Past Events

23 May’15 – Private Higher Education in Malaysia – Avoiding a Hidden Crisis?

private higher edu banner

Saturday, 23rd of May, 2015, 10:00am to 12:30pm, Renaissance Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Penang Institute, the public policy think tank of the Penang state government is proud to host a forum entitled ‘Private Higher Education in Malaysia – Avoiding a Hidden Crisis?’.
Date    : Saturday, 23rd of May, 2015
Time   : 10:00am to 12:30pm (Registration at 9.30am)
Venue : Renaissance Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

According to the recently released Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education), the number of students in private higher learning institutions (HLIs) is projected to grow from 455,000 in 2012 to an estimated 867,000 by 2025, an annual increase of 5.1%. In contrast, the number of students in public universities is expected to grow from 545,000 in 2012 to an estimated 764,000 by 2025, an annual increase of 2.6%. In other words, students in private HLIs are expected to outnumber their counterparts in public universities – 53% versus 47% – by 2025.

At the same time, the number of foreign students in Malaysia is projected to grow from 97,000 in 2012 to an estimated 250,000 by 2025. A majority of these foreign students are expected to be enrolled in private HLIs which already take in approximately 75% of the foreign student population currently enrolled in our universities.

Is the growth in the number of students enrolled in HLIs a healthy phenomenon which is sustainable and therefore should be encouraged?

Research by two experienced academics, Dr. Geoffrey Williams and Dr. Paul Lim, on the financial health of 41 private universities, 8 foreign branch campuses and 27 university colleges (2 of whom have since been upgraded to full universities) reveal serious challenges faced by private HLIs in terms of financial sustainability. These findings, some of which have been highlighted in a series of press releases, will be announced on Saturday, 23rd of May, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur. A public forum to discuss these findings will also take place at the same event. The chairman of the Penang Institute and the Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Lim Guan Eng will give the keynote address at this event.

9.30am – 10.00am  : Registration of guests
10.00am – 10.15am : Opening Address of Dr Lim Kim Hwa, CEO of Penang Institute
10.15am – 10.30am : Keynote speech by The Hon. Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang
10.30am – 11.00am : Presentation of findings by Dr.Geoffrey Williams, Visiting Analyst of Penang Institute
11.00am – 12.15pm  : Forum moderated by YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming, General Manager of Penang Institute (KL)
12.15pm – 12.30pm  : Closing address

Admission is FREE and registration is on a first come first serve basis. Kindly register your interest below, to secure your seat.

For more information, please contact

Online Registration