The Higher Education Ministry (MoHE) said all teaching and learning activities should also move to online platforms to keep staff and students safe.
“MoHE recommends all higher education institutions postpone their physical registration of new and old students at the campus,” it said in a statement yesterday.
This follows an earlier announcement by its minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad that only students from red zones would not be allowed to register face-to-face at their institutions.
“For students who have been on campus and have begun academic activities, they can remain in their respective campuses,” it said.
MoHE added that the institutions should postpone all activities involving mass gathering and offer assistance to students already on campus.
The ministry said it was working together with airline companies to find a solution for students who already purchased their tickets to return to campus.
They have agreed to allow the affected students to reschedule their flights until Dec 31.
“MoHE is very concerned with the views voiced by students, parents and the community with the increase in Covid-19 cases occurring only days before the date of admission of new students.
“All parties must safeguard the welfare and well-being of students and the community in facing the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the ministry.
New Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) students who were on their way to campus to register were allowed to either continue their journey or postpone their trip, and return to campus on a new date to be announced later, the university said in a Facebook post on Thursday night.
Existing students, however, had to postpone their trip and could only register online.
A USM Development Affairs Division officer said new students had the option of registering at the campus and then returning home or staying on while waiting for further information.
They were allowed to leave their belongings and register, or leave their belongings and leave for home.
“USM students also have a drive-through registration option,” said its vice-chancellor (Student and Alumni Development) Prof Dr Aldrin Abdullah.
This would include a health screening, MyDaftar registration and a short briefing on online learning and registration and the process to send their items to the hostel.
Universiti Malaya has called off its face-to-face registration which was slated to start today.
Its deputy vice-chancellor (Student Affairs) Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Abdul Raman urged students to postpone their journey and register for the new semester online instead.
He said students who were already on campus and started their academic activities need not leave.
“The university will continue to monitor the development of the Covid-19 pandemic and the latest instructions from the relevant authorities, and will make further announcements from time to time,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak said due to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee’s instruction to tighten the movement of Sarawakians and non-Sarawakians into the state, it would be conducting the semester registration online.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia has also cancelled physical registration scheduled for today and tomorrow.
Registration for everyone, it said, would now be online.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh said the ministry’s announcement did not affect private higher education institutions.
He said this was because most of their intakes were held earlier in the year with a few exceptions.
He said the ministry had asked the institutions to conduct classes with limited students.
Parmjit commended the ministry for acting swiftly to help stem the spread of the virus, adding that safety should be of utmost priority.