KUALA NERANG, April 29 — The Rural Development Ministry is studying the appropriate allowance rate for Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) sponsored students abroad, especially in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland, due to the rising costs of living there.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the findings of the study, including detailed information on the rising costs, will be obtained in the near future and will then be discussed at the government level, especially with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the Finance Ministry.

“Yes, we are aware at the moment there is an increase in living costs, especially for our students who are in the United Kingdom and Ireland. So, we are doing a study with other sponsors (Public Service Department (JPA), Bank Negara, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and Petronas).

“Currently, a bachelor’s degree student will have 800 pounds left over a month. If he has a Master’s degree, he will have about 1,000 pounds. So, with 800 pounds he will have to spend on himself, the house, bills, food, transportation….we see the cost of utilities in the UK has gone up. We need to study this,”  he said at a ministry bubur lambuk programme by the roadside of the main road from Pokok Sena to Kuala Nerang in front of the Tengku Sarafudin Badlishah Mosque here today.

Media outlets reported yesterday that the United Kingdom & Eire National Liaison Agency called for the restructuring of student living allowances for JPA and MARA sponsored students to be implemented immediately.

The agency was quoted in a statement as saying that the cost of living in the UK and Ireland was soaring and the effect was felt by the entire community, especially students sponsored by JPA-MARA whose allowances have not changed since 2012.

Media reports also stated that MARA was continuing with its program to send its sponsored students abroad, involving a total of 1,500 people in various fields and levels of study this year.

Mahdzir added that MARA was also collecting information on the total number of Malaysian students in the UK and Ireland.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here