other initiatives, including the RM200 one-off payment under Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN 2020) involving a RM168.3mil allocation for 841,646 students.
He noted that the government had allocated RM52.2mil, including food, for more than 82,000 students who were staying on campus during the movement control order period.
“A total of RM17.4mil was allocated to send 57,565 students back home, ” he said.
The deputy minister said National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers were given deferment extension by six months from March 16 to Dec 31,2020.
For private higher learning institutions, he said the ministry had taken note of the issue of fees, but they were governed by incorporated companies registered in Malaysia and under the Companies Act 226.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, private higher learning institutions were badly affected due to closure and a lack of students, especially those from overseas.
“However, their courses are ongoing as normal via remote learning, ” he said.