Autonomy in varsities will herald new era in activism in Malaysia, say IIUM, UM student unions

PETALING JAYA: The Higher Education Ministry's resolution to integrate independence and autonomy to student movements and unions will herald a new era of student activism in Malaysia, say the International Islamic University Malaysia and Universiti Malaya student unions.

The two student unions said it is important to acknowledge the idea of establishing student unions in all universities in order to nationalise the Higher Education Ministry's resolution.

"In this regard, we are pleased to assist all relevant parties throughout the establishment process through advocacy and exchange of information," said the International Islamic University Malaysia Student Union (IIUMSU) and Universiti Malaya Students' Union (UMSU) on Saturday (Feb 4).

IIUMSU and UMSU said the process of establishing student unions in the country must be coordinated with amendments to the University and University College Act 1971.

"This is to ensure the student movement has absolute authority and autonomy in accordance with the preceding resolution.

"The Higher Education Ministry, through its National Higher Education Policy Review Committee should be responsible for facilitating the establishment of student unions by enforcing pertinent laws to ensure a sustainable and everlasting operation of student unions," it said.

On Jan 30, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said that one of the ministry's resolutions is to empower students by ensuring independence to student movements and unions.

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