KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — Malaysians who are studying at universities will still be returning to their campus as early as March 1, while those who are already at their campuses should stay where they are, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) announced today.

In touching on the impact of the two-week movement control order (MCO) to be imposed in six states from tomorrow onwards until January 26, the ministry said that the operations for institutes of higher education (IPT) under the ministry will remain as announced previously.

This means that the earliest date for when local students are allowed to enter campuses is from March 1, and the earliest entry date for international students (except from the UK) is still as early as January 1.

University students already at their campuses will be undergoing their studies through a mix of physical and online learning activities.

“In line with that, all students who are already at campus have to remain at their respective campuses and carry out their studies via hybrid means. For other students, learning for all academic programmes are continued with online learning until the end of the MCO,” the ministry said in a statement today.

The ministry also said international examinations and examinations for professional bodies will be allowed to be held on campus.

“Students with needs such as clinical studies, professional examinations, lab, studio, practical or internet access and such are allowed.

“Letters granting special permission will be issued by the IPT to enable students with needs to apply for permission from the authorities to travel across states or districts to return to campus,” the ministry added.

The ministry also said all research activities involving lab facilities will be allowed through the permission given by the head of department in compliance with strict standard operating procedures, while students outside of campus who are conducting research activities will have to obtain letters from their respective IPTs for permission to enter and exit the campus.

The ministry urged for academic activities on campus to be carried out with full compliance to the SOPs and with a priority on safety measures and in line with the new normal such as wearing face masks, using sanitisation liquid and physical distancing.

As for students who wish to obtain further information regarding the dates and schedule for entry to their respective institutes, they can contact the ministry’s Bilik Gerakan Covid-19 that is open 24 hours a day through the phone lines 03-8870 6777/ 6949/ 6623/ 6124 or contact their respective institutes or visit their institute’s website.

Previously on December 31, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad announced that Malaysian students can return to their campuses in stages according to their respective institutes starting from March 1, with students from red zones to return 10 days earlier for an isolation process to ensure they are free of Covid-19 while student entry for institutes located in Sabah and Sarawak would have to comply with the procedures of those state governments.

Noraini had also said that all existing and new international students (except for those from the UK) at public and private institutes of higher education are allowed to enter campus as early as January 1, with international students required to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine before entering campus.

Noraini had said the decision to allow students to physically enter institutes of higher education was to enable both Malaysian and international students to carry out hybrid teaching and learning activities, which would be a combination of both online and face-to-face activities. This is intended to ensure the quality of higher education in Malaysia, she had said.