PETALING JAYA: Only American programmes are likely to be affected by the new policy requiring Form Five school-leavers to obtain a pre-university qualification as prerequisite for pursuing a degree.
National Association of Private Educational Institutions (Napei) president Dr Mohamed Thalha Alithamby said presently students with Form Five qualifications could apply for an American degree.
“This will not affect other degree programmes offered by Australia, Britain and other 3+0 programmes which require at least an STPM, A-Levels, diploma or equivalent as a prerequisite,” he said.
Dr Mohamed Thalha said that institutions of higher learning that now offered American degree programmes would have to renegotiate their terms.
“An American degree programme takes four years to complete.
“Maybe what these institutions can do is to see whether the first year of the degree can be converted into a foundation year, leaving the remaining three years as a degree programme,” he said.
Deputy director-general of Education (Private Education) Datuk Hassan Hashim said on Friday that the new policy, applicable to both public and private institutions of higher learning, would be enforced from the June/July intake this year following a decision by the National Higher Education Council.
“There are a number of private colleges that offer students the option of direct entry into degree-level courses, using SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) as a prerequisite.
“This has called into question the credibility of some of the degree courses offered by private colleges,” he said.
Hassan said the decision was made following feedback from some foreign education ministers that they would not recognise degree programmes pursued in Malaysia unless a pre-university qualification was made compulsory for entry.
“I must note, however, that the more established colleges do offer foundation programmes and other equivalent courses for school-leavers,” he said, citing the Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia, A-Levels and South Australian Matriculation as examples.