Budget 2008 : PSD sponsorship going up by 100%

PSD sponsorship going up by 100%

PETALING JAYA: Public Services Department (PSD) sponsorship of undergraduate students at local universities goes up by a 100% from 5,000 to 10,000 annually, beginning next year.

The aim behind this move is to address the shortage of students in critical fields as well as the social sciences.

More than 90,000 students at local higher learning institutions will enjoy a higher cost of living allowance (Cola). Students will see an increase from 23% to 84% with retrospective effect from the first semester this year.

Government-sponsored students in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada will also enjoy an increase in Cola by up to 97%.

In addition, a RM12bil allocation has been provided for the implementation of higher education projects and programmes.

The first of these projects is the enhancement of research, development and commercialisation activities in four research universities – Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia.

An additional perk related to research and development in-cludes royalty of 80% for re-searchers.

This is an improvement from the current situation where a research institution receives 50%, with the remainder 50% shared by the institution and the researcher.

Universiti Teknologi Mara will receive part of the allocation to increase its student enrolment to 200,000 by 2010.

Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Universiti Darul Iman and Universiti Pertahanan will also benefit from the allocation for upgrading and expansion works.

Another group of beneficiaries from RM12bil are community colleges, which will undergo a re-branding exercise.

Perks for higher education also include tax relief of up to RM5,000 on education fees for postgraduate studies.

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