JOHOR BARU: The Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor will be channelling some RM25mil in funds every year to assist some 5,000 students annually to tackle the rising cost of education.
Its chief executive officer Datuk Ghazali Mohd Yusoff said that the foundation, through its Zarith Sofiah’s Initiative for Education Financial Assistance (ZSIEFA), has embarked on three education investment funds as alternative funding for students.
“The investment funds will pave way for the initiative to provide three platforms for financial assistance to students, among others, a basic financial aid for new students enrolling into university.
“The schemes, a long term plan by ZSIEFA, aims to assist at least 5,000 student annually with funds close to RM25mil per year,” he said during the launch of Yayasan’s education investment programme here on Monday (May 9).
Ghazali explained that under the first “ZSIEFA B-40 Initiative” scheme, university freshmen will be presented with a RM1,500 grant to cover allowances and transportation cost for their first three months of study.
Students from families with household income of below RM3,000 are eligible to receive the aid.
Meanwhile, recipients of the ZSIEFA Student Study Grant will obtain a one-off RM2,000 assistance, to aid them in their research, thesis or to complete their studies.
“Both schemes are only open to Malaysians studying within the country, from undergraduate to doctoral programmes,” he said.
Ghazali added that the third scheme “Diversity in Studies Programme” is to assist institutions and individuals seeking to promote diversity in studies.
“Also in the pipeline is the setting-up of programmes for Tahfiz or Madrasah schools to have vocational subjects in their syllabus. This programme is open to International and Malaysian candidates, both individual and institutions,” he said.
He also called on businesses from all sectors as well as individuals to contribute generously to these funds to empower the future generation.
“The funds mark the beginning of a one-of-a-kind platform for the government and private sector to provide alternative funding for Malaysian students.
“We will invest all contributions into Shariah-compliant investments and the earnings will be utilised for disbursement to selected students or institutions,” he said, adding that contributions would be tax exempted.