THE Government needs to review the setting up of foreign universities in Malaysia’s overcrowded higher education sector.
Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh said many of the private institutions are facing weaker enrolments from local and foreign students.
“There is a decrease of more than 30 percent in foreign students coming to Malaysia in 2017 and 2018 as reported by Education Malaysia Global Services.
“With over 100 universities and over 400 private colleges, polytechnics and community colleges, capacity in the sector has clearly exceeded demand,” he said.
Dr Parmjit was commenting on a report quoting research by Prof Dr Geoffrey Williams that a majority of private higher education institutions are loss making with 53 percent making losses before tax and 55 percent making losses after tax.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said recently that three Japanese higher learning institutions have revealed plans to establish branches in Malaysia.
He said the ministry has started seeking potential locations for the establishment of the new universities and will aid in easing the process of establishment, registration and intake of students.
Dr Parmjit said Mapcu was not in any way questioning the Government’s aim to enhance local capability by learning from others.
“We do not need more universities, but instead strategies to expand participation in higher education especially by finding ways to include groups that have not been able to access it.
“If the Government could help facilitate collaborative arrangements with overseas universities to operate together with existing universities, it would be a more effective transfer of technology, knowledge, skills and values to Malaysian universities,” he said.
Mapcu, he added, is also calling for more representation from the private higher education sector in advisories and consultative committees that are set up by the Government.