Crisis ahead for private higher education – and solutions

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More government focus on public institutions of higher education, alongside other factors like poor management, spells trouble for those in the private sector. Some choices will have to be made.

Introduction

On April 7, 2015, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the National Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (HEB), which sets out yet another vision for the development of higher education in Malaysia.

Surprisingly, the 240 pages of this new blueprint focus almost exclusively on public higher education institutions and largely overlook those in the private sector. This is despite the fact that nearly half of higher education students and more than half of academic appointments in Malaysia are found in private higher education institutions1.

Private university enrolment is also expected to grow at 5.6% per annum under the HEB period and overtake the public sector in terms of student numbers by 20252.


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