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The JPA Scholarship is provided by Malaysia's Public Service Department (JPA) for SPM leavers to both local and overseas institutions every year. In 2009, 2,000 scholarships were offered to overseas universities<ref>Siaran Akhbar: Tawaran Biasiswa PILN 2009 | JPA news archives</ref> and 10,000 scholarships were offered to local public and private universities/colleges.
Course List (JPA Scholarship)
The courses offered are for those in critical fields and fields needed by the country. In 2009, these are: <ref name="JPA"> Syarat PILN | JPA website</ref>
- Veterinary Science
Actuarial Science(Removed from the list since the year 2010)
- Agricultural Science
- Quantity Surveying
- Computer Science/ Information Technology/ Information and Communication Technology
- Applied Science (e.g. Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy, Geology)
- Town and District Planning
- Social Sciences
- Islamic Economics/Islamic Banking/Islamic Finance
- Business Administration
There are also separate schemes reserved for Bumiputera students
- Program Akademik Jepun
- Program Teknikal Jepun/Korea
The full list of countries available for each course is found here.
There are three parts to applying : an initial application form, a group interview and an online aptitude test<ref name="app">A Big Thread On JPA Scholarship (My experience and tips)</ref>.
The initial application form is online at http://esila.jpa.gov.my. There are three parts to the form - personal information, family information and academic details which also includes co-curricular activities.
Shortlisted candidates are then invited for a group interview. The interview covers a self introduction, discussion about current issues or events, and personal questions. There are 5 people in the group, and there will be some questions directed specifically to each candidate. In the discussion segment, the group will be given 2 to 5 minutes to prepare for it individually. Candidates in turn raise their hands before contributing a point, or elaborating on a previously mentioned point. The interview takes about 45 minutes and is conducted in both Bahasa Malaysia and English.<ref name="app" />
The online aptitude test consists of about 250 questions, divided into 4 sections, to be completed in 45 minutes<ref name="app" />. The four sections are:
- Moral Reasoning
- Course of Personal Interest
- Current Ability
- Career Ambition
In 2009, the students are evaluated on the based on the following criteria: <ref name = "criteria">Appeal for JPA 2009 </ref>
- 75% for ones's SPM examination results
- 10% for co-curricular achievements
- 10% for financial need of the student
- 5% for performance in interview.
In the same year, the 2000 places allocated for overseas scholarship was distributed by:<ref name = "criteria" />
- 20% solely based on merit
- 60% according to race
- 10% reserved East Malaysian students
- 10% of indigenous minorities, single parents, disabled and poor children
Scholarship Terms and Conditions
Requirements <ref name="JPA"/>
- Only open to Malaysian citizens
- Be aged 18 years (or 19 years if a transition student) and below
- Minimum grade of A2 for Malay Language, History and Moral Education/Islam Education.
- Must be of good health and free from any critical disease such as AIDS, Hepatitis, HIV, etc.
Value of Scholarship Awarded
For PILN, the scholarship covers for the fees and living costs of 1 or 2 years of pre-university education in Malaysia and 3 to 6 years of university education overseas. The bond may be up to ten years long, depending on the course.
Unsuccessful applicants for the PILN scholarship may be offered a scholarship for a local private university instead. This scholarship will pay for fees and living costs until foundation year, when students will be reassessed and only offered the continuation of scholarship to a Bachelor's Degree if certain conditions are met (CGPA > 3.5 and attendance > 90%)<ref>JPA Engineering at PIDN </ref>
The bond is to be served in the civil service.
- DO NOT fake your parent's earnings, no matter how tempting it is for you to do so.<ref name="tip">JPA 2009</ref>
- JPA only requires you to send in your co-curricular certificates of form 4 and 5 years.<ref name="tip" />
- Do your very best in your interviews. Be opinionated and polite. If you don't know the answer to a question, just admit that you do not know. Don't try to copy your groupmates' answer. Don't hog the discussion. Give eye contact. Smile in the interview. Sit up straight. Wish the interviewers "Good morning" and you may greet them with a firm handshake (only if they are guys). Thank them after the interview. Dress up in formal dressing. All these are simple etiquettes needed for interview, but it is surprising how most people forget about them. We Malaysians aren't really a polite bunch of people, are we?<ref name="tip" />
- For any actions that are required to be done online, please take note of the strict web browser requirements. There is a certain "psychology test" or something similar that could only be operated on Internet Explorer. There are reported occasions of applicants failing the test due to usage of an incompatible browser such as Mozilla Firefox, which causes the test to be unresponsive midway through.<ref name="tip" />
8. Siaran Akhbar: Biasiswa JPA 2010