Any system for raising human resource skills must not only care about the present generation but be sustainable over generations. A rethinking in that direction is sorely needed.
Higher education in Malaysia has evolved together with the economy. In the 1980s large-scale industrialisation saw agriculture and mining giving way to manufacturing and services as the main drivers of GDP growth.
Consequently, rapid sustained growth into the 1990s pushed the country to accelerate the production of human resources in order to meet the expanding needs of the market. Thus, from only five universities before the 1980s – Universiti Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia – the number was more than doubled by the next decade. Today, there are 20 public universities in the country.
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