Ministry of Higher Education: No Racial Quota, Preferential Treatment in Automated Entrance Selection to Public Universities in Malaysia

Husaini said UPUOnline’s placement system involves “no human touch” and therefore excludes any opportunity for students to “use cables” – a colloquial term for the use of personal relationships such as nepotism or favoritism. — Photo by Shafwan Zaidon

By Keertan Ayamany

Thursday, September 29, 2022 3:36 PM MYT

PUTRAJAYA, September 29 – The number of applicants exceeded 115,000 this year, but the UPUOnline system follows best practices in selecting students for admission to the country’s 20 public universities, the director general of the ministry said today. of Higher Education, Datuk, Professor Husaini Omar.

He said the department had received 115,477 applications this year and assured that the automated placement system did not use racial quotas or allow certain people access to private “wires” to be chosen.

“In 2022, the number of applications we received this year was 115,477. Of this number, the number of eligible applicants who met the general requirements is 95,745,” he said during a press conference here.

He added that the 20 public universities in the country have a total number of 71,615 internships for students who have completed their STPM exams or its equivalent.

He also said that despite the higher number of applications, the ministry is unable to increase the number of placements at this time.

He added that those who fail to enter through the UPUOnline system can still apply directly to universities or apply to private institutions with the help of loans from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN).

Husaini said UPUOnline’s placement system involves “no human touch” and therefore excludes any opportunity for students to “use cables” – a colloquial term for the use of personal relationships such as nepotism or favoritism.

“There is no racial quota…we don’t enter the student’s race into the system.

“But there is an imbalance in terms of racial demographics in the country, which may contribute to the difference in number of placements between races,” he said, adding that public universities also do not impose racial quota.

Director of the public university’s Student Admissions Department, Wahi Nordin, who was also at the same press conference, said all applications were judged solely on merit, with the student’s academic grades accounting for 90 % of the final grade, while the remaining 10 per cent is based on extracurricular grades.

He added that there was an abundance of high-achieving students, with more than 8,000 applicants having full scores in terms of academics and many of them also having full scores in terms of extracurricular grades.

“In those cases where students are equal in terms of academic and extracurricular achievement, the system will look at their SPM results,” Wahi said.

He advised students to know their extracurricular grades and fill in the 12 choice slots made available to students in their placement applications, as well as follow the ministry’s social media to be up to date with the latest information. regarding these requests.

Wahi added that medicine, dentistry and pharmacy were the most sought after courses, followed by accounting, law and mechanical engineering.

Last year, a total of 1,841 eligible students chose a medical degree as their first choice, but only 692 internship offers were made, meaning that only 37.59% of eligible applicants got an internship.