The government saves RM240 million a year by cancelling 744 scholarships for overseas studies.
This is an average RM322,580.65 per student, a written parliamentary reply today revealed.
This far exceeds the cost of sponsoring a student for tertiary studies in Malaysia.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Azalina Othman in her written reply, said it costs up to RM12,690 to sponsor a student at a local varsity.
Overseas scholarships cost at least RM38,155 a year, depending on the course and country, she said.
There was wide public outcry following media reports that the Public Service Department was cutting overseas scholarships.
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Critics of the move said it widely affects non-bumiputera students who cannot afford to self-fund their studies at top universities abroad, while bumiputera students can still seek funding from agencies like Mara.