The Arts in Numbers

As the arts have been burgeoning in Malaysia and Penang, we take a glimpse at the number of arts-related societies and arts and humanities education in the country. Table 1 shows the number of various registered and active artsrelated societies in Malaysia. There are more cultural arts societies compared to other types of arts-related societies – perhaps due to higher appeal amongst communities and lesser funding required to set up and operate, unlike photography societies that require the purchase of equipment.

The Penang Art Society and ArtMalaysia are two established art societies in Malaysia; ArtMalaysia is the biggest art society at the national level. ArtMalaysia serves as a platform for Malaysian artists to display their artwork and to interact with each other. Formally, Big Pond is defined as a pool of artists and sculptors under ArtMalaysia with the aim of increasing awareness among member artists about their development and progress. Based on both societies’ membership figures, it is estimated that over 500 artists are active in Malaysia and around 100 artists are active in Penang (Table 2).

Source: The Registry of Societies, Ministry of Home Affairs, 2016. (*data obtained by filtering the names of registered societies using keywords such as ‘art’, ‘paint’, ‘visual’, ‘performing art’, ‘drama’, ‘film’, ‘culture art’, ‘photography’ and ‘music’)

Currently, there are five private higher education institutions (HEI) providing artrelated courses in Penang; as many as 1,015 students were enrolled in 2014 (Table 3). The Equator Academy of Art and The One Academy took the lion’s share of the art talents supply. In all likelihood, they will help sustain and enhance the art-related industries of Penang upon graduation.

Source: Malaysia Higher Education Statistics 2014, Ministry of Higher Education.

According to the Malaysian Higher Education Statistics 2014, in Arts and Humanities there were 31,712 intake students, 94,948 enrolled students and 19,064 graduate students in the same year.

Source: Penang Art Society and ArtMalaysia website, 2016.

Table 5 shows that the majority of students, enrolment and output in Arts and Humanities in public HEIs are Malaysians. Non-citizen students make up less than 10%.

Source: Malaysia Higher Education Statistics 2014, Ministry of Higher Education.

Source: Malaysia Higher Education Statistics 2014, Ministry of Higher Education.

Source: Malaysia Higher Education Statistics 2014, Ministry of Higher Education.

Source: Malaysia Higher Education Statistics 2014, Ministry of Higher Education.

Among private higher education institutions, Table 6 shows that most of the student intake, enrolment and output were dominated by private higher education institutions with university status, university college status and college status.

Currently, there are three polytechnics in Malaysia which offer courses in Arts and Humanities. Together, they took in 1,014 students, enrolled 2,955 students and produced 490 graduates in Arts and Humanities in 2014.



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