The Higher Education Ministry is fine-tuning some standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines for the entry of students to public universities and private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) in October.

Deputy Minister Datuk Mansor Othman said this comprised final year students sitting for examinations and those who are pursuing bachelor's and postgraduate degrees and those following practical classes.

"The Ministry has been in talks with the National Security Council (NSC) and we have decided to reopen the higher education institutions in stages from July 1 to Oct 1 involving several previously announced student categories.

"Starting tomorrow, new students will begin registering for the academic session but it would be done via online only. We already have SOPs in place just for October, but we need more comprehensive ones which are expected to be finalised soon, he told reporters here yesterday.

He said this after a working visit to Yayasan An-Nahdhoh to discuss the proposed collaboration between technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and Tahfiz schools to help improve the skills of tahfiz students.

Mansor, who is also Nibong Tebal Member of Parliament, said for the admission of new students, registration would be done only via online and all teaching and learning (PdP) programmes in institutions of higher learning should be conducted through the online platform until the end of the year.

Mansor said the ministry needed to incorporate the student registration with the orientation process by taking into account the current COVID-19 pandemic scenario.

Commenting on the visit yesterday, Mansor said the ministry is targetting 50 tahfiz centres nationwide to be involved in the TVET-Tahfiz programme by next year.

"The programme will equip students with two areas of education at the same time, namely religious studies and skills and this will add value to their prospects in finding jobs and assisting tahfiz students in skills training," he said.