Ministry to discuss with IPTs to resolve student accommodation issues, says Zambry

TANJUNG MALIM: The Higher Education Ministry will engage in discussions with all Higher Education Institutions (IPT) throughout the country to identify universities requiring solutions regarding student accommodation issues, says Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir.

The Higher Education Minister said that he has been informed by the highest management of the ministry that there are several universities needing to address this issue urgently but did not disclose the number or the universities involved.

"I have discussed with the top management to identify universities that need immediate resolution (regarding student accommodation issues).

"They have informed me of several universities that require urgency in resolving the issue," he said.

He told this to reporters after visiting the Ungku Omar Residential College at the Sultan Azlan Shah Campus, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) here Saturday (Dec 16).

On his visit Saturday, Zambry said he came to hear the complaints and issues faced by students regarding accommodation within the university.

Zambry stated that the current (accommodation) capacity at the campus is only 40%, but UPSI has plans to increase it to 70%.

"At present, about 7,000 students reside on campus, and our expectation is that the capacity here can increase to 14,000 by October next year. However, I also raised concerns about the comfort of the students.

"I surveyed several units within the campus and asked the students; so far, they are comfortable. Even when increasing capacity, we must consider their comfort," he said.

He mentioned that high living costs, high rental rates, and limited rental housing outside are among the factors taken into account to assist the students.

Meanwhile, in a separate issue related to the spread of Covid-19, Zambry said that the situation in IPT is currently under control, and that he ministry will continue to seek guidance and instructions from the Ministry of Health to curb its spread.

"I hope all parties, whether students or the community on campus, take precautions to ensure that the issue of Covid-19 spread does not occur in their respective campus areas," he said.

On Dec 13, the number of Covid-19 cases in the country was reported to have increased to 12,757 cases in the 49th Epidemiological Week, from Dec 3 to 9, compared to 6,796 cases reported in the previous week. - Bernama

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