Not up to unis to decide on student participation in exams or studies based on vaccination status, says Noraini

PETALING JAYA: It is not up to universities to decide if someone can sit for an exam or take part in the teaching and learning process (PdP) based on whether or not they have been vaccinated, says Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad.

The Higher Education Minister said permission to undergo academic and training programmes is subject to the permission and standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the ministry and the National Security Council (NSC).

“NSC has no rules that differ between those who have been vaccinated and those who haven’t,” she said in a statement on Tuesday (June 15).

She added that the universities are not allowed to make SOPs and regulations related to Covid-19 separately from the NSC.

Noraini said the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is still ongoing and has not reached the entire population, including university students.

Thus, universities need to ensure that student well-being is taken care of, including access to PdP, she added.

She also said she has ordered an investigation into claims that a medical student from Universiti Malaya (UM) was not allowed to sit for an eligibility exam because she was not vaccinated.

“The ministry is seriously looking into UM’s actions in preventing students who have not received the Covid-19 vaccine from participating in PdP activities, and examinations for clinical students from the medical faculty,” she said.

Noraini added that Higher Education director-general Prof Datuk Dr Husaini Omar has been asked to conduct the investigation and take immediate and necessary action.

On June 14, a news portal reported that in April, UM student Nik Farah Ellisha Mohd Razif, 22, had initially rejected the vaccine offered to her but agreed to be vaccinated with the vaccine of her choice after being “forced” by the university.

“The university said they would give me an appointment date to get the vaccine but until the day of the exams on June 8 and 9, I still did not get an appointment date for the vaccination and when I went to sit for the important exam, the university forbade me and asked me to leave the hall,” the student was reported to have said.

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