This paper examines the equity of scholarships and student loans at the two private Institutions of higher learning in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) region. Surveys involving undergraduates of two private institutions of higher learning were conducted. Using cross-tabulation, the equality of scholarship and loan distributions to undergraduates with reference to four independent variables: ethnicity, gender, areas of origin and income groups were investigated. Chi-square test was used to examine associations between the provision of scholarships and loans and the four independent variables. By employing cross-tabulation and multiple logistic regression, the scholarship distributions favour male over female and urban over rural respectively in terms of type-1 and type-2 equality measurements. However, crosstabulation analysis shows that the scholarship distribution favours native in terms of type-1 equality but non-natives for type-2 equality. Multiple regression analysis also indicated that non-native had more scholarship support than natives. For the income groups, both crosstabulations and multiple regression analyses yielded similar results whereby the high income group received most scholarship, followed by the top-bracket, lowest, low and medium income groups. For the loan distribution, cross-tabulations and multiple logistic regressions indicated that loans favour non-natives over natives, female over male and urban over rural respectively in terms of type-1 and type-2 equality measurements. However, for the income groupings, it showed mixed results respectively when using both analyses. The result also indicated that the probability for students to get scholarships and loans contrast distinctly with one another with given characteristics. Moreover, respondents highly supported the issues surrounding loans as an alternative mechanism of financing tertiary education. To ease the budgetary pressure and for equity and efficiency reasons, it is suggested an income-contingent loans can be introduced as a student financial support.
Equity, Financing, Loans, Scholarship, Tertiary Education, SCORE