Undergraduate athletes representing the country in international meets will be allowed to defer their studies, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
He said they would not only be provided with sports facilities but would also earn credit points in co-curriculum.
"Undergraduates contributed 49 of 139 medals to the country at the Laos SEA Games last year," he told reporters after presenting sports incentives and launching the institution of higher learning football league at Universiti Putra Malaysia in Serdang, Thursday.
He said the ministry was committed in producing outstanding athletes and hoped undergraduates could account for 30 per cent of national footballers through the league.
Earlier, in his speech, Mohamed Khaled said the ministry was considering of providing insurance coverage for outstanding undergraduate athletes.
"We had held talks with several insurance companies. This will not only serve as a welfare assistance for undergraduate athletes but will also spur them on in sports," he added.
At the function, 36 undergraduate athletes, who contributed medals at international meets last year, were awarded laptops and vouchers worth RM155,000 under the Sports Excellence, Welfare, Incentive and Research Scheme (SKIPS).
Swimmer Daniel Bego, who won four golds at the Laos SEA Games and Lee Yang, a gold-medallist at the World Wushu Championship in Canada last year, headed the list of recipients.