During this era of globalization, more and more local universities in Malaysia offer various degrees for students who wish to further their studies. Most of the higher learning institution has quality but less qualified institution which not recognized by the Ministry of Education also exist. In Malaysia, there are two types of Institutions of Higher Education. These two types of institutions of higher learning are Public Institutions of Higher Learning (IPTA) and Private Institutions of Higher Learning (IPTS).
Higher education in Malaysia has achieved status as a strategic commodity exports. This policy has been welcomed by both bodies to establish various forms of private higher education institutions either alone or collaborate with institutions of higher education and local public institutions of higher education abroad. To ensure the growth of private higher education was conducted in healthy, Parliament has approved two related acts in 1996, the Private Higher Education Act (Act 555) and National Accreditation Board Act (Act 556).
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Private Higher Education Act to act organizing the establishment and management of private educational institutions in order to provide high quality educational environment for all the students especially for the students from our country, Malaysia.
Both types of institutions of higher learning must receive this recognition from Malaysians Qualifications Agency (MQA). The main role of MQA is to implement the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (Australian Qualifications Framework, MQF) as a foundation of higher education quality assurance system and a reference point national eligibility criteria and standards. MQA act as a single body overseeing and coordinating quality assurance and accreditation of higher education. MQA also functioned to maintain Malaysian qualification Register (MQR).
Multimedia University (MMU) is one of the many higher learning institutions which have been recognized by the ministry of higher learning and Malaysia Qualification Agencies (MQA). As the first government-proved of higher learning, Multimedia University (MMU) is not only recognized at Malaysia but at some of foreign country such as United Kingdom, Iran etc.. Nowadays MMU is recognized as one of the top private universities in Malaysia with nearly 20,000 students at both Melaka and Cyberjaya branch. In order to be a premier university that propagates the generation and dissemination of knowledge in cutting edge technologies, Multimedia University tries to improve their service each day with its mission to which are to deliver quality academic program based on state-of-the-art R&D, attract and nurture quality minds who will contribute towards the global knowledge economy, inculcate a strong research culture within a dynamic, efficient and effective team of academic and support staff, to be financially self-sustaining via education and the commercialization of R&D products and services.
Multimedia University (MMU) which has been established on 1996 and launch on 9 July 1999 by Malaysia 4th Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed plays an important role in providing a world class education within the area of study of telecommunication, multimedia computers, digital art, animation, information technology, software development, and management. Multimedia University which have launched by Malaysia Prime Minister at that current time, signified responsibility for it to be a fully world class institution and become a catalyst of MSC and also the nation.
The main purpose of this research project is to conduct a research on "What Bring Students to Study in Multimedia University (MMU)". Basically, many students intend to choose Multimedia University (MMU) rather than other universities. So, first of all, we would like to know what are the factors that encourage students to continue their studies in Multimedia University (MMU)? We also want to know what are the advantages of studying in MMU compared with other institutions of higher learning whether public institution or private institution. We also want to determine whether students choose to study at MMU because it has higher quality and recognized around the world or due to the other reasons.
This research was conducted to make sure that the Multimedia University (MMU) will always be listed as one of the top universities in Malaysia and throughout the world. We would also want to make sure that MMU will improve all the weaknesses and improve the administration system to ensure that students would receive good and quality services from MMU.
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The scope of this research would be based on students in Multimedia University (MMU) for Cyberjaya campus only. Students in Multimedia University (MMU) Melaka campus will not included in our research. Our result has indicated that students are most often to choose Multimedia University rather than other universities.
This is based on the statistics we have obtained during the gathering of information. The information clearly shows that students are more interested in choosing MMU as their preferred university compared with other universities.
To answer our research questions we handed out questionnaire that covers students' background to make findings as somewhat precise as possible. From question 1 to 5 that is located in chapter A, we ask for the respondent background or general information about them, such as faculty, source of finance and other that are related. Findings of the student background would help to see the pattern in student's background. If when various pattern found in student of MMU, we could conclude that MMU have student with various background and not just from a type/group in the society.
Question in section A, section B, and section C consist in, before, during and after timeline. The reason is students that interested in studying at Multimedia University Cyberjaya have different reasons in choosing MMU as place to continue their higher learning. Where some students concern in after affect of studying in MMU, and some maybe concern more in during studying in MMU. The result will help highlight the real advantages MMU Cyberjaya have from other universities, thus answering our research question.
With finding the advantages that attract student to MMU Cyberjaya within the before, during and after timeline, it could improve the understanding and find the more valid data from the MMU student themselves. Where from this findings MMU could emphasize more on this selected categories in their promotions, this would increase the effectiveness of promotion of MMU.
By knowing where or how the student most hear about MMU could help in finding the most efficient way of promoting Multimedia University. By now this research has the finding that could help in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency in promoting Multimedia University to future students. Thus this achieves the importance of the research, to promote Multimedia University.
The findings of the questionnaire would clarify our topic and answer our research questions which our findings are from current students in Multimedia University that we get by using questionnaire. It reaches our scope and also with various categories. Thus it will able us to have varieties of findings to get a better view or result from the students.
The combination of this component or synthesis of it should cover our issues and the whole research. Issues and the whole research that is including the research questions, problem and importance of the whole research itself. This literature helps in guiding how to find relevant information or findings, so that reaches the purpose and the importance of the research.
This research questionnaire which consist 10 questions, like stated above cover the student background, current and what they hope to achieve in the future as a Multimedia University Cyberjaya student. Question 1 until 5 will be covering the student background. This is important as result can be use in determining the Multimedia student trait. Student then will be put as a judge in deciding current Multimedia University Cyberjaya performance on the 6th to 7th question. On the 8th of the question, user needs to fill up their expectation in the future after graduating Multimedia University Cyberjaya. This question intended to be put up to know whether the student see a bright future at Multimedia University.
