Premier announces UEC recognition for free tertiary education scheme in State-owned universities by 2026

Abang Johari delivers his speech before officiating the opening ceremony of Pei Min Middle School in Miri on July 11, 2024. Photo credit: Ukas

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, July 11: Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has announced that with Sarawak’s recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), students who graduate with the UEC will be eligible to enrol in State-owned universities under the free tertiary education scheme, which will begin in 2026.

These universities are Curtin University Malaysia Sarawak Campus, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, University Technology Sarawak, Centre of Technology Excellence Sarawak (Centexs), and i-CATS University College.


“Sarawak recognises the UEC, and beginning in 2026, students with this certificate will be eligible for our State-owned universities under the free tertiary education scheme,” Abang Johari said today before officiating the opening ceremony of Pei Min Middle School in Miri.

He further emphasised that the recognition of the UEC is a testament to Sarawak’s dedication to embracing diverse educational backgrounds.

“Chinese people say, ‘Jangan kasi dia ikan, tapi ajar dia tangkap ikan’ (Don’t give a man a fish; teach him how to fish). So what I’m doing now is providing free education by teaching young people ‘how to fish’.

“Sarawak has plenty of ‘fish’. You’ve got carbon trading and hydrogen; these are all ‘fish’. But there must be people who can catch ‘fish’, so we send our students, particularly Sarawakians, to all our universities. They will manage our economy, and we must compete with others,” he added.

The Premier also spoke about the need for students to be well-versed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, which are critical for the new economy.

“Education is the key to transforming our economy. By investing in our youth and providing them with the best educational resources, we are securing a prosperous future for Sarawak,” he added.

Furthermore, Abang Johari remarked that collaborations with international institutions, such as Fudan University in Shanghai, China, are being explored to establish advanced faculties within Sarawak.

“Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian will consult with Fudan University in China, which specialises in both western and traditional medicine. If Fudan University agrees to collaborate with us, we may be able to establish a Fudan University Sarawak branch of biomedical science in Miri,” he said.

The event was attended by various dignitaries and officials, including Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian; Sarawak Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki; Sarawak United Association of Chinese School Boards of Management (Sha Dong Zong) chairman Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau Lee Ming; Pei Min Middle School Honorary Life chairman Dato Hii King Chiong; and Pei Min Middle School board of directors chairman Khor Ooi Long. — DayakDaily