EMGS hosts townhall with industry

Prof Rujhan (right) with Mohd Zaki (middle) and Dr Syed Alwee addressing questions at the full day workshop and dialogue.

EDUCATION Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), a wholly owned company of the Higher Education Ministry hosted an industry town hall meeting with 180 international education heads from the higher education institutions, skills centres and language schools at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre recently.

EMGS chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa highlighted that the improvements implemented in 2017 are now bearing results.

“EMGS, with the support of other stakeholders has overcome the hurdles it faced in previous years and is now well geared on both operations and international marketing platforms to assist the industry to achieve its goal of 200,000 international student enrolment by 2020.

“In 2017, 99.78% of complete applications received were processed and Visa Approval Letters (VALs) were issued within seven working days, well ahead of our 14-working day service level guarantee, thanks to the support and teamwork of the Immigration Department,” he said.

With the e-VAL fully implemented in January 2018, he added that students can now download and print the VAL the moment it is issued and posted on the EMGS’ portal.

With the Immigration Department’s e-Visa also fully implemented this month, Prof Rujhan said students from countries which require a visa for entry into Malaysia can make an online application for a single entry visa (SEV), making it faster and more convenient for students to embark on their journey to Malaysia.

Participants were also briefed on the EMGS 2018 strategic marketing plan for both traditional and new markets and a competitive analysis by International Marketing and Development senior director Dr Syed Alwee Alsagoff.

“Industry feedback from 2017 has helped us design a more efficient marketing operations roadmap for 2018.

“We have an additional 30% marketing and promotion events in our international marketing calendar for 2018 compared to 2017 and we will remain focused on return-of-investments.

“With industry support and collaborative implementation, the Education Malaysia brand will be highly visible globally and on par or even better than some of the more established hubs,” Prof Rujhan said.

Industry participants were also briefed on operational updates related to visa application and processing by EMGS’ International Student Management and Services senior director Mohd Zaki Zakaria. An open dialogue on issues at hand was discussed.

Prof Rujhan said: “EMGS will share the concerns raised here with various agencies particularly the policy makers and regulators and explore improvements – operational efficiency is our focus and has been an ongoing effort.”

The ministry was also represented at the townhall and participants were introduced to the line-up of newly appointed Education Malaysia directors for its offices in Chicago, Dubai, Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh.

“The EM offices will assist with the promotion of Malaysia’s higher education products and services in the respective markets and through education diplomacy, forge strategic international collaboration to firmly place Malaysia as a global education hub,” he said.

Prof Rujhan was happy with the industry participation and level of engagement.

“Participants have found this an ideal platform to share views and industry feedback on related government policies and framework.

“Together are working towards the collective objective of strengthening Malaysia’s presence as a quality yet affordable higher education destination,” said Prof Rujhan.

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