HIGHER EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA
Higher education in Malaysia is divided into two (2) catagories :
(1) Category One :
Non-University Status :
The first is IPTS (Non-University Status) such as Taylor's, Kolej Damansara
Utama (KDU) etc. These outfits are authorized to issue
internal certificate and diploma
qualifications. They are also authorized to conduct
franchised degree programmes (e.g.,
twinning degrees) as well as other external semi-professional and
professional qualification (e.g., ACCA etc.).
(2) Category Two :University Status :
The second category is IPTS (University Status). This category can in turn
be split as 3-types:
1) Private Universities
University Branch Campuses
Both private universities (e.g., MMU, UTP, UNITAR, UTAR
etc.) and University Colleges are authorized to award their
own degrees and other qualifications. Foreign Branch campuses (e.g.,
Nottingham University) on the other hand, will award identical degree programmes as the host university.
Hence the main "change", when say, Limkokwing Institute of
Creative Technology gets "upgraded" to University Colleges status is that
they no longer need to rely on their foreign franchise partners to award
degree certificates. They are now licensed to print their own certificates.
University Colleges ?
Many new University Colleges
appeared recent years in Malaysia. The public may wonder as to what a "university college"
Out of more than 500 private colleges in
Malaysia, there are 10
institutions categorized as "University Colleges" (UC). The first
University Colleges was
Kolej Universiti Teknologi dan Pengurusan Malaysia in 2001, followed by 4
more in 2003 and the rest in 2004 and 2005. These institutions are:
- Asia Pacific University College of
Technology and Innovation (UCTI)
- Binary University College of Management
& Entrepreneurship (BUCME)
- International University College of
Technology Twintech (IUCTT)
- University College Antarabangsa Sedaya
- HELP University College (HUC)
- Kuala Lumpur Infrastructure University
- Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa
- Sunway University College (SUC)
- Kolej Universiti Teknologi dan
Pengurusan Malaysia (KUTPM)
- LimKokWing University College of
Creative Technology (LUCCT)
Are these University Colleges degrees any good? To
be very fair, it would be wrong to generalize the quality of these degree
certificates. Like universities, there are bound to be the "good" ones as
well as the "bad" ones.
But University Colleges face additional problems and complications from a different
dimension which will add "extra" challenges for them to prove their worth
- Track Record
: While local public universities have a
track record to speak of, which means we can quite safely evaluate them, there is no
track record of University Colleges for the purposes of evaluation. Students taking the
University Colleges option, are to a certain extent taking a risk as there are no hard
evidence to judge the quality and outcome of the UC degree programme.
motivated : University Colleges are profit motivated. Compared to
other private universities such as MMU and UTAR, where profit
may not be the main motivating
factor in the provision of higher education, profit is a major element of
consideration at University Colleges. Many of these University Colleges are owned by large conglomerates
such as Sunway, Selangor Properties, L&G, Sapura etc., who are
beholden public shareholders who are only interested in the investment
returns. Some of the head of these schools are called CEOs.
And as we all know, excessive focus on profitability and a management
focused on short term performance will result in substantially poorer
quality of education. A college overly focused on lowering cost will end
up with weaker lecturers who are paid less, and poorer facilities.
Conversely, if they are overly aggressive in increasing revenue, students
of all shapes and sizes (figuratively speaking) will be admitted and
In addition, if the candidates are seeking to pursue their education
overseas after their first degree, their choice of postgraduate universities
is likely to be limited as these University Colleges are unlikely to have their degrees
recognized out of Malaysia at this time.