| Universiti Putra Malaysia

Creating Pathways to Prosperity and Sustainability in Malaysia’s Higher Education Ecosystem

Ringkasan Artikel

Quality education has been advocated by the United Nations as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since 2015, multiple efforts have been orchestrated to realize ‘quality education for all’, at both international and national levels. Everyone was excited for the significant impacts on various targeted groups by 2030.

By: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nor Wahiza Abdul Wahat
Head of Department Professional Development & Continuing Education’s Department
Faculty of Educational Studies, UPM


Quality education has been advocated by the United Nations as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since 2015, multiple efforts have been orchestrated to realize ‘quality education for all’, at both international and national levels. Everyone was excited for the significant impacts on various targeted groups by 2030.

Midway, everyone was directly or indirectly affected by the unexpected outbreak of Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020. At a glance, the pandemic appeared to critically challenge the possibility of achieving the set goals by 2030. Nevertheless, thorough observations led to a totally different story. It has actually catalysed global and national stakeholders to focus more on details in the changing higher education landscape.

The launched Higher Education Prosperity Blueprint (Rangka Tindakan Kesejahteraan Pendidikan Tinggi) or Sejahtera IPT in 2021 by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) was among the pieces of evidence. The blueprint focuses on strengthening the higher education ecosystem, strengthening TVET, and empowering private education as an industry.

The seven initiated strategies of Sejahtera IPT to achieve the above three main goals are (1) to bolster the campus ecosystem’s safety, (2) to enhance graduates’ marketability, (3) to bolster the digitalization agenda, (4) to strengthen the network of strategic collaborations with industry and community, (5) to promote community well-being by leveraging HEI expertise to develop the local community through social innovation initiatives, (6) to highlight institutional excellence; and (7) to revitalise the spirit of KPTPRIHATIN.

Following the above, a team of research experts from Universiti Putra Malaysia, led by Associate Professor Dr.Nor Wahiza Abdul Wahat, has been endowed with a 6 months research grant to propose  and develop a mid-term Plan of Actions for the Higher Education Prosperity Blueprint or Sejahtera IPT (2023-2028).

The first phase of this research project involved focus group discussions with top management team members (TMT) of public universities, private higher education institutions, community colleges and polytechnics, industry representatives, parents as well as local and international students.

The ongoing second phase of this research include 5,000 survey respondents. They are local as well as international students, academics and non-academics staff from North, South, East, West and Borneo zones. The outcome of this project will be able to suggest the issues, initiatives, indicators, and targeted groups.

Benchmarks on innovative, practical strategies adopted by higher education systems in Scandinavian countries, Australia, the United States of America, United Kingdom, neighbouring Asian countries of Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and almost unheard countries such as Republic of Slovenia, are also conducted in this study.

In conclusion, arising data and benchmark findings highlighted the significance of quadruple helix approach featuring university partnerships with industries and communities for efforts such as safe and green campus applications, special act for zero hunger campuses, work-study programs for needy students to enhance affordability, effective hybrid and blended learning experiences, as well as recruitment and retentions strategies due to shifting student demographics.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nor Wahiza Abdul Wahat
Head of Department Professional Development & Continuing Education’s Department
Faculty of Educational Studies, UPM
wahiza@upm.edu.my

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