The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) has spared no efforts to drive Malaysia towards excellence in knowledge.
One of the essential resources necessary for Vision2020 to become a reality—for Malaysia to achieve the status of a fully-developed economy—is a trained and employable work force. In line with this, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), established in 2004, is developing an environment that encourages the growth of premier knowledge centres and individuals who are competent and innovative.
Aims and Objectives
Guided by its motto, ‘Leading Knowledge Excellence’, the MOHE has identified the following strategic goals:
- To increase the percentage of individuals with access to higher education to 50%.
- To produce competent graduates to fulfil national and international manpower needs, with 75% of the graduates employed in their relevant fields within 6 months of graduation.
- To offer adequate and world-class higher education infrastructure. To ensure that there is continual increment in funding of public universities.
- To enhance strategic alliances with renowned local and foreign institutions, especially in the fields of research, development and commercialisation.
The 9th Malaysia Plan emphasises the need to boost the economy by increasing the nation’s capacity in knowledge and innovation. To facilitate smooth execution of these goals, the MOHE has been organised under 3 departments, namely the Higher Education Department (JPT); the Polytechnic Management Department (JPP); and Community College Management Department (JPKK).
The MOHE aims to increase the nation’s capacity in knowledge and innovation.
Of these, the JPT plans, implements, monitors and evaluates the policies, programmes and activities of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The HEIs are poised to become world-class centres of excellence that produce competitive intellectuals to pursue the nation’s aspirations.
The Malaysian government has repeatedly stated that partnerships in higher education are one of the key priorities in the country’s international aspirations. In fact, according to media reports, between 2006 and 2008, the total number of international student enrolments in Malaysia went up by 30%, raising the count to 65,000 and taking it closer to the 2010 year-end mark of 100,000. Responding to the increasing numbers, the MOHE has set up an international students division, which facilitates the entry and induction of foreign students.
As with all other sectors, the Middle East has emerged as a focus area in this sector as well, as evidenced by the growing number of Arab students in the country (nearly 6,000 students recorded to date). In addition to academic programmes comparable to those in developing countries, the low cost of studying and living and the assurance of social and psychological stability make Malaysia a desirable destination for students from the Middle East.
Several European and American institutions have opened centres in Malaysia, and the country has rightfully claimed its place as a regional hub for higher education, attracting thousands of students especially from developing countries, owing to top-class academic curriculum and delivery and strong infrastructure—including best-in- class laboratories, computer networks and libraries.
Petroleum engineering, Islamic studies, information studies, technological sciences, medicine and pharmacology are the most sought- after disciplines in Malaysia for Middle Eastern students. Malaysian institutions also provide English- language training and support to these students, which further enriches the cosmopolitan exposure students get in these institutions.
Apart from the obvious religio- cultural advantages, Malaysia appeals to Arab students by helping them with visa assistance, extending to visit visas for their families. There are also a number of scholarship options and educational exchange programmes for overseas students.