fbpx
Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF

Internationalisation continues to shape the Malaysian education brand

Editor's note: We are updating our video channels and the videos linked below are temporarily unavailable.

Earlier this year, Malaysia released its national strategy for higher education, The Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025. As we reported at the time, the blueprint is broadly based on three key themes, known 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.
  • Balance: Malaysia’s university graduates are to be equipped not only with skills and knowledge (ilmu), but a moral, "spiritual" context (akhlak) in which to put them to use.

The blueprint also clearly reinforces Malaysia’s long-time commitment to being an important hub for education in Southeast Asia. Under the banner “World-class Degrees. Truly Asian Values,” Malaysia aims to nearly double its international enrolment from more than 135,000 foreign students in 2014 to 250,000 by 2025. Following a decade of strong growth, official figures indicate year-over-year growth of 16.5% between 2013 and 2014. Malaysia’s top ten sending markets are nearly all from Africa or Asia, and in 2014 included Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, and Yemen. An agency of the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education, Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) is the arm of government responsible for achieving the country’s recruitment goals. Dr Syed Alwee Alsagoff is EMGS’s Senior Director for International Development. In our first interview clip below he reflects on the importance of Malaysia’s Education Blueprint, and the country’s commitment to both quality assurance and measuring performance toward its national education goals. There is an increasing focus in education systems around the world on graduate outcomes, and employability in particular. The same is true in Malaysia but as Dr Alwee explains in our second interview segment below, Malaysian educators have a broad view of employability. That vision encompasses employment outcomes immediately after graduation, and also the role that higher education plays as a foundation for graduates’ longer-term careers and their capacity to become lifelong learners. Just last month, Malaysia announced a number of new measures to attract greater numbers of international students. The government will shortly allow foreign students to apply directly online for student visas, as opposed to the current practice of having students apply through their host institutions.

Up until now, Malaysian student visas have also been issued for one-year terms, meaning that they need to be renewed each year. Higher Education Minister Dato' Seri Idris Jusoh has announced that, as of January 2016, student visas will be granted for the entire duration of the student’s programme of study.

The Malaysian government has also announced the expansion of welcoming services for newly arrived students with the establishment of new International Student Arrival Counters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (at both the KLIA and klia2 terminals). "This is to ensure Malaysia is an international education hub," said the Minister, who explained that these new measures arise from the first meeting of the government’s International Education Task Force (IETF). The task force includes officials from a variety of ministries and government agencies - including the Home Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Tourism Ministry, Immigration Department and the Royal Malaysian Police - along with representatives from higher education institutions and education associations. Reports indicate that the IETF is currently considering additional policy changes, including the exemption of international students from entry visas and allowing foreign students to work during their studies for up to 20 hours per week. These measures illustrate Malaysia’s commitment to building its position as an important international education destination, and they reflect in part a growing competition for students in the region from other Asian countries, notably China, Japan, and Singapore. But as Dr Alwee explains in our third and final video segment below, Malaysia’s competitive advantage springs from its highly international outlook - derived in part from significant levels of student and faculty mobility both to and from the country - in combination with a distinctly Asian perspective. "We call ourselves ‘Malaysia: Truly Asia,’" he says, "But I think it’s really, ‘Malaysia: Truly Global Education.’"

Most Recent

  • Market snapshot: A guide to international student recruitment in Brazil Read More
  • US coalition urges Congress to take action to improve visa processing this year Read More
  • Agent survey finds growing interest in alternative destinations; many students “hedging” plans with multiple applications Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Market snapshot: A guide to international student recruitment in Brazil FAST FACTS Capital: Brasília Population: 218 million (2024) Youth population: 44% below the age of 30 Median age:...
Read more
US coalition urges Congress to take action to improve visa processing this year The U.S. for Success Coalition launched a campaign today in a bid to improve visa processing for foreign...
Read more
UK confirms Graduate Route will remain in place; plans “crackdown” on student visas and “rogue agents” Ahead of a snap general election called for 4 July 2024, and after months of speculation, a joint...
Read more
Will the US host 2 million international students within the decade? A new analysis from international research firm HolonIQ sets out four future growth scenarios for foreign enrolment in...
Read more
Ghanaian students are intent on study abroad but currency woes present a challenge Ghana’s ascent as a key emerging student market is well illustrated by recent enrolment growth in leading destinations....
Read more
Survey of Japanese agents indicates significant recovery in outbound student numbers for 2023 The annual survey of The Japan Association of Overseas Studies (JAOS) has just been released. This year’s survey...
Read more
Data shows a decline in Nigerian student searches for study abroad; UK may be hardest-hit Nigeria has been one of the most important new sources of students for leading study destinations worldwide in...
Read more
ICEF Podcast: How policy interventions are impacting student planning for study abroad Listen in as ICEF’s Craig Riggs and Martijn van de Veen check in on how foreign exchange trends...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links