Malaysia produces thousands of graduates per year and many of them had made themselves to the top ranks of companies and institutions of Malaysia as well as in foreign country. Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abas is one of the examples. Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abas is the 11th president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) who holds a degree in Political Science from Science University of Malaysia. In fact, these thousands of graduates were graduated from 2 types of universities exits in Malaysia. First, it is called as Public Institutions of Higher Education (PIHE) while second is called as Private Institutions of Higher Education (PvIHE). Malaysia had recognized Private Institutions of Higher Education (PvIHE) officially in 1996 .Currently, both PIHE and PvIHE are co-exist within the Malaysian higher education system. However, the characteristics between them remain an interesting subject to compare with among Malaysians. We will compare and contrast on several characteristics which are student races proportion, courses offered, costs of study, goals and staff poaching.
The student races proportion in both PIHE and PvIHE are different. The Malays has a bigger proportion in PIHE while the non-Malay has a bigger proportion in PvIHE. There are 3 main reasons that cause this to happen. First, only 10% of places are offer to non-Malay. Our ex-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamad said that the Cabinet of Malaysia had decided to allocate 10% of places in PIHE to non-Malay since 2003. The purpose is to help Malays to start integrate and cooperate with other races. They hope that this action may reduce the preconception toward the Malays. However, this action are not reduce the prejudice on Malays instead had increase the discrimination on them. Moreover, the second reason is the non-Malays nowadays are getting smarter. There is one benefit to study at PvIHE which is the students can choose whatever course they want. Compare to PIHE, the students has great chance not getting their first choice among limited offer of course. Since they know they have a very little chance to reach themselves to study in PIHE and course offer may different from the first choice, they had made they own plan earlier after their secondary education. Based on the survey done by Miss Tay TianYant that had published in the Malaysia Insider, she said that the Malays are still unchanged while the others had become smarter and knows how to plan their own future. Besides that, the third reason is students prefer to study oversea in a better university. Refer to the article of Dr Hus that had also published in Malaysia Insider on January 2010, he said the many Malaysian are studying oversea and most of them are Chinese and Indian. The reason is the students think that an efficient educational program should boost up the chances of finding a job and going up the career ladder. So, the students are more willing to pay a higher tuition fees to study in a famous university for example Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford. Thus, all these reason are significantly affected the student proportions in PIHE and PvIHE.
Next, we will discuss the differences in the courses offered in both PIHE and PvIHE. First, all course offered by PvIHE in Malaysia are subjected to the accreditation requirements of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). After accreditation, these courses will recognition by the government for the purpose of employment in the public sector. Furthermore, as for the PIHE, all degree courses offered are listed in the Ministry of Higher Education's website to allow students to make their decision during the university entrance application. Second, the subjects such as history, geography, political science, social work, sociology, anthropology and philosophy are not offered in PvIHE. According to Fuller (1999), programs such as history that is said to have no market value, was dropped by Taylor's College, a leading PvIHE provider which is now known as Taylor's University College. Third, the engineering programs offered by PvIHE are electrical, electronic, communication systems, information systems, along with a minority in civil, mechanical, mechatronics and environment. In contrast, engineering programs in PIHE generally encompass all aspects of engineering including highly specialized areas such as oil and gas, chemistry, marine, manufacturing, aeronautical and biotechnology. In this aspect, both PIHE and PvIHE play complementary roles. It is clear that PvIHE are more focus on courses that are popular and highly in-demand so that it is profitable. In conclusion, the comparison of courses from the listing for both PIHE and PvIHE clearly express the contrasting behavior between the tertiary education providers in Malaysia. PIHE provide a comprehensive approach to university education whereas PvIHE are predominantly cater to the market demand in the choice of courses being offered.
After that, let us compare the cost of study of both PIHE and PvIHE. The cost of study of PIHE is significantly lower than PvIHE. For instance, the study of Bachelor of Arts (hons) Graphic Design and Multimedia in Univesity of Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) cost a student RM34k-RM38k.The study of same course in Tunku Abdul Rahman College (KTAR) will cost around RM9.9k- RM11-6k. Both UTAR and KTAR are PvIHE. Now let us see the tuition fees for studying the same course in some PIHE. Univesity of Malaya (UM) cost RM 8,560.60 while Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) cost around RM3600-RM4000. The reason of the extraordinary difference of the cost of study is because the students who study at PIHE are heavily subsidized by the government of Malaysia under ministry of high education instead the students who study at PvIHE have to pay the full fees. In addition, the second reason that the cost of study are difference is because most of the PIHE provide accommodation while the student in PvIHE have to rent their own rooms in the surrounding area which cost them higher. Then, the third reason of the difference cost of study is because the expenses The expenses here included the salary of lecture and staff, general bills, renter of land and equipment, maintenance fees and other expenses. Since, the PIHE is subsidized by the Government of Malaysia, all the expenses are paid by government of Malaysia in half or in full. In contrast, the PvIHE have to charge at a higher tuition fees to cover all the expenses. Refer to Table 1 and Table 2, we can see the estimation of total tuition fees for bachelor degree programmes, we can see there is a big gap at the tuition fees of both PIHE and PvIHE. In conclusion, cost of study is one of the main concerns of students when they apply for tertiary education.
The similarity of PIHE and PvIHE is both of them have the same goals to be achieved and same mission to be complete. One of the goals is act as a factory that producing professionals. For example, one of the goals the listed in the official website of University of Malaya (UM) and University Tunku Abdul Rahman(UTAR) is engage in continuous self-improvement and professional growth, support the professional development of others, and display positive leadership and professional behaviors and disposition for effective practice. In other word, give a professional practice for the students. The next goal is to abolish the previous "food-feeding" education system. For instance, one of the goals the listed in the official website of University of Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and UTAR is increase the quantity of major research program conducted to allow the students broaden the horizons of knowledge and understand the importance of seek answers to problems. In short, allow students to learn how to learn. Third, a goal which can always found in the official website of UTAR, UM, UNIMAS or all university is promoting a civilization life. In conclusion, the goals of all university are roughly the same. However, the only different is how the university uses the language to demonstrate their goals in their official website.
Furthermore, their second similarity is staff poaching occurs in both PIHE and PvIHE. For the past two decades, PvIHE have grown remarkably with significant increase in the numbers of institutions being upgraded from college to University College or university. For example, Taylor's College is upgraded to Taylor's University College. With the upgraded status, these PvIHE can now offer academic programs at a higher level, such as Master and doctoral degree. As a result, there is highly increasing in the demand for faculty with higher qualifications to cater to growing needs of PvIHE in offering higher level programs, in accordance with the minimum quality compliance. Moreover, staff poaching among the PvIHE is common and has been pointed out as one of the reasons for the lack of training provision for their staff. In such circumstances, staff poaching between PIHE and PvIHE is more likely to happen, given the greater proportion of doctorates in PIHE. As pointed out by Lee (2004b), to overcome the shortage of academics, PvIHE hire a substantial number of part-time lecturers either from the respective industries or from the more established universities. Therefore, PvIHE can be seen as competing with PIHE to tap the scarce resources of trained faculty and that clearly reflects the competing role between the institutions in this respect. In conclusion, we cannot forfeit the occurrence of staff poaching since it has become a common practice.
In conclusion, the students have to get know about the cost of the course and their family financial ability. If their family financial ability is strong, they can go to study at PvIHE and choose their favorite course else they have to fight for a place in PHIE. In addition, they have to take concern of the lecture qualification too. Thus, the students really have to think twice before they enter for any type of university as their decision made influence their future.
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