Document Details

Title MOOCs to the Rescue: Taking stock of 20 years of online higher education in Malaysia
Author Doria Abdullah - OBHE Associate, Postdoctoral fellow, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia


Malaysia has a 20-year history with online learning, spanning infrastructure investment, new universities and, more recently, an effort to harness MOOCs.

Wave 1 (late 1990s): Cyber-infrastructure and integration of technology and education

It all began with a vision to transform Malaysia into a knowledge-based society. The government aspired to integrate information technology across a broad range of sectors such as government services, commerce, education and urban planning, among others. The Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), envisioned as a chain of tax-efficient industrial clusters and business incubators, was introduced in 1996. The centerpiece was Cyberjaya, a township thirty minutes away from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), attracting a range of multinationals, such as IBM, DHL and HP and housing new agencies such as the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC) and the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT).

The private Multimedia University (MMU) was established in Cyberjaya in 1999, tied to Telekom Malaysia (TM), the country’s communications service provider, to provide a steady stream of graduates versed in the latest technologies. MMU is a campus-based institution- now with three campuses in Malaysia- but has a growing presence in blended and online learning.

In mainstream education, at the primary and secondary level, selected schools were transformed into “smart schools” (‘Sekolah Bestari’) that prioritised multimedia courseware and online resources. Schools outside of the initiative were given special funding for laptops, broadband and teacher training. At the tertiary level, learning management systems (LMS) were introduced.

Date 11/05/2017
Region(s) Asia
Countries Malaysia
Theme(s) Technology
Topic(s) Distance Education

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