The Foreign Affairs Ministry will start the Diplomat Postgraduate Programme next year to produce specialist officers, said Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said the part-time programme would be conducted in collaboration with local research universities in specific fields.
For a start, the programme would involve Chinese Studies, Indian Studies, Middle Eastern Studies and Maritime Studies, which are the current focus areas, he said.
“Usually, officers will take overseas courses sponsored by the Public Service Department (PSD) but now there are fewer PSD scholarships for postgraduates,” he said after the 2018 Excellent Service Awards and 2019 Appreciation awards ceremony in Putrajaya today.
On another development, Saifuddin said discussions on plans to set up an English language channel as proposed by Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia to counter Islamophobia had started.
He said the joint effort by the three countries would likely be private-driven, adding that the discussion would also cover the mechanism and execution.
Asked on the timeframe, Saifuddin said: "(We) are not in a rush, but it will be done quick enough."
The proposed English language channel to counter Islamophobia was initiated by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Malaysia Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a trilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York last month.