PETALING JAYA: Although the repayment rate of National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers has seen significant improvement, the Government should lend a hand in keeping the fund’s operations sustainable, says Prof Datuk Dr Che Raduan Che Rose.

The National Council of Professors CEO, along with 25 other academics, attended a roundtable meeting with PTPTN on Thursday to discuss the fund’s future and long term sustainability.

When contacted, Dr Che Raduan said that PTPTN was one of the biggest contributors of tertiary education loans in the country, and he stressed the need to address the depletion of its funds, especially in the form of waived loans for first-class honours graduates as well as discounts given for early repayments.

“There is a serious need to revisit the incentive for first-class honours graduates. It is a good move to motivate students to study well, no doubt.

“But we must understand that different institutions may be different in how they grade their students. Perhaps we need a more holistic way to evaluate deserving students,” Dr Che Raduan said.

At a press conference after the roundtable meeting, PTPTN deputy CEO (Policy and Operations) Mastura Mohd Khalid revealed that 42,425 borrowers who obtained first-class honours had their loans, which amounted to RM1.26bil, waived.

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Since PTPTN was set up in 1997, it has provided loans totalling RM18.8bil to about 1.9 million recipients, but only 68.4% of them have repaid and this amounted to RM10.9bil.

Mastura said that as many as 600,000 borrowers have yet to repay a single sen, accruing a whopping RM7.9bil in arrears.

Concerned about PTPTN’s finances, Dr Che Raduan said it may have to “re-institutionalise” itself to better collect back the loans.

“Moving forward, our public universities will focus more on graduate studies and research.

“It is a fact that more and more Malaysians will be educated in private universities and they will need loans from PTPTN,

“This is another challenge faced by us.

PTPTN has offered up to a 15% discount to those who repay their loans in a single payment.

Last August, PTPTN chairman Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah announced that full loans could no longer be provided because of the poor rate of repayment.
Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/04/15/keep-ptptn-sustainable-don-more-holistic-way-needed-to-evaluate-students/#ShHWJdiQbo5reyb0.99

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