PM announces increased living allowance for MARA-sponsored students
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today announced an increase in living allowance for all Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA)-sponsored students studying locally and abroad, to reflect the increased costs of living and inflation.
Those studying locally for their diplomas up till PhDs will receive a monthly minimum of RM650 and a maximum of RM950 while those studying abroad can expect a monthly minimum of RM1,380 and a maximum of RM7,600 for undergraduate degrees up until PhD level, he announced at an event at the Feisol Hassan-Halle German Malaysian Institute (GMI) in Bangi.
"The increase in allowance for students sponsored by MARA will involve a total of 62,998 people with effect from September 2022,” he said to an audience of nearly 3,000 students and groups of students who were watching a livestream of events in Germany, London, Egypt and the US.
A 'Special Operation’ survey by the Public Service Department and MARA in February focused on the lives of students in main cities such as London, Bristol and Edinburgh found that 60 per cent of MARA-sponsored students, who come mainly from the bottom 40 per cent (B40) households, were saddled with an increased burden when it came to daily expenses, he said.
"For example, the average monthly expenses for rent and utility bills in major cities amount to around £500 (RM2,733) to £730 (RM3,990), which is between 60 and 70 per cent of the allowance received by each student,” he said.
He added that this has caused students to find ways to stretch out their budget, including finding accommodation further away from their place of study and working part-time.
"I am confident that this increase in living allowance is appropriate and fair to help ease the burden of the students from the Malaysian Family facing the increase in living expenses,” he said.
He revealed that 4,149 MARA-sponsored students are currently studying abroad, 1,049 of which are studying in 24 universities that have been ranked among the world's top 50.
Meanwhile, 58,849 MARA-sponsored students are studying locally in public and private institutions.