Private Education Route for Bachelor’s Degree Programmes and Professional Qualifications [Part-2]
The ‘3+0’ degree programme is approved by the Ministry of Higher Education and as such, the institutions offering such programmes are constantly under the scrutiny of the national quality assurance agency, MQA (Malaysian Qaulifications Agency). The foreign partner university will also send lecturers to the Malaysian institution to lecture as well as conduct regular audits on the Malaysian institution. Britain’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) will audit the quality of ‘3+0’ degree programmes in collaboration with foreign partner universities from the United Kingdom. Therefore, students can be assured that the ‘3+0’ degree programmes offered by PHEIs in Malaysia are NOT in any way inferior to those provided by the foreign partner university.
3. International Degrees from Foreign Universities Located in Malaysia
There are four reputable foreign universities which have set up campuses here for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The first was Monash University, Australia which was established in 1998.
Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus; University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus; and Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus were subsequently set up here in Malaysia too. Students now have a wider range of courses and institutions to choose from. Students can also opt to study at the host university (e.g., Monash University in Australia) for one or two semesters. Likewise, students can also obtain their double degree qualification from the foreign university branch campus here.
|Table 8.3 Examples of Foreign University Branch Campuses in Malaysiath>|
|Name of Branch Campus & year established in Malaysia||Country of Origin|
|Monash University Malaysia, 1998||Australia|
|Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Malaysia, 1999||Australia|
|The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, 2000||UK|
|Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, 2004||Australia|
Benefits of Studying at a Branch Campus of a Foreign University
Students who chose to study at branch campuses here found that they spent only half the amount of what they would have spent studying at the foreign partner university in Australia or the UK. This is due to the substantial amount of savings from lower costs of tuition fees and living expenses.
Nevertheless, students have the opportunity to study for one or two semesters at the foreign partner university while paying the Malaysian branch campus tuition fees! This is a unique chance for students to experience living and studying overseas without having to pay additional tuition fees. Further, these local campuses of foreign universities also offer postgraduate courses for students who wish to further their studies after completing their Bachelor’s degree programme.
|Table 8.4 : A Cost Comparison Example for an Australian
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science (3 years)
|Item||Australian Branch Campus in Malaysia (Estimated cost)||Australian University (Estimated Cost)|
|Average Education Cost for one (1) year||RM41,400||A$41,110|
|TOTAL EDUCATION COST FOR THREE (3) YEARS||RM124,200
4. Degrees from Malaysian Private Universities Malaysian Private Universities award their own degree qualifications to students who have completed their studies and fulfilled the requirements set by the university’s academic board. The first private university in Malaysia was established in 1999.
Local or home-grown degrees are degree programmes developed internally by Malaysia’s private universities which comply with international quality assurance best practices and education excellence. Their programmes are under strict scrutiny of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to ensure compliance to the standards set by the Board. Many private universities also have the recognition of foreign and local professional bodies. They collaborate with reputable foreign universities which possess international quality education benchmarking.
Many private universities also collaborate with local research agencies, industries and top ranking universities in the world to conduct research, and staff exchange and development programmes.
In a history of less than 10 years, some private universities have developed quickly and gained international recognition and acceptance. This is evident in the increasing number of International Students.
There are also universities that have been granted the status of university-college by the Government. Such higher education institutions were previously private colleges which have shown good track record in conducting ‘3+0’ degree programmes. In terms of an institution’s autonomy in awarding its own degree programme, there is no difference between an institution with university or university-college status.
The main difference is that a university-college is a specialist university focusing on certain disciplines of study with lower student enrolment capacity. Many of these universities continue to collaborate with its ‘3+0’ degree university-partners to internationalise their degree programmes. Some of these university-colleges are well recognised by their foreign university-partners. A student can study one degree programme and graduate with two degree qualifications (one degree certificate from the university and the other from the overseas university-partner) at the cost of one degree, without leaving Malaysia.
The areas of study include Business, Life Science, Applied Science, Engineering, Hospitality, Creative Art, Social Science, IT, Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy.
Benefits of Locally-Developed Degrees
Here, it is obvious that the main benefit of pursuing a locally degree is the relatively cheap course fee with the added advantage of a globally recognised qualification. Such degree programmes have made these universities a much sought-after place by both local as well as International Students.
5. American Degree Program is Well-Developed in Malaysia
American Degree Programs started in Malaysia in the mid-1980s. Students pursuing the 4-year American Bachelor’s Degree study in Malaysia for two years (or 40 to 70 credits) before moving on to their choice of university in America. Students can select from 200 American universities where they can transfer their credits earned in Malaysia.
A student in Malaysia intending to study in America can collect sufficient credit through the Malaysian institution and then apply to an American university. The Malaysian institution is not bound to a particular American university and similarly, no American university is obliged to take in a student under the credit transfer scheme unless the American university is satisfied with the student’s entry qualifications. This is because each American university sets its own requirements and formulates its own courses. Consequently, experienced private colleges formulate their course curriculum taking into consideration the requirements of the American university curriculum. As a result, many aspiring students have earned places in reputable American universities.
Currently, besides the American Degree Transfer Programme, there are also Australian Degree Transfer Programmes, UK Degree Transfer Programmes and Canadian University Transfer Programmes offered by private higher educational institutions in Malaysia.
As a pioneer in international education in this region, Malaysia offers access to more than 300 prestigious universities in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
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