Malaysian Government Release a New Higher Education Strategy

In April 2015, the Malaysian Ministry of Higher education released a 10-year strategy plan, the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 which took two years to compile. In a video of the prime minister’s speech that discusses the strategy, he discusses the goals and deduces the plan to three main aspects referred to as the three B’s:

  • Bakat(talent): Higher education is to nurture domestic talent and be of a quality that attracts international students from the region.
  • Benchmarking to global standards: Malaysia’s goal is to be in the top one-third of nations in the world for education and to increase the number of its universities in world rankings such as the QS[i].
  • Balance: Malaysia’s university graduates are to be equipped not only with skills and knowledge but a moral, “spiritual” context in which to put them to use.[ii]

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The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Malaysia – Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd Yassin wrote in the introduction of the document “The Government has set ambitious – but achievable – aspirations to transform the higher education system. These aspirations constitute two aspects: those for the education system as a whole, focusing on access, quality, equity, unity, and efficiency; and those for individual students, covering the six primary attributes – ethics and spirituality, leadership skills, national identity, language proficiency, thinking skills, and knowledge.”

Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh – Minister of Education II also mentions “We aspire to create a higher education system that ranks among the world’s leading higher education systems and enables Malaysia to compete globally”

The Exhibit below represents Malaysian universities current positions in both the Global context; QS World University Rankings and where these universities stand in a Regional perspective in the QS University Rankings Asia. Currently, five of the Malaysian rankings feature in top 100 in the Asian Rankings, with one of them appearing in the Top 200 Globally, and featuring a further 6 universities throughout the remainder of the Ranking. At the subject area level, Malaysian Universities also demonstrate excellence, with eight universities ranked in the top 200 in at least one subject area.

Exhibit 1

Source: Malaysia Education Blueprint  Report 2015-2025

Malaysia has already shown great improvement in the last 10 years with a 70% increase in student enrolment in Higher Education institutions reaching 1.2 million students. The system will look on building on the following five aspirations:

  • Access
  • Quality
  • Equity
  • Unity
  • Efficiency

Within the Quality aspiration of the report, the Ministry aims to place one university in Asia’s Top 25, two in the Global Top 100, and four in the Global Top 200 by 2025. They are also looking to improve Graduate Employability to raise it to over 80%. The system will also change from focusing on university education as the pathway of choice to placing an equal value on both university education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) pathways.[iii]

Further information can be found in the Malaysia Education Blueprint  Report 2015-2025.

[i] Reference to the QS World University Rankings mentioned in the Blue Print document.


[iii] Malaysia Education Blueprint  Report 2015-2025

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