Higher Edu Ministry says airlines have agreed to change tickets for varsity students affected by intake delay

Higher Education Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad speaks during The Ministry of Higher Education-Career Advancement Programme Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) at University Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi September 28, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Higher Education Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad speaks during The Ministry of Higher Education-Career Advancement Programme Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) at University Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi September 28, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — University students who have bought plane tickets to head back to campus can now reschedule their flights with the airlines, Higher Education Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad said today.

Noraini announced this afternoon that her ministry had negotiated with the airlines to enable students to change their flight tickets after many local universities delayed the physical reopening of their campuses for the new semester.

“The MOHE consulted with the airlines to consider rescheduling flights for students returning to campus, especially for those who have purchased return flight tickets to their respective public institutions.

“As a result of the negotiations, the airlines have agreed to reschedule the student flights,” she posted on Facebook.

Noraini was heavily criticised on social media for the Higher Education Ministry’s “recommendation” for public universities to postpone ongoing student intakes and registrations following Malaysia’s surge in Covid-19 cases nationwide.

Upset students vented their frustrations online, saying they had arranged to fly to their respective universities and were left in a lurch after the changes.

Many expressed fears that they would be left stranded again as they had been when the movement control order was first announced in March.

Since then, many citizen-led initiatives sprouted online within short order, offering affected students aid in cash and kind.

Opposition political groups also jumped on the bandwagon.

Among them are Johor DAP with its “Kempen Inisiatif Bantu Siswa”, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim, and former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman Muda party which launched a crowdfund that has since raised RM51,000.

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