The Dawn of Higher Education in Malaysia

loading College of Medicine building

They may appear solid today, but our schools had challenging beginnings.

According to Alexander Carr-Saunders, the architect of colonial universities, there was “little sympathy with local aspirations for university education” before the Second World War.[1] While the Advisory Committee on Education in the Colonies (ACEC) once envisioned a system in which every colony would have elementary and secondary schools, as well as technical and vocational institutions up to the tertiary level by 1925, the idea of a university was not yet a priority in British policy.

The empire, after all, only had four universities at the time, in the regions of Malta, Jerusalem, Ceylon and Hong Kong.[2] While requests were aired for a Malayan university, it was not until after the war that they were granted attention.

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