Meaningful engagement with the ministry


THE Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) welcomes the announcement by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik on the ministry’s commitment to review the present regulatory framework for Private Higher Education Institutions.

We also welcome the minister’s commitment to ensure that there is a greater level of meaningful engagement between the various regulating agencies and the sector.

During his speech at the “Open Dialogue on Malaysian Education with Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik” last week, he said regulations are essential in order to ensure that our key stakeholders - student and parents – have the confidence that their interests are always safeguarded.

However, there is a danger of regulatory frameworks becoming too rigid, archaic, inefficient and not sufficiently agile enough to respond to a rapidly changing global environment. Most importantly, regulations should not become adversarial, should move away from micromanagement, and should instead facilitate institutions in their quest to provide transformative experiences to their students and to help them realise their fullest potential as they face the challenges of an increasingly disrupted future world.

We fully support the notion of “Accountable-Driven Equity” for Institutions as proposed by the minister, and are highly encouraged that he is keen for the sector to work together with the ministry towards the formulation of a Private Higher Education Roadmap.

These are exciting times indeed for all of us – the fact that we are able to openly discuss important matters such as these in public forums is a reflection of the openness and willingness of the minister not only to listen but to take action as well.

In fact at the dialogue session, the minister’s patient stance even in the face of rather harsh criticism indicates that there is a will to institute change. Now it is up to all of us – institutions, regulators and our stakeholders – to ensure that we move on track to achieve great things for Malaysia.

Make no mistake - we are all equal partners with a common purpose in what we want to achieve for the country. It must be recognised that the more than 50% of Malaysians at the tertiary level are served by the private sector institutions.

As such, while Mapcu believes that there is an urgent need for regulatory reform, we also call for engagement by all parties in a spirit of mutual respect and with common sense, where decisions are made not based on sensation, rhetoric or individual preference, but based on what is strategically important for the country as a whole. Mapcu looks forward to working with the minister and his team to this end.

Meaningful engagement with the ministry and not mere cursory meetings and workshops, to ensure that the Higher Education sector, both public and private, is truly empowered to embrace this notion of accountability-driven equity.

DATUK DR PARMJIT SINGH

President

Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities

Meaningful engagement with the ministry

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