PETALING JAYA: The fear of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) adversely affecting Malaysian private higher education institutions (IPTS) is unfounded as it will not affect the tuition fees. This comes timely as parents are making decisions to send their children to IPTS for the new intake, starting January. Speaking to theSun, Paramount Corporation Berhad’s chief financial officer Foong Poh Seng said KDU University College does not expect the GST to affect its student intake. “The only possibility I see is if IPTS increase fees to offset the costs incurred from certain services not exempted from GST and which cannot be claimed back from the government,” he said. Foong added that services which incur GST include visa processing and health check-up arrangements for international students. “This is under the purview of the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) which is a separate body altogether,” he explained. “Tuition fees will not increase as a result of the GST, nor would KDU’s twinning programmes be greatly affected. At most it may result in higher academic fees if the price of goods and services to run operations increases,” he said, adding it would be slight. Similarly Mae Ho, CEO of Berjaya University College of Hospitality (BUCH), said: “Currently our tuition fees still remain the same as before the GST implementation. Our collaboration with our overseas partners is also unaffected.” "We are registered as a mix supplier due to BUCH’s nature where we provide taxable supplies. This means that some of our products and services are subjected to GST, but the majority are exempted,” she said. Professor Datuk Dr. Hassan Said, vice-chancellor and president of Taylor’s University said that GST has not affected their fees or student enrollment rate. "But expenses and operating costs have increased,” he explained, adding that the Royal Malaysia Customs Department also provided special relief to IPTS in reducing the GST impact. Although Inti International University and Colleges will not increase its tuition and assessment fees, CEO Rohit Sharma said they would pay GST for other expenses such as supplier costs. “We cannot pass on the additional costs to our students. As such we are appealing to the government for GST exemption from these costs. This will ensure that we can continue to sustain a high quality of education for our students, as well as support Malaysia’s aim of becoming a globally-recognised education hub,” he said.