PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has one of the highest proportions of internationl versus domestic students in the academic world with the average ratio being almost 1:10.
Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said over the past decade, the country had become the fastest growing destination for international students, attracting an annual increase of over 16%.
“This shows that education in Malaysia is not just affordable, but also accessible and welcoming,” he said in his speech when opening the Education Malaysia International Development & Marketing Convention 2015, here, today.
Idris believes the country is on track to achieve the target of attracting 200,000 international students by 2020 in line with Malaysia’s aim of becoming an international and regional education hub.
As at Dec 31 last year, Malaysia had 135,502 international students from about 160 nations, studying in public and private higher education institutions as well as international schools, he said.
“This is an increase of 16.5% from 2013,” he added.
Out of this number, Idris said there were 74,996 international students studying in private tertiary institutions, an increase of 29.9% from 2013 while in the public institutions, the number was 32,842.
“As testament to the quality of post-graduate education and opportunities in Malaysia, 27,812 international students are currently enrolled in post-graduate programmes,” he said.
The top 10 countries that contributed to the new applications last year were Bangladesh, Nigeria, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Kazakhstan and India.
Increasing interest had been recorded from countries like Australia, the United States, United Kingdom and Japan, Idris said.
Later, speaking to reporters, Idris said all the 330 language centres and public higher education institutions were required to register their students’ enrolment with Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) beginning March 1 and April 1 respectively to enable them to study in this country.
He said the decision was made due to arising problems, where there were foreign students studying at language centres which provided only nine hours of lessons per week, with some students taking advantage by doing other work.
He added that the new move would ease the monitoring and detection of foreign students studying in Malaysia.
Previously, the compulsory requirement to register foreign students’ study applications with the one-stop centre only applied to private higher education institutions.
Idris said the EMGS also had the role of monitoring, supervising and coordinating matters related to promotions, marketing and student support services for these institutions. – Bernama