Terengganu Sultan grants audience in connection with university merger

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 19 — The Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin today granted an audience to the top management of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), to hear an explanation on the proposed merger of both institutions.

UniSZA vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Hassan Basri Awang Mat Dahan said he and UMT vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Nor Aeini Mokhtar also received the viewpoints of the Sultan on the matter, during the discussion which took place in Terengganu.

Hassan Basri said both vice-chancellors had provided a comprehensive overview of the perspectives of the Education Ministry and the two universities, in a bid to clarify the various reactions that had materialised following the announcement of the proposed merger.

“We presented the facts as a whole, the pros and cons of the merger,” he told reporters after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between UniSZA and the Centre for Economic Policy Research Malaysia (CEPR) here.

The Sultanah of Terengganu, Sultanah Nur Zahirah is the Chancellor of both universities.

On September 4, the Cabinet was reported to have agreed in principle, to the merger aimed at strengthening the capacities of both institutions in line with the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education).

Hassan Basri said UniSZA would not take sides and would accept the decision made upon the conclusion of a six-month study by the ministry into the merger.

He added that unlike banking institution mergers in which one entity would normally shut down, university mergers would instead see the expansion of capacities of both institutions and this matter had been guaranteed by the ministry, including the fact that academic staff would not be made redundant. — Bernama

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