Sabah university to impose 50% pay cut as student enrolment falls


University College Sabah Foundation in Kota Kinabalu. (Yayasan Sabah pic)

KOTA KINABALU: A university owned by the Sabah Foundation is looking to slash staff salaries by half and possibly lay off hundreds as it struggles to deal with a sharp drop in student intake due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a memo sighted by FMT, University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF) said these were part of cost-cutting measures in light of a plunge in intake for the April semester.

“Despite the millions of ringgit in terms of financial aid and scholarship grants obtained by UCSF from various agencies, the reality is that the new student enrolment has failed,” UCSF vice-chancellor Mohamed Haleem Mohamed Razi said in the memo.

“Only 18% of our target for the April semester has been reached, and this has significantly affected UCSF’s financial position.”

Under the cost-cutting scheme, staff will be subject to a 50% pay cut with working hours reduced to 20 per week.

If by September there has been no improvement in the university’s financial status, the number of active staff will be reduced to a minimum in order for it to stay afloat.

“A portion of the staff will be placed on unpaid leave from October onwards. They are allowed to find work elsewhere,” Haleem added in the memo which was released to university personnel yesterday.

UCSF, which was established in 2013, is a subsidiary of Sabah Foundation, a state government-linked company. It has close to 200 staff with 400 students presently enrolled.

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