Budget 2024: Focus on financial assistance for higher education students, urges activist

13 Oct 2023 09:08am
Founder of Dewan Belia India Malaysia Kiran Raj Sathivel
Founder of Dewan Belia India Malaysia Kiran Raj Sathivel

SHAH ALAM - Financial aid programme, scholarships and affordable student loans are among issues that should be focused in Budget 2024.

Speaking to Sinar Daily, Dewan Belia India Malaysia founder Kiran Raj Sathivel said students need financial aid and scholarships to access higher education.

Kiran said many students face academic and personal challenges, and with these services it might help them overcome obstacles and peer pressures.

"This is crucial because the cost of tuition, textbooks, and living expenses can be a significant barrier especially post-Covid-19 have caused financial breakdowns in the most of the B40 households.

"Students need access to high-quality education to acquire knowledge and skills relevant to their chosen field," he said.

Kiran further said that more priority should be given to the funding for academic programmes, research, and faculty development to enhance the quality of education.

He also said that government universities should explore partnerships with private sector, to enhance funding and improve the quality of higher education.

"I hope the Madani government would promote inclusivity by allocating resources for scholarships, grants, and programmes that make higher education accessible to a broader range of students.

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"Also, government universities should explore partnerships with the private sector to enhance funding and improve the quality of higher education.

"These expectations aim to balance the needs of students, faculty, and institutions while fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation in higher education," he said.

Commenting further, Kiran said Budget 2024 should focus on better infrastructure to ensure moder infrastructure and technology to support online learning, research facilities and campus improvement.

"Support ongoing training and development for professors to keep up with advancements in their respective fields. More allocated funds for research grants and innovation centers to foster cutting-edge research.

"The government should as well allocate resources for accreditation and quality assurance mechanisms to maintain high academic standards," he added.

In Budget 2023, the Education Ministry received the biggest allocation at RM52.6 billion. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said RM2.3 billion of the overall was dedicated to ensure best learning infrastructure at all schools.