‘Review funding cuts at varsities to avert crisis’


PETALING JAYA: The National Muslim Students Association of Malaysia is worried that budget cuts for public universities will result in fees for undergraduates being hiked up.

It said the quality of learning at the universities may also degenerate if the more experienced lecturers are forced to be “let go” due to the budget cuts.

Association secretary-general Awang Syazuan Shafiq Awang Jaya said the government’s move to set aside 5% of places for foreigners to pursue medical-related studies at public higher learning institutions would not contribute much to increase universities’ revenue.

This was because the budget reductions amounted to billions of ringgit.

Prime Minister Najib Razak had announced the decision to offer places for medical, dentistry and pharmacy courses to international students, saying this was in line with the liberalisation of education and the national endeavour to become an education hub.

He said these foreign students would be charged fees according to the prevailing market rate, unlike local students whose fees are heavily subsidised.

The association urged the government to review its decision to cut the budget for public higher education as this badly affected students’ welfare and intellectual development.

Awang Shafiq said the government should not resort to ad hoc and reactive measures to resolve the crisis that had resulted from the lack of funding.