Malaysian students abroad who are facing financial issues due to the weakening Ringgit can now return to local universities via credit transfer, said the Higher Education Ministry.
The ministry now allows the students to apply to continue their studies in higher education institutions of their choice based on the approval of their senates. The institutions’ senates would have to carry out subject-to-subject mapping to determine if the credit transfer was in line with conditions set by Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).
Following MQA’s guideline, students must spend at least one residential year in the local institution in order to graduate.
Students must also satisfy other conditions such as obtaining a minimum Grade C in the course, ensuring the credit value of the courses are the same as the programmes offered by the receiving institution and the courses are accredited by MQA.
However, this policy does not limit the credits that can be transferred.
Students can apply directly to the local higher education institutions for the horizontal credit transfer but it would depend on the availability of places in the course they are applying for. To facilitate the transfer of credits, students must obtain written permission from the overseas institutions to withdraw from the respective programmes.
The ministry decided to allow the horizontal credit transfer system after receiving feedbacks and suggestions from concerned parents. The current economic situation has had an impact on many parents who sent their children overseas to study, especially to the United States and Britain.
Here’s a quick example on how parents are financially constrained by paying higher tuition fees. This figure would be higher if the cost of accommodation, food and transportation are taken into account.
|Old Exchange Rate
|New Exchange Rate
|Medicine at a US University
USD 291,005 for 5 years
|Medicine at a UK University
£112,575 for 5 years
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There are about 80,000 Malaysian students studying abroad with about 11,000 in Britain and 8,000 in the United States.
UCSI University said they are ready to help the students and would provide them with consequential solutions and alternatives. UCSI did the same in 1997 and 1998 during the Asian financial crisis.
Taylor’s University said they strongly supported the ministry’s decision as this would ease the financial burden of the parents. Taylor’s assures that their quality is at par with the higher education institutions overseas.