Friday, May 30, 2008

3,000 appeal for this year's JPA Scholarships

Thanks to my blog reader for this article.

This is quoted from NST

3,000 to know PSD outcome next month
By : Deborah Loh

PUTRAJAYA: The Public Service Department (PSD) has received 3,000 appeals from post Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) students who failed to get scholarships for studies abroad.

The decisions on the appeals will be made next month, PSD director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam said yesterday.

Most of those rejected scored low marks in the interview and had less active co-curricular records.

"They were bright academically but many could not carry themselves with confidence during the interview.

"So many students are getting straight As now that academic performance is taken for granted, so the tipping point lies in the confidence a student displays," he said.

More than 6,000 SPM students last year scored 9As or more.

"Students who get rejected look at their string of As and wonder why they didn't get the scholarship.

"But the fact is, there are so many others like them who are top scorers," Ismail said.

He also said the PSD would consider stating the reasons for rejection in future applications.

A common complaint by rejected students is that no reasons were given for their failure to obtain the scholarship.

Of the 2,000 successful recipients, 151 of them were put on the "fast lane", or given priority because of their academic record and economic background.

"We immediately shortlisted them because they got 10 1As and were from poor families earning below RM1,500 a month.

"Of the 151, 117 were non-Bumiputeras and 34 were Bumiputeras.

"We accepted it as that and we did not try to adjust anything," he said at a briefing on the PSD's foreign and local scholarships programme.

The cost of funding these 2,000 students overseas for the next five years is RM1.7 billion.

Ismail also explained why the government could not offer more overseas scholarships.

"We are constrained by the quota that foreign universities have for international students.

"Also, medical degrees from certain countries like the United States and Japan are not recognised here.

"So, we are limited in the number of places we can secure overseas," he said. It's not the end of the road or of the world for dejected applicants, Ismail added.

"The PSD has other avenues for local scholarships and for going abroad.

"But students have to work hard."

They are:

- scholarships for those who secure places in Ivy League universities;

- 10,000 scholarships available for SPM 2007 school-leavers to study in local universities;

- scholarships up to the completion of a first degree for those with a minimum of 9As in SPM, who enter Form Six or matriculation. Their Form Six or matriculation fees will be waived and a monthly allowance will be provided.

- scholarships for those completing their A-Levels in private colleges this year, who secured places (in critical fields only) in local branch campuses of Monash University, Nottingham University, Curtin University of Technology and Swinburne University.

More information and online applications through the PSD's website would be provided next month.

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