THE country’s efforts to offer Malaysian education to the world, has paid off.
Over 30,000 international students have been arriving here annually over the past few years, creating an international learning environment for local students.
And, led by its five research universities namely Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, our universities are also acing international rankings, said Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), a wholly-owned company of the Education Ministry, in a press release.
EMGS will lead a delegation of local institutions to the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) expo next year, giving our institutions access to some 40,000 students who throng the expo yearly.
“Students from China are already the largest international group here today with over 10,000 students.
“However, there are more untapped opportunities, especially in non-traditional markets outside the big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, ” EMGS CEO Shahinuddin Shariff, who is attending the China Annual Conference for International Education from Oct 15 to 21 in Beijing, said.
He was joined by representatives from Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, UCSI University, Sunway University, Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation, City Harbour International School and EMS Language Centre.
On Friday, Malaysia accepted the baton from Japan, to be the ‘country of honour’ during the China Annual Conference for International Education and Expo (CACIE) 2020.
The country of honour will be given its own national pavilion.
Now in its 20th year, the conference provides opportunities for business-to-business networking and forums for policy discussions. It is the largest education expo in China for international players to meet Chinese students and parents.
“We are going to bring over 30 Malaysian higher education institutions there next year to showcase our excellent education services, from schools to universities and beyond, ” he said, adding that the philosophy of lifelong learning is embedded in the country’s approach to education.
Education secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Gazali Abas recently called on everyone to work together so that Malaysia can meet its target of getting 200,000 international students here by 2020.
He was responding to concerns raised by industry players that there are only some 170,000 foreign students in the country currently.
Anxiety also remains high over the influx of foreigners coming to Malaysia, including for education. Among primary concerns are those who may use student visas as a backdoor to cross into Malaysia for other reasons, mainly economic ones.
“Nothing comes with zero risk. We recognise the challenges that come with opening our borders.
“However, I have total faith in our Immigration Department which has rigorous procedures in place to prevent fake students from abusing the system, ” he said.
Among the many measures instituted by the government is the i-Kad, a biometric residence permit issued to all foreign nationals.
Made mandatory in 2017, the i-Kad must be renewed regularly to ensure that the register of foreign nationals is updated.
“International students must renew their i-Kad annually using their academic results. This provides much assurance for us of the genuineness of our students.
“We are also cleaning up our data to ensure that our target is not artificially inflated by bogus students who enter the country for less-than-honest intentions.”
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