On September 14, Datuk Seri Dr. Noraini Ahmad, the Minister of Higher Education (MoHE) announced that physical classes at universities and colleges will resume October 15.
The reopening of institutes of higher learning in Malaysia will involve students and staff who are fully vaccinated, and apply to all tertiary education institutions in all states, regardless of which phase of the National Recovery Plan the states are in.
Over 1.2 million higher learning students nationwide had to go through over three consecutive semesters of online learning and it’s understandable that many are actually looking forward to return to campus.
Naturally, to ensure the safety of the students, the faculty and staff, returning to campus will also entail the implementation of strict SOPs and guidelines. Many among those returning to campus, will have questions on what these SOPs and guidelines are.
If you’re one of those uni students who are eager to return to campus or parents who want to understand more on the SOPs and guidelines for sending your child back to campus, here’s everything you need to know:
1. When will campuses reopen?
The reopening of campuses for physical classes will be done in stages. This, according to MoHE, is done to ensure that a surge of students and staff returning to campus can be avoided for the safety of everyone. In this case, even if campuses are opened, you will have to wait for further instructions from your university or college on the arrangement of the batches and sceduling. Your university or college will advise on this matter as they will be the best people to know the capacity in which they can handle the intake.
2. Who can attend universities and colleges?
One of the critical requirements to being able to return to campus is that all students as well as campus staff are fully vaccinated. This is to ensure that a herd immunity environment is established on campus. It goes without saying that fully vaccinated here means: – For two-dose vaccines – 14 days have elapsed since you took your second dose – For single dose vaccines – 28 day have elapsed since you took your vaccine To date, over 73% of university and college students as well as 91% of campus faculty and staff have been completely vaccinated. Via the VACC2Campus program, MoHE have been working closely with CITF to speed up vaccination for students, faculty members and staff who have yet to get their vaccines or have not completed the second dose. The program aims to have 100% of students, faculty and staff fully vaccinated by the end of October. Meanwhile, those who have yet to complete their vaccination, can walk-in to any PPV to get vaccinated. All you need to do is bring along your student card, university staff card together with your MyKad (or passport for non-Malaysians). For new students who have yet to get their student card, you can bring along you university offer letter with you MyKad or passport. For students who are unable to get vaccinated for health reasons, they are required to get in touch with their respective universities or colleges for clarification on the specific procedures and requirements.
3. How can you travel to and from campus?
There are different requirements for travelling to and from campus. For students in Peninsular Malaysia who will be travelling interstate (except to Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan), all that is required an authorisation letter from your university or college. For those who will be travelling to and within Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan to return to campus you will have to check with your university or college on the specific SOPs for the state. In addition, you will need the following: – Obtain interstate authorisation letter from PDRM – Complete an RT-PCR swab test Aware of the additional costs incurred for the RT-PCT test, MoHE is working with the Ministry of Health to provide free testing at Government Health Clinics. Those who need to take the test, have the option to get it done for free at these clinics or opt to have done at their preferred lab.
4. What is the procedure for international students?
For international students who are studying in Malaysia, they must first be fully vaccinated and only the following groups are allowed to return: – Students who are citizens of the United Kingdom who have been restricted to enter Malaysia previously will be allowed to return to Malaysia to return to campus here – International students who are under the Mobility and Eduturism programs – Students who have family members who are direct dependants and would like to bring their direct dependants into the country as well
All eligible international students who have completed their vaccination overseas must register with the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) before they can be granted permission to return to Malaysia by the Imigration Department.
All eligible international students must also undergo RT-PCR test three days before travelling to Malaysia. They are also required to undergo a health screening and quarantine once they arrive in Malaysia.
5. What happens to those who are unable to return to campus?
Universities and colleges will continue to run online hybrid distance learning program according to the SOPs set by the National Security Council. For online learning, student have the option to have these classes at their current location.
6. What about group activities on campus?
For lab, workshop, studio and research work, group activities are allowed subject to the SOPs and guidelines set.
7. Will universities prepare on-campus isolation facilities?
To ensure the safety of everyone on campus is not compromised, universities and colleges are required to have ready on campus isolation centres to isolate suspected COVID-19 cases should there be any. At the same time all universities and colleges in Malaysia are expected to prepare a comprehensive and extensive communication plan to ensure that the SOPs and requirements specific to their campus are clearly communicated in addition the SOPs and guidelines set by MoHE.
8. Is there a discount on tuition fees for Semester 1 2021/2022?
There will be a 20% discount on tuition fees for Semester 1 2021/2022. This discount applies to Malaysian students studying in public institutions of higher learning. The discount is expected to benefit over 550,000 students with and estimated savings of over RM175 million.
9. Where can I go for further information or to ask questions?
Should you have questions or require further information specific to your situation you can contact the following: – Campus administration at your university or college – Call MoHE’s 24-hour operation centre at 03 8870 6777 / 6949 / 6623 / 6628