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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mystified by changes in MyMaster, MyPhD rules

Furious students say the entry requirement has been arbitrarily raised.
KUALA LUMPUR: Students who have failed to get into the government-run MyMaster and MyPhD study schemes are crying foul.
They are asking the higher education ministry to give reasons for rejecting their applications and for taking a long time to shortlist the candidates.
Many have also alleged that the ministry had acted arbitrarily in raising the minimum qualification. Only those with at least 3.75 CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) are now eligible for the schemes.
The students have been venting their frustrations through a closed Facebook group called MyBrain15.
Higher Education Minister Idris Jusoh announced earlier this year that 15,000 scholarships were expected to be offered under the MyMaster programme and 5,000 under the MyPhD programme.
One of the students, Aisha Tajudin, told FMT the announced minimum requirement was a CGPA of 3.0 and aid was offered for any course listed under the MyMaster programme.
Aisha applied to study for a Master’s in Mass Communication.
She said she had to wait seven months to get a reply. Last month, she received a letter stating her application had been rejected. No reasons were given, she added.
Aisha telephoned the ministry, only to be told that the scheme was open only to those wanting to further their studies in Mathematics and Science.
“They also said the CGPA requirement had been upgraded to 3.75. Why didn’t they tell me earlier, before I applied?”
She said she had phoned the ministry in April when she sent in her application and the person she spoke to did not inform her of any changes.
“I asked if my application was complete. They told me everything was okay.”
Every time she rang up, she was told to wait for a reply in a month, she alleged.
“In previous years, there was no problem. Students received their replies in two weeks.”
Another student, who identified herself as Fatimah T and who applied for the MyPhd scheme, said a lot of students were infuriated over the late reply.
“A lot of applications for the science stream were also rejected,” she said. “Some students had resigned from their jobs to focus on the MyPhD programme.
“In previous years, there was no issue. Students were accepted as long as they had a CGPA of 3.0. Why did they change the CGPA requirement suddenly after seven months?”
Fatimah scored a CGPA of 3.66 for her Master’s in Communications degree.
Many of the complaints on the Facebook page are from students reeling in shock for being rejected despite scoring a CGPA of 3.75 and being below the maximum age of 35.
They are asking the ministry to come clean on why their applications were rejected.
FMT is awaiting a response from the ministry. FMT

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