Document Details

Title Malaysia’s Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025 - the implementation challenge
Author Christine Ennew - University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus


In early April, Malaysia announced its Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025 – a bold statement of how the country’s higher education sector would be transformed over the coming decade. It builds on and complements the Education Blueprint launched in 2013 which in turn had been designed to transform the schooling system. The focus of the Education Blueprint was improving teacher quality, reducing administrative burdens, broadening access, and reforming curriculum and assessment in order to propel Malaysia to a position in the top one-third of countries globally in PISA and TIMS by 2025. Together these two documents signal a desire for major and transformative change in education. And both are clearly needed.

Malaysia has invested heavily in its education sector. Currently the Federal Government devotes in excess of 20% of its expenditure to education at all levels – a higher proportion than that observed in many high income countries. In higher education, specifically, the latest “Universitas21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems” places Malaysia 12th in the world in terms of the resources committed to higher education and in the top 3 in the world if the level of economic development is taken into account.

But evidence would suggest that this investment is not generating the return that Government and society might have expected. A recently announced study by the OECD provides a global ranking of the performance of school systems around the world, drawing on the OECD's own PISA tests, the US-based TIMSS assessment and Latin America’s TERCE system. The test scores reported for Malaysian secondary school students were disappointing and the country ranked 52nd out of 76 countries in the analysis. In contrast, Asian neighbours, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan occupied the top 5 places in the league table.

Date 23/07/2015
Region(s) Asia
Countries Malaysia
Theme(s) All Themes

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