KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit depreciation will not affect Malaysian students from pursuing studies in the United States, said US Embassy deputy chief of mission, Edgard D. Kagan.
He said based on their US Embassy’s statistics, Malaysian students enrollment in the US increased by six percent to 7,231 in the 2014/2015 term compared to 6,822 in the 2013/2014 term.
The trend of Malaysian students going to the US had increased for the last five years even though the currency exchange rate of the ringgit is not in Malaysia’s favour.
“We recognise the currency issues, but we are still very confident that the US provides a great opportunity for Malaysians and we know we benefit tremendously from the very high quality of Malaysian students to come to the US,” he told Bernama after launching the US University Fairs at Istana Hotel, here today.
However, Kagan acknowledged that the weakening ringgit would have some impact if the trend persisted for a long period of time.
Kagan said at present Malaysia is the 22nd leading country of origin among international students in the US and he believed that education remained a critical part of the US’s growing relationship with Malaysia.
“We think that increasing the number of Malaysian students in the US can give them (Malaysian students) many kinds of opportunities which will be good for our bilateral relationship,” he said.
Meanwhile, parents attending the fairs also agreed that the ringgit depreciation rate would not deter them from sending their children to study in the US.
A mother, Nuraihan Mat Daud, 55, said she has been investing in education savings plans to fund her children’s studies abroad since they were young.
“Parents should start saving early, from the time their children are very young in order to generate additional savings through compound interest.
“We should not depend on government scholarship but we must know how to manage our money,” she said.
Housewife Aferiza Ariffin, 45, who attended the fair education with her daughter said she would gladly send her children overseas to study if she could afford it.
“This education fair today is one way on how to find out the opportunity for my daughter to study abroad,” she added.