KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 — Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has implemented several initiatives to reduce the impact of the rising prices of goods on its students, especially those from the B40 group said UKM Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Ts Dr Mohd Ekhwan Toriman.
He said the programmes were the Food@Campus initiative by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) where the B40 students are provided with food vouchers and the provision of a food basket containing essential items to more than 8,000 underprivileged students under the Healthy Food Basket Programme, among others.
He said UKM also introduced food packages as low as RM3.50 for a plate of rice with a choice of protein and vegetables to the B40 students which had been identified by the Office of Student Affairs (HEP) and UKM Students Union.
“Regular monitoring will also be conducted by principals of residential colleges to ensure that the food provided is of quality and healthy,” he said in a statement here today.
Yesterday, the Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad said that the MOHE was committed to ensuring continuous assistance was given to students through various initiatives, including a six-month rent moratorium to campus food stall operators in public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) starting this month.
Elaborating, Mohd Ekhwan said relevant students would be assisted through the student assistance fund and the UKM Tithe Centre, adding that students who were affected and needed assistance could contact the centre.
He said RM4.5 million had been allocated to provide general education assistance including living expenses for this year to protect students’ well-being.
“UKM Tithe Centre has also assisted students with a total amount of RM5,613,276,” he said.
UKM would ensure that the prices of food sold at the cafeterias at the university’s residential colleges would be reasonable, he said, adding that the university hoped with the initiative provided the cafeteria operators could absorb the rising prices of food and drinks.
Mohd Ekhwan said throughout last year, HEP UKM had distributed food baskets to 4,107 students, with the total contribution amounting to RM204,610, while in 2020, 4,028 students received the assistance valued at RM979,089.
UKM also provided general education assistance last year and this year totalling RM4,815,200, excellence incentive (RM107,600) special aid for year one students (RM203,000), study aid (RM56,015), mobility aid (RM33,000), disaster aid (RM68,500), medical aid (RM12,561) and laptops (RM317,400), he added.
He said he hoped that more donations would be made by its alumni as well as corporate bodies to increase funds in helping the students, especially from the B40 segment.