PETALING JAYA: National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) said it will investigate a Malay daily's report that some private education institutions raise students' marks to enable them to graduate with first class honours to have their PTPTN loans converted to scholarships. PTPTN chairman Datuk Samsul Anuar said the corporation will take stern action if the allegation is proven to be true. He told Sin Chew Daily that the corporation has a very strict policy and mechanism regarding the conversion of students' loans to scholarships. "We are taking a serious view of the matter, as it involves the interest of various parties," he said. However, National Association of Private Education Institutions (Napei) president Assoc Prof Elajsoaln Mohan doubted the veracity of the allegation, saying even if there are cases of manipulation of marks by institutions, it would be isolated cases. He stressed that local higher education institutions' marking mechanism involved many units, making manipulation of marks difficult. "All private institutions have an examination committee which vets the marking procedure, including the awarding of scores, and individual lecturers cannot change the marks anyhow as it involves several processes. Furthermore, the students' results are further vetted by the senate of these institutions," he said. He said these higher education institutions also have to submit students' results to the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) or other professional bodies and explain the marking processes. As such, any attempt to unilitetally increase the marks of a student is generally difficult, he said. Furthermore, many local institutions have twinning programmes with universities overseas which also play a supervisory role to ensure the performane of local students are up to the mark. Nevertheless, Elajsolan agreed that PTPTN should investigate the allegation and do it together with MQA. Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) president Datuk Dr Paramjit Singh said he has not received any report regarding the matter but believed there is no loophole in local private higher education instituions' marking processes.