The role of Higher Education in promoting cyber entrepreneurship in


Higher Education is producing an ever increasing number of graduates and in their other hand government policy to promote self-employment or small medium enterprises as a viable career option, not least because of the fierce competition for "large firm" jobs in the graduates labors market. Demand from employer in the graduate's job market has continuing in increasing trend but the number of opportunity offer by the job market continuously declining.

Entrepreneurship is being seen as a vital source of competitiveness and the engine for economic growth and development. Entrepreneurship activity among the graduates in Higher Education is one of the key to unlock the unemployment problem among the graduates. In addition, comprehensive action to encourage entrepreneurship among the graduates is increasingly being recognized by political and economy bodies as one of the keys to unlock greater comparative in employment opportunity.

Keywords: Higher Education, Entrepreneurs, cyber entrepreneur, graduate entrepreneurship and career in entrepreneurship.


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1.The Higher Education (HE) sector has become a popular feature of many areas of business and management research. Specifically, the interest of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurships associated with business development and considers what role higher education has play within these environments.

2. Education is a long continuous process in life. Students basically need to spend at least 6 years in primary school and another 4 to 6 years in secondary school before they can go for employment or continue their study in higher education.

3. In pursuing their education, most of them will be awarded with scholarships or education loan from government body or from any other financial institutions.

4. Student with clear objective will usually get through the education process. At the same time we should also realize the fact that some students will end up half way due to financial constrain, academic failure, lack of motivation, no clear objective, etc

5. Another problem faced by students, normally is job opportunity, long wait and queue to be employed. Parents seems facing dilemma whether to send their children to college without any job promising prospect, or to let them to work in order to reduce or minimize financial constrain.

Hansads Reports from Malaysian Parliament shows there were great concerned among the members of the parliament regarding entrepreneurship program in Malaysian Hei's is as follows:

6. Global unemployment rate is showing an increasing trend. Many factors contributed to the phenomena. This issues can be viewed from two perspective, which is global view and micro view.

7. From the global view, unemployment rate is contributed by many aspect such as collapse of the global economic system, recession, reduce in demand etc. The micro view claimed that unemployment rate contributed by external factors such as: attitudes, un ability to compete in the job market etc.

8. Reports from Bank Negara reveal that total population in Malaysia in the year 2007 were approximately 27.17 Million. Out of it, the total population for Malaysian age between 15-64 years were reported at about 17.62 M or 65% of the total population.

9.In year 2007 there were 3.516 M student age between 17 - 23 years. Out of that as many as 351,585 students pursue their study in higher education and apparently 210,950 graduates enter the job market.

10.There is no specific data on numbers of unemployment. Some claim that the unemployment numbers is between 50000 to 80 000. The closes reliable data released shows that out of 17.24 M the unemployment rate were 3.5 % 60,340

11.Entrepreneurship is being seen as a vital source of competitiveness and the engine for economic growth and development. According to (Nabi, G., & Holden. R, 2008). Entrepreneurship activities among the graduatse in Higher Education are one of the key to unlock the unemployment problem among the graduate. (European Commission, 1998) suggested that comprehensive action to encourage entrepreneurship among the graduates is increasingly being recognized by political and economy bodies as one of the keys to unlock greater comparative in employment opportunity.

12.DR.22.03.2007 Ministry of Entrepreneur organizing program scheme for unemployment graduate. Among others program outline are:

Graduate Entrepreneur program

Graduate Franchise Program

Techno-proneur program

Incubator graduate program

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13. DR.01.07.2008 Some members of parliament argued, without proper program, Hei's will produce low quality graduate which will cost more problem to the nation and government should encourage entrepreneurship spirit and find ways to commercialize the creativity and innovative ideas among the graduate

14. E-commerce on the other hand offers an opportunity for students at college level to become entrepreneur and start business with minimum capital without ignoring the education. This method or channel of business would offer unlimited potential.

15. With the government backup such as incentives and assistance, those who venture or start this model of e-commerce can grow fast and big, with unlimited potential customers.

There is a hope and belief that if students were exposed to e-commerce they can be guided to be more organized, more focus and self finance, thus achieve financial freedom and since the e-commerce setup is virtual , when they complete their study, they can take their business on their own without associating with the prior e-commerce model

16.Many researchers suggest that Higher Institutions should place to boost up the entrepreneurial spirit. (Kirby, 2002; David, 2006) identify the universities is the place where knowledge is developed, transformed and practice.

