PETALING JAYA: The students’ union of Universiti Malaya (UM) has urged the institution’s administration to “once and for all” drop its “zero balance” policy, which requires students to settle their fees in full to activate their status for course registration.
The union said that according to this policy, those unable to settle their fees cannot register for courses and modules in the coming semester.
“While this policy may aim to collect students’ debt, the union believes it is oppressive and unjust and must be reversed immediately,” it said in a statement yesterday.
It said the sudden change of policy, without prior notice by the university’s administration, affects all students, particularly those from lower-income backgrounds who do not have stable financial resources.
“It is regrettable that this policy does not consider the students’ financial burden at all,” it said.
The union said it is almost impossible for most students to have sufficient funds in a short period of time as the fees may range from RM1,000 to RM20,000.
It also said it is “highly unreasonable” to expect them to pay the full fees even before the new academic session begins, especially since many have not even received their scholarship allowance or PTPTN funds.
The union pointed out that the university had introduced the same policy in 2022 but eventually agreed to relax it for undergraduates who did not owe fees from the previous semester following strong opposition.
The statement, co-signed by 68 other student groups from UM, also urged the university to reform its “severely outdated” online portal which “never fails to crash during critical moments” such as course registration and viewing of academic results.
FMT has reached out to the university authorities for comment.