Malaysia As A Regional Education Hub

By EasyUni Staff | Last modified 11 Nov 2017
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(sources: putuj.com)

Education Malaysia Global Service (EMGS)

This is a vital organization under the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) in promoting and marketing Malaysia as an international education destination. It is similar to existing national organizations that promote tourism and biotechnology, which also play an important role in providing information to international students. So, through this service, international students need worry no longer regarding searching for information on student visas or even the cost of living in Malaysia.

(sources: mireducation.com)

 
 

‘Glocal’ Movement and Internalization

As previously reported by ICEF Monitor, Southeast Asian students are most likely to choose to stay closer to home. The influencing factors include affordability, cultural diversity and of course, sophisticated education hubs. In Malaysia, there are both public and private universities to be chosen as a place to study among international students. Meanwhile, local students also have the choice to study at international university campuses which exist in Malaysia, eventually stimulating the growth of a ‘glocal’ movement. As internalization of education is a key thrust of the government’s development strategy, EduCity Iskandar with a 350-acres campus area, has brought together eight international universities. Currently under construction, Kuala Lumpur Education City (KLEC) which will be ready over the next 15-20 years, focuses on contributing to Malaysia’s vision to be a regional hub for higher education.

(sources: nottingham.edu.my)

Students Enrolment Growth

By 2013, more than 103,000 international students have enrolled in Malaysia as reported by MOHE. As part of the Vision 2020 program, Malaysia expects to reach an international enrollment of 200,000 by the year 2020, targeting further growth within Southeast Asia and from ChinaIndia, and the Gulf region. The development of the research fields and capacities of Malaysia’s universities have improved even though the number of outbound students has dropped by about 80,000 in 2013. However, this may improve the country’s competitiveness and profile abroad. There are five research universities which are currently qualified for additional funding and had previously received help in increasing the number of PhD students up to 40,000 by 2012.

(sources: universitiesintheusa.com)

The Global Rankings

Malaysia has set a goal to place at least one university among the world’s top 50 and a minimum of three in the top 200, by the year 2020. QS World University Rankings has currently ranked Universiti Malaya (UM) as the best university in Malaysia and 167th in the World University Rankings. The ratings are based on specific categories such as research, employability, facilities and internationalization. Other rankings, for example, include ranking by subject: Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) placed at 28th for environmental sciences, and top 100 for computer science and information systemschemical engineeringcivil engineering, and mechanical engineering. QS Head of Research, Ben Sowter stated that the results were based on each university's performance which always improves yearly within a range of academic disciplines.

(sources: hauionline.com)

Education Boost up Development

The government has placed expectations on each university to increase the records of publications of academic and research journals. PhD students in selected universities are required to publish their research in journals in order to graduate. This is to show that Malaysia is very committed in achieving the best rankings among the world’s top universities. The government continues to invest in the education system in order to achieve a “developed nation” status by year 2020. Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, believes that education is a powerful tool in overcoming income inequality and contributing to Malaysia being a high-income nation by 2020.

(sources: twu.ca)

Challenges and Rewards

There are a few potential challenges for countries in East Asia dealing with education reform. In addition, some other challenges include the disconnection between education programs and the skills demanded by employers, the significance between teaching and research universities, and the gap between higher education institution in the region themselves. However, rewards such as a rapid mobility of students within the region by ASEAN intra-regional mobility programs are undeniable. The education reforms and strategic investments will help Malaysia in gaining a better position and expand its role as the vital education destination for students within Southeast Asia and other regions.

Posted on 09 Oct 2017
Study abroad, Useful information