PETALING JAYA: Students from Universiti Malaya (UM) have slammed the return of Noraini Ahmad as higher education minister, saying she failed to resolve several issues faced by them throughout her first tenure.
In a statement, the Universiti Malaya Students’ Union said Noraini’s appointment was ironic when the management of higher education institutions had been problematic in the past year and a half.
It pointed out how many students in the new intake in October last year could not return home when the ministry suddenly postponed face-to-face registrations just one day prior.
“This was a problem as the announcement did not take into account how many students from other states were there at the campus for registration and would not be able to stay in the college.
“Additionally, they had to bear their own costs to return to their homes,” it said.
The union also said the Wanita Umno chief failed to abolish the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA), claiming it stifled students’ freedom of speech and curbed the autonomy of student bodies.
“For the sake of this nation’s tertiary students, we urge the prime minister to appoint a new higher education minister. One who has the vision and willingness to serve students’ interests.
“This post should not be given at a whim just to any politician. We want a minister who will work for the welfare of students. He or she should also have a vision, be capable of forming contingency plans, and be aware of students’ welfare.”
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