Six hundred undergraduates, who attended the 1Malaysia Indian Student Summit, have unanimously agreed that policy makers should reinstate the quota system in order to increase the enrolment of Indian students into public universities.
1Malaysia Indian Student Movement (1MISM) president D. Mahaganapathy said the students voiced that since the meritocracy system was introduced six years ago, the intake of Indian students into public universities dropped tremendously especially into high demand faculties such as the medical, dentistry, pharmacy and engineering faculties.
Until recently, he noted that medical seats intake had increased from 55 seats last year, to 90 seats this year.
“Under the previous quota system, Indian students were allocated nearly 10 per cent seats in the public universities.
“However, under the merit system hardly two to three per cent seats were offered to the students (based on data obtained from the Senate) and Indian students are faring badly under the meritocratic system,” Mahaganapathy told reporters after the grand closing of the 1Malaysia Indian Students Summit’s Star Awards Night, held at Limkokwing University, here last night.
The three-day summit organised by the 1MISM, and attended by 600 undergraduates from 31 public universities and 11 private colleges nationwide, was closed by MIC Secretary General Datuk S.Murugesan. Reinstating the quota system was among the 10 resolutions passed at the gathering, said Mahaganapathy, adding that the quota system would ensure fair and equitable intake of Indian students into the public universities.
“We would like to request the government to consider setting up a new mechanism to increase the enrolment of Indian students into public universities annually.
“Currently, to seek enrolment in the public universities, students who sat for STPM will need to compete with the students who completed the matriculation and ‘asasi’ programmes.
“We can generally conclude that a student who goes through the matriculation pathway has a better chance of securing a place in the public university compared to one who comes from the STPM pathway due to the high level of difficulty of the STPM examination,” he explained.
Among other resolutions were the request to set up a multi-racial office, similar to Universiti Malaya, to handle students needs’ and problems at respective universities, the need to set up 1Malaysia food cafeteria serving vegetarian food and a fixed grant to finance student activities.
At the ceremony, Mahaganapathy also launched a RM30,000 grant for students to organise activities related to 1Malaysia concept and promoting unity among students. Some 11 universities also received a trophy and RM1,000 cheque as a recognition for their outstanding student activities at their universities, and they were entertained by local artistes and Limkokwing singers with their latest singles.