Malaysia has a vibrant higher education system which is set to grow student numbers from around 1.5 million now to more than 2.4 million by 2025. This massive growth is driven by the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015-25 (Higher Education) which has at its heart the aim to create, “HOLISTIC, ENTREPRENEURIAL AND BALANCED GRADUATES,” industry-ready and fit for the labour market.
This is a challenging aim which raises a huge number of questions including:
• What does this labour-market focus mean for the future of Malaysian higher education?
• How will student experiences change?
• Are universities sacrificing scholarship for the sake of creating employable graduates?
• Is the scope of subject options changing for the better or worse?
• Are academics able to produce entrepreneurial graduates when many have never been employed outside of universities let alone run their own enterprises?
• Does the focus on a, “vocational programme,” pay-off in investment terms for students paying high fees with fewer funding options?
Press Release by the Penang Institute in Kuala Lumpur on the 22nd of May, 2016: GRADUATES FACE A LONG-HAUL TO RECOVER STUDY COSTS