KUALA LUMPUR: The number of foreign students studying in the country has increased by 70% in the past year, thanks to renewed confidence in the private education sector following the Education Ministrys Gempur dan Hebah crackdown on errant operators.
As at Jan 1, we had 22,827 foreign students studying in our private universities and colleges. This is up 9,352 compared to last year.
Our target is to have 50,000 foreign students (in both public and private institutions of higher learning) by 2005 as it would translate to RM1.5bil in income for our country, deputy director-general of education (private education) Datuk Hassan Hashim told reporters at his office yesterday.
He added that the number of foreigners at public universities was also up from 3,039 last year to 5,195 in January (71%) while in private schools and other institutions, the increase is from 6,902 to 8,444 (22%).
There are now a total of 36,466 foreigners studying at various levels in both public and private institutions here.
Students from China (11,058) still make up the bulk of foreigners, followed by Indonesia (7,503), India (1,409), Thailand (1,369) and Singapore (1,296).
The greatest increase was in the number of Middle-Eastern students up 142%, Hassan said. There are now 2,173 students from 16 Middle East countries, compared to 901 last year.
Hassan also announced the closure of seven private colleges yesterday Kolej Yayasan Belia Malaysia (Puchong and Parit Buntar branches); Kolej Risda Temerloh, Pahang; Institut Intra U Skills, Taiping, Perak; A TECT Art Technology Education Centre, Penang; Creative Design Academy, Penang; Institut Teknologi Kenwa, Sandakan, Sabah; and Ikip 7, Kuantan for operating without ministry approval.
Two schools SR Sri Insan, Kota Kinabalu, and Maahad Tahfiz Al-Mansor, Sungai Petani were also closed for the same reason.
Another 10 colleges were asked to stop running certain courses that were not approved by the JPS.
Hassan also said 276 applications to renew licences for the recruitment of foreign students were received.