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Edutourism gaining popularity in Malaysia - Maszlee

Educational-based tourism (Edutourism), which was introduced in 2014, is steadily gaining popularity in Malaysia as the nation is poised to become a hub for higher education for tertiary students across the globe.

Promising a high quality and affordable education, Malaysia is an attractive study destination as the country boasts a low cost of living but is wealthy in terms of culture and tradition.

Apart from that, one can earn a higher education certification like a diploma, degree, masters or even doctorate qualification from prestigious local universities here at an affordable cost.

Speaking to Bernama recently, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said Malaysia continues to send strong signals to rope in more international students and builds its international enrolment.

The move has proven that the nation's principle of mobility steering is on the right track. Malaysia is becoming the choice of destination for foreign students.

The mobility of higher education will continue to be Malaysia’s main agenda," Maszlee said when wrapping up his working visit to Paris, France, and Doha, Qatar from Nov 12 to 21.

The minister represented Malaysia at the 40th Session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in the French capital and the World Innovation Summit for Education in Doha.

He also emphasised that the 10-year Malaysian Blueprint for Higher Education (2015-2025) sets out ambitious goals, namely enrolment targets and to raise Malaysian institutions in the regional and global ranking.

As of December 2018, Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) reported there were approximately 170,000 foreign students in Malaysia from over 135 countries.

It aims to increase the number to about 250,000 by 2025.

“Malaysia remains an important source market for both established and emerging study destinations. We know many international students choose to study in Malaysia as it offers them real value for money.

"To attract more international students, the Malaysian cabinet has agreed to make amendments in certain rules and regulations to encourage greater movement and mobility of international students, professors, and researchers to do more researches and continue studies at the tertiary level.

“We have recorded many success stories as we are steering it on the right path towards development. This is the nation’s initiative to have English competent students and graduates contribute to the globalised job market,” he said.

On Wednesday, Maszlee said Universiti Malaya (UM) had climbed to the 13th spot in Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings (QS-AUR) 2020 from 24th place last year.

“We want to have public universities that are globally competitive and produce intellectuals and entrepreneurs who can solve social problems as well as become a catalyst for social change,” he said.

Meanwhile, Maszlee said Malaysia is becoming a preferred country for foreign investment in the higher education sector and the government always opens its doors to foreign universities to set up campuses in the country.

Currently, there are 11 foreign branch campuses from the United Kingdom, Australia, India, the Netherlands, and China, he said. Prior to this, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad called on prospective foreign students, who are considering their path in education, to come and study in Malaysia.

The premier said Malaysia offered a proven well-balanced private and public education system that has successfully produced graduates who excelled in their careers.

- Bernama

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