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Successful education initiative featured

Global news, Private schools, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

WASHINGTON: Malaysia’s successful transnational higher education initiative led by private colleges and universities was featured at the International Education Summit held here on the occasion of the G8 summit, Deputy Director-General of Higher Education Datin Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir said here Sunday.
Dr Siti Hamisah, guest speaker at the Institute of International Education (IIE) seminar on the economic impact of higher education, explained to international educators and policy makers how Malaysia turned around the 1997 financial crisis, which almost crippled the nation’s economy, to its advantage when the country sought creative ways to liberalise its higher education.
The long-term plan succeeded with Malaysia reducing its student population overseas; moving to twinning programmes with established universities; attracting international students to local Malaysian colleges; and now Malaysia’s private colleges and universities venturing overseas to set up branches in India, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
“We are now the champion in transnational higher education among emerging countries which welcome Malaysian colleges to open up their branches in their countries,” she told Bernama here.
The government has also engaged in the active promotion and marketing of Malaysia as an excellent hub for higher education, and in the rebranding and upgrading of its higher education institutions that meet international standards to attract more students from overseas.
The government measure is showing results. Currently, out of a total of 1.1 million students in higher education, about 10 per cent or 100,000 are foreign nationals from Indonesia, China, India, Africa and the Middle East studying mainly technology-related subjects as part of their nation-building, said Dr Siti Hamisah.
She added that each foreign student spent about RM30,000 per year for tuition, room and board. A female student from the Middle East may spend more if she comes with her family members, thus creating a multiplier effect in terms of tourism and medical tourism, estimated at RM3 billion a year.
The Ministry of Higher Education estimates the foreign student population to grow to 150,000 by 2015 and to 200,000 by 2020.
After a successful inaugural meeting in Paris in May 2011, the IIE convened this year’s International Education Summit on the Occasion of the G8, entitled “International Education: A Global Economic Engine”.
The annual education summit saw a gathering of representatives from the major national exchange organisations and government agencies involved in international academic mobility and cooperation.
The two-day meeting from May 2 – attended by G8 members and participants from Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Qatar – served as a platform for countries to share national priorities, discuss potential areas of collaboration, promote global academic mobility, and raise awareness of the economic impact of international education among the G8 leaders.
The G8 summit, a separate event hosted by the White House, will take place at Camp David on May 18 and 19, addressing a range of economic, political and security issues.
The G8 members are the United States, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom.

NewStraitsTimes, 07 May 2012

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