PUTRAJAYA, Oct 30 — Beginning next year, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) will relax its terms of sponsorship for students from low-income (B40) homes and rural areas to pursue their studies at Kolej Poly-Tech MARA (KPTM).
Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the move followed the increased allocation in the 2018 Budget for scholarships for tertiary education and training under MARA.
At present, he said, 40 per cent of KPTM students were fully sponsored by the government as the requirements were a minimum of five credits in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination.
“For now, those who do not have five SPM credits are automatically rejected (for sponsorship) but perhaps in the future, those with four credits but coming far from the interior areas will get sponsorship.
“Students in urban areas who come from B40 families will also be given this flexibility,” he told reporters after the 34th KPTM convocation ceremony held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, here, today.
A total of 5,585 graduates received their diplomas, degrees and professional certificates at the two-day event which began yesterday.
Ismail Sabri said the 2018 Budget tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last Friday allocated RM2.5 billion for tertiary education and training scholarships under MARA, the highest allocation ever given to the agency.
With this, he said, there were more opportunities for those interested to pursue their education to the master’s degree and doctorate levels.
“Last year, we did not send many students (overseas) for the master’s and PhD but with this RM2.5 billion, the chance of us increasing the number of students is better,” he said.
On the marketability of KPTM graduates, Ismail Sabri said he had set a target of 80 per cent of the graduates obtaining employment within six months after graduating, compared to the current 72 per cent.
“Each year, the marketability of the graduates increases by one to two per cent but I want to encourage them to become job creators (entrepreneurs),” he said. — Bernama