PUTRAJAYA, April 5 — The Public Service Department (PSD) has implemented a new student sponsorship model this year, including the introduction of a sponsorship programme for 1,000 students from the B40 families.
(B40 relates to bottom 40 per cent household income) Besides the B40 Dermasiswa programme and five other sponsorship schemes, the new model also requires students to sit for the Cambridge Online Test (COT), to evaluate the applicant’s personality and tendencies.
A senior PSD officer said overall, the new PSD sponsorship model was drafted based on four key thrusts, namely merit and inclusivity; focus on the B40 group, M40 and the Technical and Vocational Education Training(TVET); development of Malaysia as an education hub; and, return on investment (ROI).
“The new model focuses on the sponsorship of students to local higher learning institutions to retain the brightest students in the country, thus supporting efforts to make Malaysia a regional education hub,” he said.
Five other sponsorship programmes are the National Scholarship Programme; the Special Engineering Programme to Japan, Korea, France and Germany; the Local Undergraduate Programme; the Post-Bursary Programme; and the Bursary Programme.
He said to ensure commensurate returns, starting this year, sponsorship would be implemented in the form of variable rate loans except for the Dermasiswa B40 programme.
The sponsorship agreement will be subjected to four conditions, namely loans can be converted into full scholarships and are exempted from repayment if graduates serve in the public service.
Graduates are required to repay 25 per cent of the loan amount if they work with government-linked companies; graduates are required to repay 50 per cent of the loan amount if they work in local private companies; and graduates are required to repay the entire loan amount if they choose to work abroad.
“For those who join the public service sector, they should serve within a certain period of time according to their field of work, for example within six to seven years for engineering and over 10 years for the medical field,” he said.
The PSD officer said for the Dermasiswa B40 programme, sponsorship would be given to 1,000 students to pursue diploma studies in polytechnics, public universities, Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) and the Multimedia University (MMU) in the TVET field.
“It is estimated they will receive a minimum sponsorship of RM25,000 for a duration of three years,” he added.
He said the selection of students for the B40 Dermasiswa Programme was made, among others, through the National Poverty Data Bank or eKasih list, students from households with monthly income of RM3,690 and below and consideration on household income based on states and localities.
“This is part of the government efforts towards realising the highly-skilled talent development to meet the needs for skilled workers in the future.” On the National Scholarship Programme, he said 20 best Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2015 holders would be sponsored to study at top universities worldwide.
He said the sponsorship would cover the preparatory courses in the country, that were limited to certain fields, designated by the government.
For the Special Engineering Programme to Japan, Korea, France and Germany, the PSD officer said it would be given to 200 SPM 2015 holders, who were interested to take up a diploma or bachelor’s degree programme in engineering in the three countries.
The sponsorship would also include preparatory courses taken in the country, he added.
He said under the Local Undergraduate Programme, sponsorship would be given to 7,000 students to pursue their studies in public universities, UNITEN, MMU and Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP).
PSD will continue the Post-Bursary Sponsorship Programme for 744 Bursary Programme 2013/2014 (SPM 2012/2013) students, in order for them to pursue their first degree at local universities set by the government.
Under the Bursary Programme, he said sponsorship would be given to those who obtained 9As+ and above in SPM 2015, with the selection of recipients based on merit and inclusivity.
According to the PSD officer, the sponsorship is focused on the fields of clinical and health, engineering and technology, and science and social science.
“The Bursary Programme that was previously handled by the Education Ministry will be implemented by PSD on a one-off basis and for 2016 alone. This programme will not be continued, beginning 2017,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said a special briefing session with the Bursary Programme 2013, 2014 and 2015 students would be held in the near future.
Students involved can refer to the PSD’s portal at http://esilav2.jpa.gov.my or contact 03-88853603/ 3777/ 3398 for more information regarding the briefing.
Overall, he said the JPA was continuing its sponsorship programme with an allocation of RM1.65 billion for 49,060 students comprising 41,324 students locally and 7,736 students abroad.
An additional allocation of RM160 million has been approved under Budget 2016 to finance the sponsorship of new students in 2016. — Bernama