KLANG: The Education Ministry plans to set up five Education Promotion Offices (EPOs) in Vietnam, Indonesia, the Middle East and China to attract a larger number of foreign students from Asia.
Deputy Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim said the EPOs would allow students from the region easier access to information on Malaysian educational institutions, the professional courses offered and the cost of living here.
“Malaysia is poised to become the centre of educational excellence in the Asian region and we must strive to build this sector,” he said after opening a new school block at SJK(C) Kong Hoe here on Saturday.
He said that parents in countries where the EPOs would be set up had found Malaysia a better option than Australia, New Zealand, the United States or Canada as the cost of living and tuition fees were much lower.
“Other factors that encourage more foreign students in the region to choose Malaysia is political stability and proximity,” he said.
Each year, he added, the foreign student intake had been increasing.
“Now, we have 35,000 foreign students with 10,000 from China. It augurs well for our economy,” he said.
Hon said that recent strategies outlined in the economic stimulus package unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday would be good for the education sector.
“We plan to amend the Private Higher Education Act 1996 to exempt international students from compulsory subjects. Private agencies will be given certification to bring in more foreign students,” he said.
On another issue, he said that primary school teachers who received laptops to teach Mathematics, Science and English must make full use of the facility.
“For those teaching other subjects, a computer lab will be built in each school,” he said.