Education in Malaysia
- Education institutions
Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin
Former Minister of Higher Education
Within the landscape of such critical concerns and challenges that confront higher education we are charged with producing a competent and resourceful workforce equipped to meet the challenges of developing and using tomorrow’s technological innovations and trained to face the demands of the economies of the future. There is also a need to examine the different perspectives about the provision of higher education. Some economists and higher education leaders view higher education as a business while other global experts state that ‘higher education is not just a business’. Such basic questions are often at the very core of tensions that exist between public and private higher education institutions in many developed and developing economies.
Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin was born on 30 November 1958. He studied law at Malaya University, Kuala Lumpur before pursuing a career in politics. He is a member of the United Malays National Organisation. Between 2004 and 2008 general elections, he held the office of Minister of Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development. In 2008, he became Minister of Higher Education. Mohamed Khaled Nordin is a Member of Parliament for the Pasir Gudang constituency.
Joined Commonwealth: 1957
Population: 29,240,000 (2012)
GDP p.c. growth: 3.6% p.a. 1990–2012
UN HDI 2012: World ranking 64
Net secondary enrolment: 66.3% (2011)
Gross tertiary enrolment: 36% (2011)
Adult literacy: 93.1% (2010)
Public spending on education was 6.8 per cent of GDP in 2011.
The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education are the principal government agencies in the country’s education sector. The other government agencies in the sector are the Malaysian Examination Council, the premier exam board; the Institute of Language; the Literature and National Institute for Translation, which trains translators; the Education Marketing Division, which promotes Malaysian higher education domestically and abroad; and the state-backed Malaysia International Scholarship (MIS) which aims to retain the nation’s premier talent within the country.
There are six years of compulsory education starting at the age of six. Primary school comprises six years and secondary seven, with cycles of three and four years. Some 99 per cent of pupils complete primary school (2009). The school year starts in January and comprises two terms.
The tertiary sector comprises 20 public universities, 22 polytechnics, 37 community colleges, and many private universities and colleges, located throughout the country (2013). The longest-established universities are the University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur, 1905) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Skudai (Johor, 1904 as the Technical School, becoming a university in 1972). Open and distance education is provided by the Open University Malaysia, which was established as a private university by a consortium of 11 public universities in 2000. The female-male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 1.2:1 (2011). Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 98.4 per cent (2010).