Financial sustainability, IR4.0 among Higher Education Ministry's 2021 goals

PETALING JAYA: The Higher Education Ministry has made financial sustainability and embracing IR4.0 for teaching and learning its goals for 2021.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad (pic) said among the issues to be addressed were the gaps identified in the Auditor-General's report involving public universities.

"This is to ensure the sustainability of the universities' operations," she said during her annual New Year address on Thursday (Jan 7).

She also said that managing limited resources efficiently was another challenge.

"Every expenditure must give the best value for money to ensure the universities' financial resources and funding are strong to cover operating, development and research costs," she added.

In terms of governance in these institutes, Noraini said the universities' board of directors had been given autonomy to be more efficient, orderly and transparent.

She also said that a "new narrative" would be given to parent companies of public universities so that they can play a similar role to government-linked companies and generate more income.

"With the constraints of infrastructure, network and device coverage – especially in rural areas – the implementation of online teaching and learning (PDP) is limited and less comprehensive," she said, adding that they need to hasten the Digitalising Education Agenda.

Noraini added they also needed to adapt to disruptive technology and put in place strategies that embrace IR4.0.

"I also suggest that the National Higher Education Entrepreneurship Council be reactivated as a forum to discuss the direction and solution related to the initiative to produce entrepreneurial-capable human capital," she said in regards to increasing graduate employability.

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