Deputy S’wak minister: Free tertiary education initiative inspired by Norway

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Henry (back row, centre) and Uplands Tennis Club president David Bong (back row, third right) join some of the club members for a group photo.

KUCHING (Feb 22): The move by Sarawak to provide free tertiary education by 2026 is inspired by oil and gas producing country Norway, said Deputy Minister of Transport Dato Henry Harry Jinep.

He said the Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and members of the state administration including himself had visited Norway to study the way they developed their country.

“The moment they (the Norwegians) found oil in the 1960s, they had everything. Until today, they give free education to all Norwegians. This is what Sarawak will have by 2026.

“All Sarawakians entering Sarawak local universities, (will be given) free (education),” he said when speaking at the Chinese New Year dinner organised by the Uplands Tennis Club on Tuesday night.

He said the free tertiary education is in line with the social inclusivity and shared prosperity thrusts of Sarawak’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030.

According to him, this is possible due to the increased revenues including the RM13 billion recorded last year.

He also said other benefits for Sarawakians include the private international schools which provide Cambridge syllabus to build up human capital and the Kenyalang Gold Card for senior citizens.

“That is what we call inclusivity and shared prosperity. (Which) Means no one will be left behind,” he added.

On the Uplands Tennis Club, Henry, who is also the club advisor and patron, said it is a platform for members not just to play tennis but also to build social networking.

He announced a RM10,000 grant to the club for its activities this year.