KUCHING, June 25 — Sarawak students with excellent results in their recent Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination will be admitted into state-linked universities if they apply after they have been rejected to pursue their tertiary education in public universities under the Ministry of Higher Education, state Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg said today.

He said he was given to understand that a total of 596 Sarawak students obtained straight As, including 12 with straight A+ in all subjects, in the examination.

“I hope these 596 students will continue their education at a higher level,” he said at the launch of the Sarawak Education Expo organised by Yayasan Sarawak here.

“I feel that there is no problem about getting places. If you cannot enter public universities under the Higher Education Ministry because of the UPU qualifications, you can enter our own universities without conditions," he told the students.

The UPU refers to the Unit Pusat Universiti, a centralised agency that coordinates the intake of public tertiary education institutes in the country.

Abang Johari said state-linked universities are open to both Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera students who excel in their secondary school examinations.

He urged them to apply to study at Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus and University Technology Sarawak (UTS).

“If you don’t have the funds, the Sarawak Foundation will provide the bursaries for you,” Abang Johari, who is also the foundation chairman, said.

He said state-owned UTS has increased the number of intakes for students whose parents are unable to pay university fees for their children.

“We will also help non-Bumiputera students because we need everybody to transform Sarawak. As long as I am the premier of Sarawak, I am always fair to all,” he said.

He added that the state government will provide funds to the Sarawak Foundation to give out bursaries to the students.

He urged students to take disciplines which are relevant to the current development in Sarawak, such as computer, digital technology, cyber security and engineering.

“If there are many students taking social and arts disciplines, we will face a situation where the graduates will not be able to get jobs because of the lack of opportunities,” he said.