PUTRAJAYA: The Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996 (Act 555) is to be amended to ensure private higher learning institutions remain competitive and sustainable.
Higher Education Minister Idris Jusoh said the amendment would be tabled at the next Parliament seating in March.
The amendment will streamline the supervisory practice, approval procedures and will touch on the ownership and manpower aspects.
“The private higher education sector plays an important role. It spearheads innovation in education like the twinning programmes,” he said when delivering his 2017 mandate in Putrajaya today.
“Until Dec 31, 2016, there were 54 universities, 32 college-universities, 10 campus branches and 400 private colleges, or a total of 496 institutions of higher learning in the country.”
In an immediate response to Idris’ announcement, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs(Ideas) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan hoped the amendment will make it easier, not more difficult for private education providers to play their role.
He said regulations must solve problems, not create new ones.
He said in its move to curb the growth of bogus colleges and strive for higher quality in education, the ministry must ensure growth of private institutions are not stunted.
Ideas said there were 524,350 students studying in such institutions. They provided jobs to 36,185 academic staff.
“Many private companies sponsor their staff to pursue further training and give scholarships to deserving workers.
“The amendments must encourage them to do more, not put them off.” -FMT