Higher Education in Malaysia

17.There has been an increasing number of Malaysia in search of tertiary education in recent years. Therefore a comprehensive higher education plan should first be prepared so that the expansion and development of higher education will be in line with the aims of the Ninth Malaysian Plan (MP9). Specifically, private universities in Malaysia need a structure their tertiary master plans by analyzing the needs and objectives of prospective academics.

18.One aspect of an ideal educational objective is that it continues to produce university graduates with a high capability of becoming valuable parts of the country's human resources in all areas. Thus, this objectives need to be sympathetic to the current development of Malaysia, they should also be able to continue contributing to the building of Malaysia into a quality nation.

19.The Malaysian government also needs to match this ideal objective with its existing resources, and if the resources are not sufficient, efficient and intact, the objective will need to be revised; for example, by allocating appropriate personnel to appropriate responsibilities, training the individuals efficiently, taking a fresh look at the structure of higher education bodies, and revising the higher education process to continuously improve it. In the context of the advanced developing nations, Malaysia has set a good example by coping with any problems and challenges that have arisen as it expands its higher education (Hussin, 2004). At the time of independent in 1957, Malaysia had only one university. Now it has increased to 20 public universities and 18 private universities (until 2007) that also offer excellent academic services. This has reflects that for developing nation's education is the main component for nation growth.

20.In general, higher education institutions can be categories into two major components - the Public and Private Universities. These universities run undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and also offer diplomas and matriculations for undergraduate programmes. The public universities are universities that are fully controlled and funded directly by the federal government and public sector (Selvaratnam, 1992). There are currently twenty public universities in Malaysia, established between 1962 and 2007. All this universities offering various disciplines namely UM, USM, UKM, UTM, UPM, UUM, UNIMAS, UMS, UPSI, UiTM, USIM, UDM, UMT, UTeM, UTHM, UniMAP, UMP, UMK, UPNM, and IIUM.

21.On the other hand, private universities in Malaysia vary from the universities that are supported by government business agencies (e.g. Multimedia University of Malaysia, National Power University of Malaysia, Petroleum National University of Malaysia), to those supported by political parties in the present government alliances (e.g. University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), an education arm of the Malaysian Chinese Association, a political party). In addition, there are also some branch campuses of foreign universities here (e.g. the campuses of Monash University and the University of Nottingham). There are also numbers of local private universities own by individual owners. In brief, there are sixteen private universities at this moment, catering to a high demand for the tertiary education in Malaysia. Higher education also consists of nearly five hundred private colleges to support this demand from a rapidly developing country. Details of the private universities and years of establishments (see table 1.1).

22. Table 1.1: Private Universities in Malaysia

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Year established


Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP)



University Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN)



Universiti multimedia (MMU)



Universiti Industri Selangor



Universiti Sains dan Teknologi Malaysia (MUST)



Universiti Terbuka Malaysia (UNITEM)



Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)



International Medical University (IMU)



Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL)



Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR)



University Terbuka Wawasan (WOU)



University Antarabangsa Al Bukhari (AIU)



Monash University Malaysia (MUM)



University of Nottingham in Malaysia (UNiM)



Curtin University of Technology Sarawak (CUTS)



Swinburne University of Technology (SUT)



Asia e-University (AeU)



Al Madinah International University (MEDIU)


Source: Ministry of Higher Education, 2008 (

23.There were twelve private universities, two virtual universities and branch campuses of four foreign universities, as until 2007. The private universities have been vested with the right to award their own degrees at all levels, and the foreign universities award identical degree programs as at the host university. This will obviously mean that academic staff numbers must have increased. Table 1.2 shows the total number of academics staff according their qualification from the year 2001 until 2007. The data show that huge demands for academics.

24. Table 1.2: Number and Qualification of Academics in Private Universities (2001 - 2007)

















































Source: Ministry of Higher Education, 2007 (

25. The programmes offered based on the field of study in private institutions of higher learning (IHls) includes social sciences programmes, science and technology programmes and technical and vocational programmes. Since establishment of the private universities ministry shows, that private IHLs offered more social science programmes rather than science and technical programmes. There are reasons for this. First, private universities have found by individuals or organizations. Therefore, they faced financial instability to offer more technical and science based programmes. Second, social science programmes required less capital, equipment, land and manpower to operate and maintenance. Finally, the demand for social science programmes is very huge due to educational policy which focuses on art stream in 1970s and 1980s. Consequent of this, more social sciences programmes becomes choices for young generation. Table 1.3 shows the details of the programmes offered by private IHLs.

