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Reflections on the HE sector from Malaysia

09 Dec 2019 | Kristian Rumble Kristian Rumble, International Partnership Manager at Advance HE recently returned from a visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In this blog he reflects on approaches to the same sector in two very different countries.

Over my week in Malaysia, I was fortunate enough to meet with representatives at a range of higher education institutions (HEIs) across the capital.

In stark contrast to the UK, the higher education market in Malaysia is a real mix of private and public institutions all with different strategic priorities but all with the common goal of trying to attract more students whilst at the same time offering value for money and an excellent student experience.

I have found that universities in Malaysia are seeking to adapt to the needs of a changing and expanding economy and it soon became evident that the themes of employability and enterprise as well as staff continuing professional development (CPD) were high on the agenda. These are prioritised in order to meet the needs of employers and to be mindful of the fourth industrial revolution.

A highlight of the visit culminated in a meeting at the nation’s oldest and highest-ranking public university, The University of Malaya, where I was warmly welcomed onto campus to meet with senior management. We discussed mutual areas of interest, as the themes I’ve mentioned, particularly employability and enterprise, apply as much to the UK as they do internationally.

Group photo

Seated (from left): Professor Dr. Yong Zulina Zubairi, Associate Vice-Chancellor (International) | Mr. Kristian Rumble | Dr. Patricia Nora Riget, Deputy Director, International Relations Office

Standing (from left): Dr. Amira Firdaus, Acting Director/Deputy Director, Academic Enhancement & Leadership Development Centre | Mdm. Noorihan Ali Yusoff, Deputy Registrar, Student Affairs Division | Ms. Salbiah Sirajuddin, Graduate Employability, Entrepreneurship & Student Development Centre, Student Affairs Division | Ms Judy Choong, International Relations Officer

Of note was a discussion around the University’s approach to developing lecturers’ teaching skills via their Emerald Programme for new lecturers. The University were keen to explore the options Advance HE offers to assist in this process.

Advance HE accreditation gives HEIs the opportunity to bestow Fellowship via their own CPD pathway. With more than 124,000 Fellows globally, Fellowship is an internationally recognised badge of professional success for those who teach and support learning in higher education.

Despite being in a different country I was struck with how many of the talking points in HEIs in Malaysia echoed the national discourse in the UK. I look forward to working further with the universities and both sharing and gaining knowledge internationally.

Find out more about Advance HE support for professional development across the globe.

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