PTPTN: More can switch to “Ujrah” next year

The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) will give another chance to its debtors to convert their study loans into the Islamic loan system known as “Ujrah” starting on Jan 1, next year.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said PTPTN debtors should take the opportunity since the offer to do so this year had ended on Sept 30.

“However, it will be based on the amount of the current debt and not backdated to June 1, 2008,” he told reporters after attending the Higher Education Ministry’s monthly assembly today.

As at the end of last month, 55,546 PTPTN debtors had opted to convert their loans into “Ujrah”, which offers a service charge of only one per cent effective June 1, 2008, as compared to three per cent under the conventional system.

In his speech earlier, Mohamed Khaled said the same opportunity was also being given to PTPTN debtors wishing to get a reduction of the service charge from three and five per cents to just one percent, without having to convert into “Ujrah”.

“Those who settled their loans in full before Dec 31 this year will have their accounts adjusted and backdated to June 1, 2008, and any excess payment will be refunded to the debtors,” he said.

Up to last month, he said 1,518 debtors had settled their loans in full and were eligible to get a refund amounting to RM1.2 million.

At the event, Khaled also presented PTPTN loan repayment exemption letters to 10 excellent university students who graduated with first-class degrees in or after January 2010.

A total of 2,091 PTPTN debtors were exempted from repaying their loans amounting to RM58 million last year.

This year, however, only 97 debtors were exempted from repaying the loans, but the number was expected to rise by year’s end.

Meanwhile, one of the graduates, Ng Tong Lip, 24, said he felt very lucky to have been exempted from repaying the study loan amounting to RM58,000, which he received to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Graduating with a cumulative group point average (CGPA) of 3.88, Ng said he was depending solely on the loan to pay the fees and cost of living throughout his four-year study.

Meanwhile, Raja Norazilawati Raja Omar, 26, who graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Printing Technology from Universiti Teknologi Mara and a CGPA of 3.5, said that with the exemption, she could now breathe a sigh of relief.

“All students must strive to maintain an excellent results in their examinations so that they will have the chance to convert the loan into a full scholarship,” she added.

– Bernama