Table 1.3: Programmes offered based on field of study by private universities

Programmes offered / Years





Social sciences programmes





Science and technology programmes





Technical and vocational programmes










Source: Ministry of Higher Education, 2007 (

26. The development of the higher education sector in Malaysia, consisting of public and private institutions, looks encouraging when considering the increasing number of institutions in recent years, but this does not mean that the demand for tertiary education in Malaysia is fulfilled. From the Nine Malaysian Plan (2006-2010) has focused to achieve the target of 40 per cent enrolment rate of the age group 17-23 years in 2010.

27. According to (King, 2003), there were not many research that focuses on graduate careers in a non-traditional context specifically graduate entrepreneurial careers in terms of entrepreneurial intentions and developmental experiences. More research needed in this area with the increasing numbers of students considering or pursuing entrepreneurial careers (Robertson and Wilkinson, 2006; Harding, 2007; Holden et al., 2007) and the diverse range of contexts in which graduates pursue an entrepreneurial career.

28. Secondly, there is a large body of research on entrepreneurship in general (Bridge et al., 2008; Henry et al., 2003), but much less so on graduate entrepreneurship (which as noted below has been distinguished from non-graduate entrepreneurship).

29.This is consistent with the ISBA Consortium (2004, p. 8) report conclusion that "the literature is generally broad, fragmented and growing" and, critically, that "despite a wealth of literature from business and management and other disciplines, only a minority focus on graduate entrepreneurship" (p. 10).

30.There is a continuing interest in graduate entrepreneurship intentions and attitudes thus it is important to understanding there is potentially increasing the number and sustainability of graduate start-ups. In relation to graduate start-up support, there are relatively few studies that focus on student/graduate enterprise and entrepreneurship education in varied and multiple contexts.

31.Graduate entrepreneurship (and entrepreneurship education) in a narrower perspective, also known as students/graduates who are in the process of starting up or trying to start up their own businesses and are learning skills for starting up a business

32.This is important because lessons may be learned and shared about curriculum development and the relative impact of different approaches used towards enterprise/entrepreneurship education and training Whilst accepting that there is debate around the meaning of graduate entrepreneurship (see, Nabi et al., 2006a for example), in broad terms, it can be defined as the interaction between the graduate as the product of university education and business start-up in terms of an individual's career-orientation and mindset towards self-employment

33.(European Commission, 2003; ISBA Consortium, 2004; Nabi et al., 2006a).

different emphasis, definitions tend to evolve around the notion that starting up or

trying to start up a business as representing an aspect of entrepreneurship (see Nabi

et al., 2006a for more detailed discussion)

Kirby (2004), do throw a question regarding HE's program, weather there are they trying to develop enterprising graduates or entrepreneurial graduates

34.Moreover, it is important to realize that the concept of the graduate entrepreneur is changing and evolving, and who and what constitutes a graduate entrepreneur is shifting from a skills-based agenda (looking at the tools and capabilities for start-up) to an entrepreneurial identity agenda (looking at the maturity of students/graduates, what it might be like to be a graduate entrepreneur, an understanding of themselves and the entrepreneurial lifestyle).

Indeed, some of our research (Nabi et al., 2006b) and one of the papers in this special issue, by Hegarty and Jones, further addresses the notion of the graduate entrepreneur. In particular, the latter authors recommend that

"enterprise programmes should also focus on the aim to develop student

Understanding of what entrepreneurs do, why they are important to the economy and more importantly to society".

2.3 Entrepreneurial Graduates

Graduate students playing a crucial role in patterning the future of our nation. Quality student will positively contribute in ensuring the continuous sustainable growth in all aspect nation development. Not only on the economy, but also in minimizing the social problems.

Current scenario shows, many social problems occurred, indirectly reflected by the quality of our graduate students. High rise of unemployed graduate, increased numbers on mental illness cases caused by social problem such as drugs trafficking, crime, etc.

Student should be guided continuously and motivated. Only by motivation student will perform better in what ever there are involved. Students will do better and improved in their performance if there are crystal clear on what there are doing and what end result there are expecting.

Moreover, it is important to realize that the concept of the graduate entrepreneur is changing and evolving, and who and what constitutes a graduate entrepreneur is shifting from a skills-based agenda (looking at the tools and capabilities for start-up) to an entrepreneurial identity agenda (looking at the maturity of students/graduates, what it might be like to be a graduate entrepreneur, an understanding of themselves and the entrepreneurial lifestyle). (Thomas W. Z,1994) define entrepreneur as person who creates a new business in the face of risk and uncertainty for the purpose of achieving profit and growth by identifying opportunity and assembling the necessary resources to capitalization.

