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Malaysian Higher Education: Policy innovations

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1 Malaysian Higher Education: Policy innovations
BALA RAJU NIKKU, MSW, PHD School of Social Sciences Universiti Sains Malaysia

2 Main Research Question(s)
How Malaysia has achieved the status of student sending country in 1950s to student receiving by 1996? What policy innovations took place? And How are they triggered? Do these innovations led to inclusive development? Can Malaysia continue to position Education Malaysia Brand? If yes How?

3 Malaysia 1957 : Independency led to Open Market Economy – that resulted in to secure environment for investments 1983: ‘Malaysia Incorporated’ ( from ONE university in 1950s to 20 public universities and more than 500 private higher education institutions by 2014) 1990s : privatization of key government organizations dealing with public utilities and services (water supply, electricity, telecommunications, postal, railways) (Per capita income increased from US$ 978 in 1970 to US$10,318 in 2005 (measured in purchasing power parity)

4 Higher Education : a catalyst for Malaysian Development
Malaysia Transformed from production-based economy into a knowledge-based economy Education : perceived as a medium of fostering national unity, social equality and economic development achieve ‘developed nation’ status by 2020 To become a Regional Hub for higher education desire to engage with issues of globalization and competitive pressure yet at the same time develop own independent path

5 Policy Evolution in Higher Education/ Tertiary Sector
1971: The University and University Colleges Act 1980: lack of formal Policy – but PrHEIs emerged to absorb the excess demand in Higher education  1982 : ( Decentralisation ) education offices were established at the district level 1990s: Public Universities Corporatised ( to become less dependent on government subsidies) 1995: Amendments to the University and University Colleges Act of 1971 1996 : passed the Private Higher Education Act and Amendments in 2003 ( gave more autonomy)

6 Malaysia continues to build its position as a regional education hub
Eighth Malaysia Plan (8MP), 2001–2005 spent on HE about 35 % of the allocated budget to education ( about RM 38 billion ) Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), 2006–2010 ( spent about 40 % on HE out of the total RM 40.4 billion allocated for the education sector ) ‘Internationalisation’ - key strategy to develop higher education for the international as well as the domestic market (Malaysia wants to become the world’s sixth-biggest education exporting country by 2020 with a target of 200,000 international students. 2005 : 50, foreign students, mainly from East Asia and the Pacific region- about 80 % were enrolled in in private HEIs) 2010 : the private sector has about 50% of total student enrolment in the country

7 The Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013–2025
“the biggest shake-up ever of our education system … a 13-year roadmap [which] will reshape how our policymakers, education officials, teachers and parents deal with educating and teaching millions of our schoolchildren and preparing them and the nation for the future.”

8 Crafting Islands of Excellence?
EduCity Iskandar brings together eight international universities on a 350-acre campus. Kuala Lumpur Education City (KLEC), is currently under construction and will be developed over the next years.

9 Policy to allow/attract Foreign branch campuses in Malaysia – begining of “glocal” movement 
Diversity of higher education providers to suit to a wide variety of students needs and budgets Increased choices/ reaping the benefits of both a “global” and “local” education To certain extent fragmentation

10 Opportunities and Challenges
sustained investments and political will over the last 50 years in primary and secondary education laid a robust foundation for the expansion of tertiary education during the last fifteen years international students contributed a total of RM3 billion in foreign exchange earnings in 2008 (The New Straits Times, 23rd May 2009). selective Decentralization – as a policy innovation

11 Conclusions Diversity of PrHEIs and Public : provide a variety of alternative pathways to higher education Enhanced access for local students: Malaysian Federal ( and to some extent state) government provided significant policy and financial resources for the development of PrHEIs, through the provision of incentives, subsidized loans, and scholarships Access and Social Policies : inherited merit ( seems to be the dominant model in Malaysia) compared to equality of rights and equality of opportunity Competition Or Collaboration : Pr HEIs as demand absorbers and now agents of competitive higher education market market driven knowledge creation : if market only determines the types of courses to be offered - marginalise national needs and goals

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