Higher education minister says campuses reopening in stages from Oct 15, 20pc fee discount for public varsity students

Noraini said the reopening of campuses will apply to all tertiary education institutions in all states, regardless of which phase of the National Recovery Plan they are at respectively. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Noraini said the reopening of campuses will apply to all tertiary education institutions in all states, regardless of which phase of the National Recovery Plan they are at respectively. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Campus classes will resume in stages from October 15 for university students and staff who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Minister of Higher Education (MoHE) Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad announced today.

She said the reopening of campuses will apply to all tertiary education institutions in all states, regardless of which phase of the National Recovery Plan they are at respectively.

She also said university students only need to obtain permits from the police, and permission or offer letters from their respective institutions to travel to their campus.

“Hence in an effort to ensure the sustainability and high quality of the local education, while ensuring the students’ safety and wellbeing is a priority, I would like to announce that the MoHE will begin implementing the physical enrolment of students into campuses in stages as approved by the National Security Council,” she said in a virtual press conference this afternoon.

Students and staff looking to return to campuses in Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan would be subjected to regulations and standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the respective state governments.

Noraini also announced a 20 per cent discount on fees for all local students enrolling in all public universities for the 2021/2022 Semester One session.

“This measure is set to benefit 555,340 students, with the initiative worth RM175 million, under the MoHE Prihatin initiative and principles of Keluarga Malaysia,” she added.

Noraini said students can opt to travel back in private vehicles, be dropped off by their parents who must also be fully vaccinated, carpool with fully immunised individuals, or through air travel.

“Those who face issues securing transport back to their campuses are advised to contact their universities to help solve the problem,” she added.

Alternatively, she said students unable to return to their campuses for various reasons can still choose to attend online and hybrid lessons from their current localities.  

She encouraged students and varsity staff who have yet to receive their first vaccine doses to do so at any walk-in vaccination centre (PPV).

“All you need to do is present your student ID or staff ID, or relevant identification like your IC or passport to be given the vaccines at these PPVs,” she said.

For international students, Noraini said approval has been given to those who fall into one of three categories provided they fulfill the conditions imposed.

The three categories are: they are citizens of the United Kingdom; those who are enrolled or looking to take up courses in Mobility and Edu-tourism; or looking to relocate to Malaysia along with their families.

“Those looking to enter the country must register themselves with the Education Malaysia Global Services before permission to travel here by the Immigration Department can be issued.

“They will also need to undergo an RT-PCR swab test three days before entering the country, undergo a health screening and quarantine at designated isolation centres upon arrival here,” she said.

Noraini advised all universities to ensure compliance of existing SOPs when welcoming back students.

She suggested the universities draft their own set of regulations to ensure a safe environment within the campus.

“Universities are also encouraged to provide students with Covid-19 self-test kits upon arriving on campus,” she added.

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