UTM told to allow inter-faculty transfers without ‘special fees’, says student group

MJIIT Voices adviser Sharan Raj.

PUTRAJAYA: A student group up in arms over the RM4,000 “special fee” imposed on those who wish to transfer from the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) to other faculties at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) says the education minister has instructed the university to allow the move without applying the charge.

MJIIT Voices adviser Sharan Raj said this after a meeting with UTM on the issue, chaired by Maszlee Malik here today.

“At the meeting just now, Maszlee also warned UTM not to burden the students as he felt they have been mishandled by UTM,” he said.

MJIIT Voices president Tan Cheng Siong meanwhile said the special fees had affected close to 600 students, comprising first to third year students who enrolled in MJIIT between 2016 and 2018.

MJIIT was established by the Malaysian and Japanese governments in 2010, in line with the Look East Policy introduced by Dr Mahathir Mohamad during his first stint as prime minister.

Members of student group MJIIT Voices.

Sharan said previously, UTM had not allowed students who could not afford the RM4,000 fee to change to other faculties.

“That is why we want the education ministry to interfere, as UTM did not provide any solutions.

“We were previously informed that about 200 students had applied in the last three years, but nothing has happened,” he said, adding that the National Higher Education Fund Corporation had not covered the fees in question.

He said while the students were allowed to transfer to different faculties, they would have to start all over again.

“We do not want UTM to have such power to make decisions, so Maszlee also said that the ministry’s legal adviser would look into the matter.”

Sharan also said MJIIT Voices would ask UTM at their next meeting to return the money that students had paid in “special fees”.