Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Graduates to form 33% of workforce by 2010 - The Star

April 22, 2008 By SIMRIT KAUR

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government intends to increase the number of tertiary-educated people in the workforce from 20% to 33% by 2010.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said that the challenge in achieving this was to ensure that there is no sacrifice in quality over quantity.

“To merely achieve these numbers would not be too difficult. We have grown our tertiary capacity from only one university in 1961 to 20 public universities, 36 private universities and university colleges, 21 polytechnics, 37 community colleges and 485 private colleges.”

Mohamed Khaled added that academic staff in universities would play a key role in producing quality graduates.

“Every university must create an environment that fosters a culture of excellence to attract the most able as well as motivate existing academic staff," he said in his speech Tuesday at the 12th Malaysian Education Summit, which was delivered by deputy higher education minister Dr Hou Kok Chung.

To build the right culture at universities, the ministry would uplift the profession, provide professional development and training opportunities and celebrate the achievements of academic staff with awards and recognition, he said.

Mohamed Khaled added that the Higher Education Ministry would move away from being a regulator and enforcer of government policies and act as a facilitator and lead partner instead.“As the lead partner, the Ministry will not only provide strategic direction, but also offer the support necessary to ensure the success of higher education institutions,’’ he said.

“Our role at the Ministry is not to micro-manage the universities but to ensure that all the building blocks that are necessary to promote excellence are put in place and the environment is conducive for competitive academic pursuits.”

Mohamed Khaled also announced that institutions seeking to become apex universities would be submitting their transformation plans by the end of this month.

The ministry plans to select one or two Malaysian higher education institutions to become apex universities which would be put on an accelerated programme to achieve world-class status.

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