FEATURE | In 2013, Hafiz (not his real name), was a student at Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIA) who found himself struggling to pay his university fees.
The lad had no choice but to work two jobs to pay off his parents’ medical bills. This affected his studies and Hafiz was forced to extend his studies by an additional semester.
As it was an extra semester, the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) did not cover the fees and Hafiz was forced to look for a third job.
Posting about his plight on UIA’s Facebook group for suggestions or offers for a third job, Hafiz was instead bombarded with queries for his bank account number.
Hundreds of UIA students offered to transfer money to Hafiz who could not believe his stroke of good luck.
Hafiz’s story was being recounted by Skolafund co-founder Tengku Ahmad Syamil Tengku Ibrahim, who noticed the Facebook posting in his first year of studies at the university.
Skolafund is a crowdfunding platform that matches varsity students in need with those who are willing to provide them financial assistance.
It was that Facebook post and a few other similar incidents that made Syamil realise how open people were towards supporting deserving students facing financial difficulties.
“I thought there's that gap in between. I thought there should be a crowdfunding platform that matches these two parties together.”
The issue of transparency was another reason why Syamil thought having a crowdfunding platform for university students would be best.