Tuesday 5 June 2012

Updated - PTPTN halts loans to Universiti Selangor

The National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) has temporarily halted loans to new students enrolled in Selangor government-owned Universiti Selangor (Unisel).

In answering a query on its online forum, the fund said that the loans for Unisel students have been "halted for the time being".

When contacted on PTPTN's hotline, an officer said that there has been an internal email sent to staff on the matter but no official circular was issued.


Confirming the freeze, Unisel vice-chancellor Anuar Ahmad, however, said that the university has not received any formal notifications from PTPTN.

"They didn't issue us any letters on the matter," he said when contacted.

He added that the university found out about the freeze when students in the April intake could not locate Unisel's name in the list of universities in PTPTN's online applications.

Anuar, however, refused to reveal why the freeze is in place, saying that the university has been in talks with PTPTN over the matter since last week.

"We are in discussions with PTPTN so we cannot reveal much. We will get in touch with them again if there is no word from PTPTN's side by the end of this week," he said.

He added that the freeze could affect up to 1,000 students who are newly registered at the university.

"We are allowing the new students to continue their studies and are asking that they only pay RM500 in registration fee for the time being," Anuar said.

PTPTN's decision to halt loans for Unisel students come after calls from several BN leaders for Selangor to walk the talk and provide free education in Selangor first.

Pakatan Rakyat has proposed to provide free education and to do away with the student loans if it comes into power. 

In an immediate reaction, Kita president Zaid Ibrahim said in a tweet, "What's wrong with the higher education minister. Loans under PTPTN are for all students. Why discriminate Selangor U? Petty and childish."

In another response, Selangor exco member in charge of higher education Halimah Ali urged PTPTN to not turn students into political victims.

She added that the students' parents have the right to take legal action against PTPTN if the freeze is perpetuated.

"They say 1Malaysia but they discriminate against Unisel students...This matter can be dealt with swiftly if PTPTN acts professionally," she told TV Selangor.

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