On 7 April 2015 the Malaysian Ministry of Education published a comprehensive blueprint for the development and growth of the higher education sector over the coming decade. It sets out a series of ambitious goals for the sector and an aspiration “to create a higher education system that ranks among the world’s leading higher education systems and enables Malaysia to compete globally.”
The MHEB 2015-2015 has been under development for two years and draws upon input from Malaysian and international education experts as well as global institutions such as UNESCO and the OECD. It forms part of a national plan to be become a developed country by 2020 and represents an outcome of a concerted effort by government to promote higher education.
The Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025 follows the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 which set out a similar roadmap for pre-school, primary and secondary education.
The blueprint speaks of a need for “a fundamental transformation of how the higher education system and higher learning institutions (HLIs) current operate” in order for the sector to stay ahead of global trends.
This is articulated through five key aspirations and eight key targets for the sector.
The five key aspirations
- Instil an entrepreneurial mindset throughout Malaysia’s higher education system and create a system that produces graduates with a drive to create jobs, rather than to only seek jobs
- Construct a system that is less focused on traditional, academic pathways and that places an equal value on much-needed technical and vocational training;
- Focus on outcomes over inputs and to actively pursue technologies and innovations that address students’ needs and enable greater personalisation of the learning experience
- Harmonise how private and public institutions are regulated, and to transition from the current, highly-centralised governance system for HLIs to a model based on earned autonomy within the regulatory framework; and
- Ensure the financial sustainability of the higher education system by reducing HLIs reliance on government resources and asking all stakeholders that directly benefit from it to contribute as well.
The eight key targets
- Increase number of international students from 108,000 today to 250,000 by 2025
- Increase overall tertiary enrolment from 36% in 2012 to 53% in 2025 (1.4M to 2.5M)
- Increase graduate employability to more than 80% by 2025
- Improve league table performance by placing one university in Asia’s Top 25, two in the Global Top 100 and four in the Global Top 200 by 2025.
- Increase its U21 research output from 26th out of 50 countries to the top 25
- Improve enrolment and completion rates for students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds
- Increase ethnic diversity and provide students with shared values
- Maximise return on investment in higher education and maintain levels of Government expenditure per student
The vision for implementing the blueprint is framed around ten shifts that represent both the challenges and opportunities for the sector. The first four shifts focus on outcomes for key stakeholders, while the remaining six focus on broader “enablers” for the sector as a whole.
The vision will be implemented over the next decade in three waves. The first wave will establish the building blocks for transformation, the second will accelerate the pace of change by introducing more structural improvements and the third wave will aim to strengthen the prominence of Malaysia’s higher education system.
The full report (240 pages) is available for download here.
By Jamie Laird, Head of Market Intelligence.