New pathway for higher education qualification

PETALING JAYA: The Higher Education Ministry has launched a new pathway to achieving a tertiary education qualification.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad (pic) said the pathway, known as APEL.Q, would focus on evaluating the knowledge gained from one’s previous learning experience.

“We set the standards and assess whether the individual is eligible to be awarded a diploma, degree, master's or even a doctoral degree without having to follow the entire programme of study at higher learning institutions (HEIs),” she said when launching APEL.Q on Wednesday (July 6).

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Noraini said six public HEIs would be pioneering this pathway: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Open University Malaysia, Asia e University, HELP University and SEGi University.

She said APEL, which stands for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning, began on Sept 1, 2011, and has so far benefitted over 26,000 students.

“In essence, APEL provides an alternative route for individuals without academic qualifications to continue their studies at HEIs.

“This allows an individual to improve their level of education and career,” said Noraini, adding that there are already two APEL pathways.

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There is APEL.A which focuses on access to HEIs and APEL.C that allows students to transfer credits and complete their studies in a shorter time, she said.

Noraini said APEL students go through many different levels before receiving their scrolls.

“Among them are the portfolio evaluation process, field visits for verification purposes as well as a ‘challenge test’,” she said.

She added that they are also required to undergo and pass a “capstone” course that requires them to prepare a dissertation before they can be awarded their qualification.

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