There is also endless discussion around types of entrepreneurship. Reynolds et al., (2004) distinguish between opportunity entrepreneurship and necessity entrepreneurship.

In this article, I would like to table for discussion on another type of entrepreneur, which is cyber entrepreneurship.

According to Carrier et al., (2004) Information technology is changing the world in more prominent than any other technology in the history of mankind. European Commission, (1997) had identifies there are two types of firm using IT technology in business. First is the firm with physical presence traditional company using Internet as a new distribution channel or also said as logical extension of their traditional business. Second the dotcoms, internet startups business.

With the evolvement of Internet technology and cyber world, it is very crucial for Government policy makers and HE's management to seriously considering this medium to transforming graduate into self employment.

2.5 Cyber entrepreneur

There are very little research done which promoting the term cyber entrepreneurs. There were some studies which referring the technology base entrepreneur with various term such as: IT Techno-entrepreneur were derived from the word "technology entrepreneur", will be interchangeably used with the word entrepreneur in order to relate that techno-entrepreneurship are the subset of entrepreneurship. (Christian S., 2009) defined cyber-entrepreneur as an individual who creates a firm that is essentially founded upon e-commerce, and whose main activities are based on the exploiting networks, using internet, intranets and extranets.

Cyber entrepreneurship is still in it emergent phase and there is more to know about the phenomena and the element in venture creation process (Carrier et al., 2004; Jiwa, Lavelle. & Rose, 2004; martin & Wright, 2005)

We can conclude the terms cyber-entrepreneurship or cyber-entrepreneur can be referred to any start-up business or any attempt to exploit the information technology for business purposes and intended to gain profit in return. Those persons who set out to be IT entrepreneurs are often seen as special, brave, strong, or else well connected to sources of start-up income beyond those that could reasonably expect to obtain.

Technology entrepreneurship, the act and process of creating new, technology-intensive start-ups, is a subject of increasing importance in many parts of the world. Entrepreneurship in parts of South East Asia especially Malaysia has recently undergone rapid revitalization.

(Reina et al., 2008) stressed virtual or cyber based business in general have not yet reach the required level of maturity that would leave a lasting impact on the way company conduct electronic base business. Meanwhile the term Information Technology Techno-entrepreneur arose from within Malaysian culture to describe an individual whose entrepreneurial endeavors focus on to Information Technology oriented enterprise.

Ministry of Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development (MEDC) reported in 2007 annual report, reported to adjust and strengthened it direction from increasing number of entrepreneur of entrepreneurs, to focusing on developing quality techno entrepreneurs who are at par with the international entrepreneur.

2.6 Opportunity for HE's graduate to venture into entrepreneurship

Turn ball et al, (2001) find out after sitting on the entrepreneur course, students attitudes towards entrepreneurship moved from negative to neutral. And lane, 2002 suggested mentoring activity is effective in changing perception towards entrepreneur.

Comprehensive study done by (National Higher Education Research Institute [IPPTN], Feb 2003) on the unemployed graduate outlined the list of suggestion to improve the unemployment graduate. The final reports which were produced in Bahasa Malaysia outlined:

Expose student in HE's in self employment potential.

Provide entrepreneurship infrastructure in HE's

Appoint entrepreneur Counselor

Provide entrepreneur fund

Develop an entrepreneur curriculum

Skills training for graduating students

Support and involvement by HE's

2.7 How HE's can initiate a cyber entrepreneurship activities

Government and policy makers as well as HE's administrators should look for possibilities on imposing cyber entrepreneurship activities to those are interested. Followed are some possible approaches can be adapt by HE's in initiating and inspiring the cyber entrepreneurship activities in Malaysian education institution.

In order to create interest and increase awareness, classroom education method is not the only approaches can be used. HE's can also used the alternative methodology to promote entrepreneurship.

(Alperstedt and Henrique, (2006) introduced a Business Plan Competition as a alternative teaching methodology to promote entrepreneurship. The competition was coherent with its proposal of developing the entrepreneur interest into the participant. The study carried out, does not explore the implementation possibilities the business plan or creating their own enterprise after word. This writing would like to proposed some amended entrepreneur start up model which originally proposed by (Martyn. R. and Amanda. C, 2003), together with the methodology proposed by (Alperstedt and Henrique,(2006).

During the plan period, enrolment in tertiary education institutions of all levels is expected to increase to 1, 326, and 340 in 2010 with 32.3 per cent at first degree and 35.8 per cent at diploma. To cater for the projected demand for tertiary education, the public universities not capable to fulfils. Therefore the present of the private universities play an important role in fulfilling the demand and nation growth.