INSTITUTIONS of higher learning in Malaysia should offer scholarships to foreign students to attract more of them to study in the country, said Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa.
He said he proposed the matter to the Council of Eminent Persons at a meeting last Tuesday.
The reason, he said, was because of competition from other countries which were vying to become an education hub by offering scholarships to foreign students.
“In terms of number, our country is still the best option for foreign students to pursue education because of the reasonable study cost, quality education and our multi-racial culture.
“But now there are many new competitors in the same arena, like China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which offer scholarships, so we have to look for a strategy so that Malaysia becomes attractive to foreign students,” he said after the meeting at Menara Ilham.
Prof Rujhan said among the steps which could be taken by local tertiary institutions to make sure Malaysia remained an education hub included offering full or partial scholarships or fee exemptions to foreign students.
As of March this year, 171,000 foreign students are furthering their studies in Malaysia, and this number is expected to increase to 200,000 by 2020.
The students are from China, Indonesia, the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Central Asia. — Bernama
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