PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is leading the way in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) has recognised these online courses in order to further enhance the nation’s higher education system.

“We believe, in Malaysia, that education has to be flexible because it is changing so fast,” he said Monday during the opening of the 2016 MQA and the Association of Quality Assurance Agencies of the Islamic World (IQA) International Seminar on Quality Assurance of Higher Education.

“I keep telling my staff (at the ministry) and vice-chancellors (of universities) that universities are no longer going to be relevant if they’re not careful and don’t get things done properly,” he added.

MOOCs are quality online programmes targeted at large-scale participation via the Internet.

Launched in Malaysia in 2014, MOOCs have gained much traction among the younger generation.

Idris said in his speech that according to the World Economic Forum, the first year of higher education should be conducted online.

“The second and third year, you will be in universities,” he said, adding that the fourth year should be in the workplace.

He also said that the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) emphasises that education needs to be flexible and students should embrace self-directed learning.

In January, Idris gave MQA the mandate to implement the “MOOCs plus Credit Recognition and Transfer” initiative.

He said that this would enable all Malaysian and overseas MOOCs courses to be registered and be credited.

These could also be transferred for the purpose of awarding certificates, diplomas and degrees.

Speaking to reporters after the launch, MQA chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa said that MOOCs created by local academicians have seen enrolment from overseas students, including those from South Africa and Canada.

“It has also gained the interest of pensioners and parents,” he added.

Source : The Star        

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