Malaysia

Two-year freeze on setting up of universities, university colleges and colleges

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 29 – The government will freeze the setting up of universities, university colleges and colleges for two years, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

Nevertheless, he said, exemptions were given to those applications which were being processed, had applied for upgrading and branch campuses abroad which had the best global ranking and built-in education hubs.

“In line with development in the dynamic education sector today, the ministry must be more open in reviewing regulations and guidelines to become more comprehensive.

“This is in order to support the implementation of the policy to become more competitive and be on par with developed nations,” he said when speaking in conjunction with the ministry’s 2013 New Year Message ceremony at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here today.

In this regard, Khaled said, the review initiative on regulations and guidelines under the Private Institutions of Higher Learning (IPTS) Act 1996 would be implemented with the setting up of a committee chaired by the vice-chancellor of Taylor University.

The committee will begin in February and the review initiative is expected to be completed before year-end.

Khaled said, there were 37 private universities, 20 private university colleges, seven foreign university branch campuses and 414 private colleges in the country, as of Nov 30 last year.

“The ministry thinks the number of higher institutions of learning (IPT) is enough to meet demand. Although applications for IPT are still high, there are signs indicating an excess of graduates, as compared to market demand.

“As such, the number of IPTS currently being set up must be controlled to focus on boosting quality and sustainability of the IPT,” he added.

According to Khaled, the ministry would also introduce a sustainability review on 10 IPTS every year, based on complaints from the public on the services and performances of the IPTS, or at random.

He clarified, the move was aimed at identifying IPTS which had risks so that they could be rectified. – Bernama

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