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KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — An average of 45,000 places in public universities were offered for undergraduate study in the past two years, even as the matriculation programme’s intake has just been raised to 40,000 students.
This raises questions as to whether the expansion of the matriculation programme by 60 per cent from an earlier 25,000 student intake will inadvertently disadvantage STPM graduates if public universities did not significantly raise total admission rates in their undergraduate programmes.
The Student Admissions Division (UPU) at the Education Ministry's Higher Education Department revealed that slightly more STPM graduates than matriculation students were offered places for undergraduate study at public universities in the past two academic years. Less than 10 per cent of places at public universities were offered to foundation students from private institutions.
“For your information, for the 2017/ 2018 academic session, 42,404 STPM/ matriculation/ foundation students were offered places at public tertiary education institutions. The breakdown was 20,133 (47.5 per cent) STPM graduates and 18,288 (43.1 per cent) matriculation graduates,” UPU director Mazula Sabudin told Malay Mail.
About 9.3 per cent, or 3,983 foundation students received offers from public universities for that academic year.
“For the 2018/2019 academic session, 48,759 STPM/ matriculation/ foundation students were offered places at public tertiary education institutions. The breakdown was 24,375 (50 per cent) STPM graduates and 20,269 (41.6 per cent) matriculation graduates,” said Mazula.
About 8.4 per cent, or 4,115 foundation students received offers from public universities that year.
Non-Malay parties MCA, MIC and Gerakan have slammed the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s decision to retain the 90 per cent Bumiputera quota in the expanded matriculation programme, highlighting the limited number of seats in public universities.