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Internationalizing Higher Education in Malaysia

Understanding, Practices and Challenges

edited by Tham Siew Yean

Publication Year: 2012

This book examines the understanding, practices and challenges that Malaysia's higher education institutions face in their efforts to internationalize. This issue is of great importance to academics, policy-makers and students in Malaysia, given the country's aspiration to become a hub for higher education. Malaysia is considered to be one of the success stories in the developing world in its efforts to internationalize its higher education. In the last decade or so, Malaysia has evolved into an emerging contender for international students, based on its transnational programmes and relative cost advantages. Increasing inflows of international students have changed Malaysia's position in the global arena from a sending to a receiving country as well. The findings in this book show that providers and students alike agree that internationalization is here to stay and that there are huge challenges ahead, while managing internationalization remains a prerogative for both institutions and the country. The lessons garnered from Malaysia's experience will also assist other developing countries that are embarking on the same internationalization journey.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Table of Contents

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pp. v-7

List of Tables

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pp. vii-viii

List of Figures

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pp. ix-11

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pp. xi-xii

The Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) focuses on multidisciplinary social science research that is related to the theme of globalization and social transformation. Since its establishment in 1995, the institute has undertaken several collegial...


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pp. xiii-14

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1. From the Movement of Itinerant Scholars to a Strategic Process

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pp. 1-17

The internationalization of higher education in Malaysia as manifested by the movement of students has changed tremendously in the last two decades as Malaysia has shifted from a sending to a receiving country. This has impacted the world market for international students as noted in the...

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2. Towards Understanding the Internationalization of Higher Education and its Challenges

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pp. 18-40

Higher education (HE hereafter) in Malaysia from the 1990s onwards has been restructured to meet the changing demands arising from globalization and its attendant “knowledge economy”. The restructuring of the HE sector came in the form of privatization, corporatization and internationalization....

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3. Public Universities: Development and Internationalization

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pp. 41-65

Since Independence, Malaysia has established twenty public institutions of higher learning that are entrusted with the major task of nation building. Initially they had a monopoly in student enrolment and the conferment of degrees but this monopoly was challenged in the latter half of 1996, when...

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4. Private Higher Education Institutions: Development and Internationalization

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pp. 66-86

At the time of Independence, opportunities for higher education in Malaysia were limited as there were no public universities in the country. Private higher education institutions (PrHEIs), however, were already present as tutorial centres for transnational programmes that were geared towards selected skills...

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5. Macro Perspectives: Ideas, Practices and Challenges

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pp. 87-112

Given the policy emphasis in Malaysia, it is important to gauge the readiness and extent of internationalization in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country. Pertinent issues to be examined include the current status of internationalization, providers’ understanding and perceptions of...

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6. Micro Perspectives: Ideas, Practices and Challenges

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pp. 113-131

Ideas and practices of internationalizing higher education, although not really new in terms of the history of higher education in Malaysia, may be new to, and understood differently by, different people and institutions today. While there may be some commonalities in the understanding of certain aspects...

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7. Concluding Remarks

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pp. 132-138

Before summarizing the main findings in this book, some caveats are in order. In general it is quite difficult to conduct surveys and collect primary data in Malaysia as respondents are by and large, wary of the motivations behind such surveys. We have followed up each of the survey respondent for focus...


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pp. 139-147

E-ISBN-13: 9789814380973
Print-ISBN-13: 9789814380966

Page Count: 147
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1