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Unisel students left in the lurch

 | June 7, 2012

Some even said that they are considering leaving the university if they are unable to get a PTPTN loan.

PETALING JAYA: Students studying at the Selangor-owned Universiti Selangor (Unisel) have been left in the lurch.

Their PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation) loans have been frozen and some are even planning to leave the university.

And they put the blame squarely on PKR.  A student said that they are in this mess because of politicians.

“I don’t support any politicians and I’m not interested in politics.But we are given brains to think and there are certain things that seem irrelevant. How can you just make everything free?

“There is nothing that is free in this world. If we borrow, we need to pay back. We should not abolish PTPTN without some kind of method to resolve things,” she said.

The student pointed out that when PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli visited her school, he did not seem convincing with his arguments.

“When this Rafizi person came to give a talk, he could not answer some of our questions, like when a student asked ‘if we took loans now, should we pay back?’ He just kept talking about the future of free education and that he hoped that this place would ‘win’.

“I was just not confident with what he was saying, it seemed irrelevant. Can he give us like how PTPTN can give us? Free things, it just doesn’t make sense.” she said

Asked if she blamed Rafizi or PKR for what has now happened, she said: “Yes. He is the one who made PTPTN to stop the loans. If everything was normal, I would have obtained the loans by now.”

Another student doing an education course said : “We felt very angry about what is happening. If I can’t get the loans, I will stop studying there. Why do I need to wait around without knowing my future; better I choose some place, right? It would be much easier for me.”

‘I am scared’

Another student who just entered a degree course, said that she felt “cheated” as the university’s management had previously told the students their PTPTN had been approved.

“I’m afraid that if I continue to study here, my certificate would not even be legit later when I want to work. I am scared,” she said.

The student said that many students are angry and frustrated since they found out about the matter on Monday.

“Okay, if they can now make our fees free, then maybe… but will that be enough for our other living expenses? Eating here is quite expensive. I don’t know. I guess we have to wait.”

Asked who she would blame for the current scenario, the student said: “The management. They are very politicised, so many different people have different agendas. There are those who support this, those who are against that.”

“We don’t blame PTPTN because its rights have been challenged, it needs to collect the debts… the opposition may have forced it to do that.”

Another student, studying a pre-school child education course, asked what was the motive for freezing PTPTN loans.

“Perhaps they can give us discounts or something. But I am not very rich. What about food and hostel? I’m trying to discuss with my family on what to do, if seeking another place is the best option.”

She said the campus has been politicised, adding: “We don’t know about politics, don’t politicise the campus. We are just simple students and we don’t know who is saying the right thing now.”

‘No need to pay’

Yesterday, it was revealed that PTPTN has frozen its loans for new students enrolled at Unisel. The freeze reportedly affects about 1,000 fresh intakes and did not affect those already receiving the loans.

Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin had confirmed the freeze and said the decision was made following “political pressure” from the opposition over free education. He stressed that it was a temporary move.

Writting about the matter on micro-blogging site, Twitter, Khaled had said:” “Unisel boleh hapuskan yusan, dgn sendirinya memenuhi matlamat pendidikan percuma dan penutupan PTPTN yg dilaungkan Anuar dan Pakatan (Unisel can abolish its fees, thereby fulfilling the goal of free education and the closure of PTPTN as proclaimed by Anuar (sic) and Pakatan).

The move drew flak from opposition leaders, with Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim accusing PTPTN of discrimination and vowed to take the matter up with the federal gGovernment.

PKR’s strategy director Rafizi Ramly subsequently demanded Khaled to reveal if he ordered the freeze, alleging that the minister was most probably making a “childish” and “revengeful” move against Pakatan over the ongoing PTPTN issue.

The PTPTN issue has been raging for several months following PKR’s campaign which says that the student loan scheme should be abolished to pave the way for free education.

Last Saturday, Anwar reportedly told a ceramah in Permatang Pauh: “No need to pay, let them sue if they want! However, you must pay other loans.”

He also said that if Pakatan took over Putrajaya in the coming general election, the PTPTN scheme would be abolished within a year and Malaysians would enjoy free education from primary to tertiary level.

Also read:

Students threaten to protest over freeze

MCA, MIC disagree with PTPTN freeze

[main pix from http://uniselife.wordpress.com/]


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