Khaled Nordin: STPM, matriculation students could enter same pool for university selection

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin has mooted a new selection system that will put STPM and matriculation students in the same pool for enrolment into higher learning institutions.

He said this was to ensure the best students were chosen for public universities as well as avoid any bias or unfairness in the enrolment process that some MPs mentioned in Parliament today.

Khaled was answering questions from Tampin MP Mohd Isam Mohd Isa and Raub MP Chow Yu Hui who raised concerns with the special application lane for the admission of students to public universities (IPTA) and public vocational training institutions (ILKA) through UPUOnline as many top scorers in SPM and STPM were not enrolled in the classes they chose.

They said even straight A students had yet to receive an offer from the UPUOnline, especially for professional courses, and asked Khaled’s ministry to intervene.

“Apart from always finding ways to improve the process of enrolling students, we want to maximise and ease the selection process, be it for universities or vocational training, by ensuring those chosen are picked based on merit. It should be based on 90 per cent academics and 10 per cent co-curriculum without any inference to race, religion, or which state they’re from.

“In fact, we’re discussing putting STPM and matriculation students in the same pool and then picking the best candidates for enrolment without any quota system in places. This way at times we will see more STPM students enrolled and in other times more matriculation students,” he said today on the Dewan Rakyat.

“So, the question of whether we are ready for this unified system is to be seen as it’ll need government approval and its decision on whether to remove matriculation or

As for eliminating matriculation entirely, Khaled said this was beyond his ministry’s authority and must be decided by the government.

On March 16, 2023 the decision to continue using UPUOnline was made following the National Social Council Bill meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. The lane is a special admission method and candidates do not have to compete with mainstream groups to continue their studies.

However, Khaled said the candidates must still meet the general and specific requirements of their chosen degree programme and will be vetted within their group of applicants.