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September – October 2020 News:

PETALING JAYA: Higher education campuses will fully reopen in October, says the Higher Education Ministry.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad said 30% of private higher education institutions can start returning from July, in line with the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities’ request. This, she said, was a request made by the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu).

Public higher educational institution (IPTA students – first, second, third and fourth years) who need clinical, practical, workshop, labs, studios or special equipment; those who will be sitting for professional examinations; and those who do not have access to the Internet or a conducive learning environment which facilitates the teaching and learning process; can also make their way back to their respective varsities.

Foreign students – including newly registered students – can also return to their campuses. She said all institutes of higher learning would be given the flexibility to determine the most suitable modes – including online learning – for their respective programmes.

On July 1, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the National Security Council has approved the ministry’s proposal to reopen the institutions. He said that the country’s Covid-19 outbreak had stabilised and the reopening of these institutions would include allowing foreign students to return.

Similarly, public university students without access to good internet connection or a conducive environment may return to campus. Institutions will be given the flexibility to determine the learning model to be employed, including the option to continue online lessons. Student activities will be allowed to be held although there will be a limit of 250 people, subject to the size of the location and social distancing.

International students seeking to enter the country to resume their studies are required to register with Education Malaysia Global Services to obtain approval from the Immigration Department. They will also be screened for Covid-19 upon entry and required to undergo 14-day self-quarantine at their respective campuses. Noraini urged learning institutions and students to prepare for full reopening in October, saying three months should be sufficient to make the appropriate preparations. She said the ministry will continue to look into issues students may face concerning flights and accommodation, adding that they may also contact the student affairs department of their respective universities for additional help.

“The SOPs and guidelines will be updated from time to time, depending on the instructions of the authorities.

“The government’s decision to fully reopen institutions of higher learning by October was made to ensure that studies are not affected,” she said.