PETALING JAYA – Malaysia has been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as among the top 10 preferred tertiary education countries among international students.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the latest UNESCO’s International Students Mobility Survey had ranked Malaysia in the ninth place, compared to 12th place in 2014.

He said the recognition by the world body proved that Malaysia’s tertiary education was at par with that of other developed countries such as the United States and United Kingdom.

Idris also attributed confidence in the country’s education quality, affordable cost of livinganddiversed socio-cultural landscape, as among the factors that contributed to the improvement of the ranking.

“The government will continue taking efforts to further improve the quality of higher education in the country,” he told reporters after opening the 20th Malaysian Education Summit here today.

“Through the ministry’s collaboration with public and private universities, we can see our country’s ranking (as educational hub) has improved in various aspects,” he said.

In another development, Idris said local universities need not seek approval from the ministry for every little activity as they have their own autonomy.

“We don’t micromanage universities. They need not to send a letter to us for everything. They have their autonomy and can do what they need to do within their autonomous jurisdiction,” he said.

The minister, however, reminded the universities to take into consideration the sentiments and sensitivities of the multi-racial society in the country in organising activities for its students or members of the public.

He said this in response to the talk by popular preacher Dr Zakir Naik scheduled to be held at Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) on Sunday titled “Islam – Problems and Solutions to Humanity”.

The talk, initially titled “Similarities Between Hinduism and Islam” was earlier banned after police barred it to ‘respect religious sensitivities.


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