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RM100,000 safety net

Posted on December 16, 2012, Sunday

Private higher institutions of learning to pay student protection fees starting next year

KUALA LUMPUR: Beginning next year, private universities, university colleges and foreign university branch campuses will have to pay RM100,000 while private colleges have to fork out RM10,000 as student protection fee.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the fee was a student protection guarantee if the private higher learning institutions faced the risk of closing down and jeorpadising the completion of its students’ study programme.

“As such, these students need some form of protection against such discontinuity. We have decided to collect a certain amount of money as protection fees from the private higher learning institutions in the form of surety bond, insurance and deposit,” he said when launching the Star Education Fair 2012, here yesterday.

He said these private higher learning institutions were expected to pay an amount as determined by the regulator to the pool which would be managed by the regulator in order to ensure that affected students would be reimbursed if the institutions closed abruptly to enable them to continue their studies elsewhere apart from safeguarding these students from unscrupulous institutions.

“All private higher learning institutions will have to pay the protection fees every five years, every time they want to renew their licences. The details of the implementation will be announced later,” he said.

Mohamed Khaled said this year, a total of 33 private higher learning institutions were under consideration to be closed down for various cases.

On another note, he said Communicational Bahasa Melayu and Malaysian Studies would be made compulsory subjects for international students in private and public higher learning institutions.

He said the subjects would enable foreign students to interact with locals and the authorities as well as they could learn the Malaysian culture and how the country had been developed.

Meanwhile, he said, private higher learning institutions were encouraged to offer more post graduate programmes to develop a talent pool of high-level intellectuals to spur the growth of research and innovation in the country.

“The graduate students at private higher learning institutions are still small. Based on the current statistics this year, there are only 203 and 2,841 graduate students for both PhD and Masters programmes.

“On the contrary, public higher learning institutions have a bigger number of graduate students; 2,169 and 14,813 respectively for both Masters and PhD,” he said. — Bernama

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