KUALA LUMPUR: The Higher Education Ministry has rebuked Universiti Malaya (UM) for barring a medical student from sitting for her clinical examinations because she had not received her Covid-19 vaccination.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad, in a statement today, said she has instructed Higher Education director-general Prof Datuk Dr Husaini Omar to investigate the report and immediately take the necessary actions.
"The Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme (NIP) is still ongoing and has yet to encompass all Malaysians, including university students.
"While the ministry fully supports efforts to encourage students to register for vaccines, universities are not allowed to formulate their own regulations and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) related to Covid-19 separately from the National Security Council's (NSC) decision.
"All academic programmes and training are subject to the SOP and permission issued by the ministry and NSC. The NSC does not have separate regulations for those vaccinated and those who are not vaccinated.
"All universities must therefore, protect their students' welfare, especially during the PdP and assessment processes so that students are not left out and to ensure the country's academic continuity during the Covid-19 pandemic," she said.
Yesterday, a 22-year-old medical student from UM lodged a police report at the Brickfields police headquarters after her university prevented her from taking her examinations for not getting inoculated first.
The student was quoted as saying that she agreed to get the vaccine of the chosen brand only after she was forced to do so and that she had informed the university about her decision.
However, she was unable to get her vaccine appointment date prior to her examination on June 8 and was consequently barred from sitting for the examination.
Earlier today, the university management said that it is investigating the student's claims and will cooperate with all parties to resolve the matter.