Gov't need not send students abroad as quality of local universities improves: Idris Jusoh

DAWN CHAN


KUALA LANGAT: The steady improvement of the quality of higher education in Malaysia will soon eliminate the need for the government to send students abroad to pursue their degrees.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said it was unnecessary to have our students study overseas as Malaysia boasts of its own excellent universities.

He added that it was also not cost efficient with today’s poor currency exchange rate.

“There are no reasons why we should be sending our students abroad when we have five top research universities here including Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Malaya.

“When we send our students abroad, they are also not placed in top universities in the world. So why should we spend four times the amount when we can get them to study locally?

“There is no good reason for us to fork out so much money when our education quality is improving,” said Idris.

Idris added that significant improvement can already be seen in terms of Malaysian universities climbing up the ranks in the last four years in the Times Higher Education and Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The standard of Malaysia’s higher education lives up to the ministry’s tagline of Soaring Upwards as it has been receiving many recognitions from the United Kingdom and even Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Idris added.

He pointed out that during King Salman’s state visit to Malaysia recently, the King was honoured with honorary doctorates from Universiti Malaya and International Islamic Universiti Malaysia.

“It goes to show that the Saudi Arabians, who are exposed to American and British education systems, are recognising ours,” he said.

Idris also targets to have a Malaysian university breaking into the world’s top 100 universities listing by 2020.

“By 2050, we will have one or two Malaysian universities in the top 20 listing, globally,” said Idris.

He said this after the ground breaking ceremony of Mahsa University’s RM20 million Sports and Recreation Centre in Bandar Saujana Putra here today.

Also present at the event were Mahsa University chancellor Tun Zaki Tun Azmi, Mahsa University founder, pro-chancellor and executive chairman Prof Tan Seri Dr Mohamed Haniffa Abdullah, Mahsa University chairman and pro-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican.