Malaysian Education Blueprint
The Malaysian Education Blueprint which has been released is actually based on the outcome of years of work that has involved an estimated 10,000 people. An interesting fact which you would be surprised about is that those who were intimately engaged in the Malaysian Education Blueprint were those among 90 Higher Learning Institutions such as Vice-Chancellors, Chairmen and even CEO’s too. There was also the involvement of about 450 Higher Learning Institutions staff which include 25 members of the national education councils and over 50 senior leaders and professors.
One might ask, what is the sole purpose of this report and what exactly has this eminent of higher education professionals found out from their research report. Others might also question the honesty of the appraisal by our higher education along with the strategies and reforms that have been suggested to solve these problems. Before we go any further into the dissecting the Malaysian Education Blueprint, I think we should be aware of some of the issues that our universities are facing today.
Major Problems Faced By Our Universities Today
- We have a very low standard in the English language proficiency here in Malaysia and it is considered to be at a critical level which actually affects the well-being and international prestige of this country.
- We have also a deficiency when it comes to thinking and solving problems. Analytical and critical thinking skills are very important as they help us to evaluate the problem and to make good decisions.
- We tend to have mind-sets and value systems that are closed. By having a closed mind-set, we will not be able to accept feedback and learn from what others have to offer. We are not exposed to challenges or high standards and this is what makes us unable to cope with diversity.
- Our poor communication skills also causes a breakdown in our productivity and this creates a poor work environment.
The issues mentioned above can be found in both the Private Sector Higher Learning Institutions and also the Public Sector. You will be shocked to know that the data gathered by the Ministry of Education shows that a staggering 27% of private university graduates are not able to get employment once they have graduated whereby the figure for public sector graduates seem to be a little lower. The unemployment for private university graduates is a little higher as the unemployment rate for the public universities seem to be about 25%. The overall employment rate in Malaysia by comparison is roughly around 3%.
Even after both the private and public sector graduates have been employed, the finding in the Malaysian Education Blueprint shows that 45% of all the graduates actually earn an income of less than RM 1,500 in a given month.
The external validation of our higher education is actually based on a number of international ranking systems that are used by universities around the world. Let us take for example, Malaysia, which was ranked 12 out of 50 in terms of resources invested, but 44 out of 50 in terms of outputs based on the Universitas 21 Report. The report touches four main categories which are environment, resources, connectivity and also output. To cut a long story short, Malaysia has been marked at the bottom ranks in terms of output which is 44 of out 50, despite the fact of the country’s significant investments that have been made for higher education.
To be honest to all, it is not just the products of our universities that are known to be at the bottom when compared to the other international universities around. The lecturers which we have here are also of poor standards and this clearly can be seen in their poor quality of teaching.
There have been numerous international ranking systems close to every year now such as the QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities and you will see that we have never once been listed as one of the top leading universities in any of the areas such as quality of teaching and learning, research or also factors which are linked to academic excellence. You can have a look for yourself to see if any universities here have made it to the top 100 and as you would have guessed already, none have made it thus far based on the Times Higher Education University Ranking for the Asian region in 2014.
Based on the Malaysian Education Blueprint, the total annual expenditure on higher education is close to 7.7% while the ministry’s expenditure for higher education alone is roughly 5.5% of the annual government’s expenditure.