Thursday, September 14

Cash Boost?

The Star, 11th September 2006

MELBOURNE: Malaysian government-sponsored students in Australia and New Zealand will get an increase of up to 100% in their allowance from February.

This has been announced by Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed to wild cheers from students at meetings in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Sydney and here.

He will be in Perth today and tomorrow.

Mustapa said the revised Public Services Department rates were to keep up with the rising cost of living in Australia and New Zealand, highlighted by strong representation from scholarship holders.

There will be two categories of payments. Rate A caters for students in Wellington, Auckland, Sydney, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane and here, and Rate B for those in other cities in the two countries.

In New Zealand, Rate A pre-university students will have their allowance increased from NZ$644 (RM1,505) a month to NZ$1,145 (RM2,676),
undergraduates, from NZ$720 (RM1,683) toNZ$1,260 (RM2,945) and postgraduates, from NZ$775 (RM1,811) to NZ$1,449 (RM3,386) .

In Australia, the Rate A increases will go from A$637 (RM1,760) to A$1,091 (RM3,014) a month for pre-university students, from A$637 (RM1,760) to A$1,200 (RM3,315) for undergraduates and from A$680 (RM1,879) to A$1,380 (RM3,813) for postgraduates.

The Rate B allowance in New Zealand will rise from NZ$644 (RM1,505) to NZ$942 (RM2,201) for pre-university students,
from NZ$720 (RM1,683) to NZ$1,037 (RM2,423) for undergraduates and from NZ$775 (RM1,811) to NZ$1,193 (RM2,788) for postgraduates.

Pre-university students in Australia in the Rate B category will have their allowance increased from A$532 (RM1,470) to A$891 (RM2,462), undergraduates, from A$532 (RM1,470) to A$980 (RM2,708) and postgraduates, from A$568 (RM1,569) to A$1,127 (RM3,114).

In addition, postgraduate students with dependants will get increases in family and housing allowances.

Speaking to students in Melbourne yesterday, Mustafa said the Government would select about 7,000 young lecturers and postgraduate students for doctoral studies.

Of these, a little more than half will study in Malaysia and the rest overseas, with Australia set to get a large proportion of the students.
– Bernama

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Cash boost?
Unlikely so because...

CURRENT PLAN:
under the previous allowance,
if the government pays for our accomodation at a student hostel,
condition: not more than $200 per week,
we get 60% of the allowance...

RUMOUR:
under the new allowance,
government will NOT pay for your accomodations...
you get 100% a month, take care of urself.
Therefore, we get less money if we choose to stay at a student hostel like wad we are doing now.

FACT:
We got an email from our Bahagian Biasiswa officer confirming the increase in allowance for our group, but no mention of the rumour.
A reply was sent enquiring further details on the increase & info on the rumour...

WILL KEEP U UPDATED!


***************Update***************
***************21/9/2006***************

An email from Kementrian Pendidikan today has confirmed that we will have to pay for our own accomodations.

Cash Boost???
NOT!

Why?
The previous allowance had us enjoying the luxury of the government paying for our accomodation up to a maximum of $200 a week; that's $800 a month. All we had to do was give up $228 or 40% of our previous $720 allowance.
Therefore, our previous allowance plan provides for our accomodations AND gives us $432 a month.

The new allowance plan: Rate A, increase to $1260; Rate B, increase to $1037.
Under the new allowance plan, we have to pay for our own accomodations. That's around $800 a month.
THIS MEANS:
Rate A gets $460 after paying for accomodations.
Rate B gets $237 after paying for accomodations.
Therefore, we either get a slightly higher amount of money (Rate A) or we get significantly less (Rate B).

CONCLUSION:
We get around the same allowance. The only change is we get paid
$28 a month for taking the workload of paying for our accomodations off the people at JPA.

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