Make Malaysia a well-known education hub.
29 May 2003 

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Koh Lay Chin New Strait Times

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29:  Malaysia should invite renowned institutions from all over the world to be established here through working with universities already in the country, Department of Private Education (enforcement) director Dr Ariff Kasim said today.

He said in order to make Malaysia a well-known education hub, a strong presence of renowned foreign universities was necessary.

Singapore had been able to attract ten world famous institutions that included John Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Insead, Stanford University and Georgia Institute of Technology, he said, adding that an eleventh, the Indian Institute of Technology was on its way.

"Malaysia had the presence of MIT through Malaysian University of Science and Technology (MUST), Monash (University), Nottingham (University) and Curtin. However, the concentration is different from that of Singapore," he said at the Malaysian Education Summit 2003 at Hotel Istana here.

He said since MIT was expensive, the Government should intervene in helping MUST so as to prevent the university from leaving Malaysia.

"If the Economic Development Board of Singapore is directly involved in the presence of the said renowned institutions, then Malaysia through its agencies should also play the same role," he said.

He said Cambridge was originally present through the International Commonwealth University of Malaysia, which was invited to be established as a private university but "the institution never took off."

The presence of Kellogg School of Management and Wharton School in the Sassin Business School in Chulalongkorn University and Wharton in the Singapore Management University could be used as models, he added.

"Maybe Kellogg can be invited to work with one of the private universities in Malaysia," he said in his paper entitled "The role of private educational institutions in making Malaysia a regional hub: Challenges, Issues and Opportunities".

Ariff also said there was a need for standards in running the business of education among the private educational institutions that could be in the form of code of ethics or code of best practices.

"For example, the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities and The National Association of Private Educational Institutions in Malaysia have its own code of ethics. However, the code of ethics is only applicable to both its members," he said.

He said private education institutions should support international seminars or conferences on private education held in Malaysia and should also establish its own centre of excellence.

For example, the Multimedia University could have its centre of integrated research centre, Limkokwing University College of Creative Technology would have its centre of design and Universiti Teknologi Petronas its institute of petroleum products, he said.