PETALING JAYA: Retiree Tasneem Ahmad, 60, had sent his daughter to Canada to study in August 2019 and paid upfront for the food and on-campus lodging.
But then the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
“The students were asked to leave campus in March 2020 and my daughter had to fly back and was stuck here for seven months until November.
“When she went back, the Malaysian ringgit had started to fall, from RM3.10 to a Canadian dollar in 2019,” he said.
It has since been getting harder by the year and Tasneem has had to dig into his Employees’ Provident Fund savings.
“When she went back, the exchange rate was slightly higher.
“She managed to rent a small place with me sending her C$1,400 every month.
“Over the last two years, the fees shot up (in Malaysian ringgit) and I had to dig into my EPF to manage.
“She barely survived on C$1,400 (about RM4,800 now),” he said when asked about the increased cost due to depreciation of the ringgit.
He added that they managed by leading a simple lifestyle.
Tasneem said only parents in the higher income bracket could afford education in many countries abroad.
Manager Izan Ahmad 54, from Petaling Jaya, has been sending £600 (RM3,546) to her daughter monthly but the exchange rate meant she had to fork out more every month.
She also pays for the accommodation separately for her daughter at Keele University.
“The university is a bit on the outskirts so it is less expensive than in main cities like London or Manchester.
“My daughter left in 2020 and is in her final year now studying sociology.
“I sent her because I had also studied in the United Kingdom, so I wanted her to have the same experience.
“She does feel the pinch because things are more expensive, so she cooks more at her dorm,” she said.