Regulations shouldn’t be adversarial, says private education body

Education Minister Maszlee Malik says the ministry is working to address the problem of ‘over-regulation’ of private higher learning institutions.

PETALING JAYA: An association of private colleges today said that regulations for the private higher learning institutions should move away from micromanagement and instead facilitate them to impart “transformative experience” to students.

The Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (MAPCU), in a statement, also welcomed Education Minister Maszlee Malik’s move to review the present regulatory framework for private higher education institutions.

It said regulations were essential to ensure students and parents had the confidence that their interests were always “safeguarded”.

However, it pointed out that at no point should regulations become “adversarial”, adding they should in fact assist institutions in their efforts so that students realise their full potential.

The group appreciated Maszlee for his commitment to ensure “meaningful engagement between the various regulating agencies and the sector”.

“We therefore fully support the notion of ‘accountable-driven equity’ for institutions as proposed by the minister.

“We are highly encouraged that the minister is keen for the sector to work together with the ministry towards the formulation of a private higher education roadmap,” he said.

Emphasising an urgent need for regulatory reform, the association also called for an engagement by all political parties to make decisions on the basis of what is strategically important for Malaysia.

In a speech yesterday, Maszlee said the ministry was working to address the problem of “over-regulation” of private higher learning institutions.

He said increased accountability of schools and institutions was necessary for the quality of education to improve.

“The philosophy here is that schools, colleges, universities, districts and states would understand their own needs, strengths and weaknesses the best,” he had said in his speech at the Open Dialogue on Malaysian Education, organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli).

He stressed that while regulations were necessary to ensure quality, the government was working more on performance-based regulations so as not to stifle innovation.