PETALING JAYA: The Universiti Malaya Students’ Union has reiterated that the university must abolish its “zero balance” policy, which requires students to settle their fees in full to activate their status for new course registration.
While UM has said fewer than 4% of the students are affected by the policy, the union said this is still a large number as the university has many undergraduates.
It said the bigger issue was that UM’s management had failed to inform students on this change in policy beforehand, catching many students off guard.
If the UM administration allowed students to settle their fees before Week 7 as a solution, it said, “it might as well reinforce the conventional practice – allow students to settle their fees before the semester ends”.
“The ‘zero balance’ policy is not the only way to settle students’ debt. Rather, students should be allowed to settle their fees before the release of their exam results,” it said in a statement.
The union urged the university to activate the status of all students so that they can register for their modules, and also involve the union in discussions on crucial policy decisions.
It maintained that there was no proper transition in policy or explanation on how it would benefit students.
“Due to these unreasonable justifications and ineffective solutions provided by UM and the higher education ministry, the union will continue to pressure the higher administration to abolish this policy and activate all students’ status immediately.”
Two days ago, UM said the policy would only affect students who did not update their sponsorship status, were in receipt of education aid, or genuinely required financial assistance.
It also said the debt from unpaid fees was increasing every month and amounted to RM51.2 million in June compared with RM47.3 million in December 2022.