Higher Education Ministry sets up 24-hour hotline for university students, releases FAQ on postponed intake

A new student arrives for registration at Tunku Kurshiah residential college in Universiti Malaya, October 3, 2020. — Bernama pic
A new student arrives for registration at Tunku Kurshiah residential college in Universiti Malaya, October 3, 2020. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — The Higher Education Ministry today announced that help for university students will be available round the clock through its hotlines, and also released a guide on frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the recent postponement of physical registrations and new intakes at public universities.

In posts on its official Facebook page, the ministry said that its operations room for the student intake for the 2020/2021 session and on Covid-19 matters will be operating 24 hours a day, before proceeding to provide the contact details.

“Any further questions, please contact the hotlines 03-8870 6777 and 03-8870 6949 or email directly to [email protected],” it said.

In its FAQ dated yesterday but posted on its Facebook page today, the ministry advised new university students against buying flight tickets if they have yet to do so, and to register online for their new intake instead.

As for university students who had already purchased flight tickets to fly to their university campuses, the ministry advised them to directly contact the airlines’ customer service hotlines and provided the contact details for Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo to seek for flight rescheduling.

“Students are also advised to always be on the alert for instructions or notifications that are issued by the government, IPT (institutions of higher education), and airline companies from time to time,” the ministry said in its FAQ.

The ministry also provided the hotlines for all 20 public universities for students wishing to seek further information on their registration at the respective universities.

As for private institutions of higher education, the ministry suggested that students who have been back on campus since July to stay put and said they could carry out physical teaching and learning activities in line with standard operating procedures (SOPs), while the rest who are in their hometowns were advised to stay at home and register and study online.

The ministry said operators of private institutions of higher education have to prioritise students’ welfare during the postponement of physical registration of students, further saying that students should contact their respective institutions for further information.

In the same FAQ, the ministry said online learning can be carried out by institutions of higher education according to the needs and suitability of their programmes.

The ministry also addressed the question of students who have already reached their campus for registration purposes, stating that institutions of higher education have already prepared SOPs for the physical registration and intake of students on campus in line with current developments on the spread of Covid-19.

“So students that are on campus have to always comply with SOP that is determined by the respective institutions of higher education and also the government orders that are in effect from time to time,” it said.

As for the question of whether students that are in university campuses are allowed to go out, the ministry again reiterated the need for students to follow the SOPs set by their institutions of higher education, as well as to limit movements and to practise physical distancing, the wearing of face masks, washing of hands, and to avoid crowded, confined spaces and close conversation.

The ministry’s recent abrupt announcement of the postponement in face-to-face registration of new and existing students at public universities’ campuses had led to criticism as well as students concerned about being stranded, which subsequently led to various crowdfunding efforts and offers of aid by some elected lawmakers for students from their own constituencies.

Airlines Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo Air have also announced that students would be able to reschedule their flights with additional charges for rescheduling waived.

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