Huge fees hike mars progress

September 29, 1995

The Malaysian government has promised to continue its dialogue with students and academics to iron out problems in the lead-up to university independence next January.

Universities are funded through the education ministry but under the coporatisation plan they will run their own finances.

Education minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has promised that fee increases will be gradual and minimal. Mr Najib said that although the decision to press on with corporatisation had been made, its format and the extent of fee increases was still being worked out.

The minister has met representatives of the Students Action Committee on Corporatisation of the Universities, a pressure group generally opposed to the restructuring of the university system. Student groups, academics and parents have lobbied the government since May when the University of Malaya announced a seven-fold fee increase for next year.

The university's fees are to rise from M$1,000 to M$7,000 (Pounds 259 to Pounds 1,813) per year for undergraduates and an average of M$10,500 (Pounds 2,625) yearly for masters and PhD students. He said, after talks in Kuala Lumpur, that he was encouraged that student representatives accepted changes had to be made in the system to ensure enhanced quality.

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