Why personal information is important for our research?
In this section, personal information is needed for our researches for us indentify from which faculty and level of study is they belonging to, the race of student which is compulsory for us to find the majority of student in MMU either they are international or local student.
In this section also we need to know how they manage their financial to study in MMU. For local student of course we know some of them might do loan from PTPTN or MARA but for international, we do not know either they been sponsored by certain organization or self paying.
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In section C, consist of 2 types of questionnaire which is multiple choices of question and open-ended question. For open ended, qualitative data is our greatest opportunity to get actionable information from this survey. The selection and composition of qualitative survey items is even more important than for quantitative items. This is because you cannot ask nearly as many items that require people to respond freely. At most, you can probably only ask a handful of such items, so it is important to get them right.
A widespread of expansion of higher learning institution in Malaysia is on arising nowadays. All institution keeps competing in order to be the best Universities. Multimedia University that were established on 1996 which are the first private government approved university at Malaysia that are designed to serve Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) and the wider community by creating diverse educational opportunities still going strong throughout the year. So questions arise, what brings student to MMU? Despite there is so much option aside from Multimedia University in higher learning sector, student still are coming every year without exception on local or international student.
Taken from the statistics of student's population in Multimedia University as at 31 December 2009, we found that it has reaches out to 20404 that include Multimedia University both of Melaka and Cyberjaya campus and affiliate Colleges. From 2005 to 2009, number of graduates increased year by year although slightly falling in 2007 onwards. This minor fall is only differ by less 30 student, thus this fall is could have many factors that we consider as ambiguous. Multimedia University student consist of student from various country and continent all over the world from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe where the totals of 75 countries excluding Malaysia and still counting.
Students that choose to study in Multimedia University are pursuing various level, from foundation to Master level and also Doctor of Philosophy level (PhD). As from the year 2000 to the year of 2009, the total number of graduates keeps increasing, and reached the grand total of 22840 on 2009 where the figure are collective of graduates of International and local students. Both numbers of international students' graduates increased since 2001.
When the numbers of graduates are broken down by levels, there is an uneven pattern of increase and decrease. Though the pattern of increase and decrease are not that significant the bachelor level (degree) in the year 2004, though it increase back on the following year till 2009. As caused of this is ambiguous as there would be various reasons to cause it to happen. But as a assumption on the decrease of degree students, as probably the event of tsunami hit Malaysia in 2004. That is most of the international student in Multimedia University pursue their study in degree level, rather than foundation or diploma.
From increasing of graduates year by year, we conclude that students are interested in continuing study in Multimedia University. Where student who are not interested would drop out and find better university that attract them most. That is because students keep complaining but they still continue their study in Multimedia University, this also shows that students interested and prefer to study in Multimedia University.
With this research we are able to narrow down some of the factors that contribute to make Multimedia University as one of their choices to pursue their study, where the result would not be precise of have definite answer. With this research would also find the most effective medium to promote Multimedia University as stated.
From the increase in the number of graduates each year from the year 2000, shows that numbers of students enrolled in Multimedia University increased. The ongoing increase also shows that Multimedia University have been the choice for many to pursue their study, thus this research is to find out what major factors that attract students to Multimedia University. The list of factors could be endless, for that this research would result in the narrowed down of the factors, as it is more manageable answers to the research questions.
As to support the purpose of this research, numbers of graduates are kept increasing thus showing students that enrolled in Multimedia University have been pursuing their study till they are graduating. As this to support the research questions, which is what factors that encourage the students to enter Multimedia University.
Multimedia University Melaka and Cyberjaya campus both have differences in numbers of faculty and courses offered at the particular campus. Where some courses are not provided or not available at either of the campus, this somehow balanced the margin of number of student differences. Faculties in Cyberjaya campus are Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Information Technology, Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Faculty of Management and Centre of Foundation studies and extension Education or mostly know as FOSEE. While in Melaka campus Faculty of Engineering Technology, Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Faculty of Business Law, Centre of Foundation Studies and Extension Education (FOSEE) and Centre for advance Diploma Program.
Multimedia University is in partners with many of companies and also other universities. They are also varies in expertise where, most of the faculty in Multimedia University had partnered with company and some of them very well known in the respective field. Faculty of Creative Multimedia is in partners with many media agencies and other universities outside Malaysia which is Faculty of Engineering is in partners with companies in the Research and development field (R&D). Faculty of Information Technology is in partners with various companies that are active in the information technology field.
According to the research by times online 'Good University Guide', universities are rated in 8 categories where the best universities have the highest accumulated score in the 8 categories. The 8 categories are student satisfaction, research quality, student and staff ratio, services & facilities spend, entry standards, completion, good honors, graduate prospects. Although this research is evaluating universities around United Kingdom, as for the method of evaluating an education institution there would not be a very much differences between universities in different country or continent.
The first category is student satisfaction it is the general overview of the student on the institution. This is the first to be evaluate because of the most important role in an institution are the students. Because of the students would probably end or stop to continue their studies in an unsatisfying institution. This is also the first category, because the students is the one that are using and interact with the staff and administration and system.
Next is the research quality, where research quality is also important as a medium portray capability of an institution to produce quality graduates. The research by the members of the university also portray the university have the knowledge to produce graduates that are relevant and able to be an contributor to the industry, where by these graduate can fulfill the industry needs that is not just knowledgeable worker but also hands on. This shows that the knowledge the graduates gained is relevant or met the knowledge needed in the real working world, and most importantly the graduates know to apply their knowledge.
Student and staff ratio is to evaluate the management of the institution. That is how well the institution manages to control the students and administer the whole institution. This will show how smooth or organize an institution are with the administrative task. Student and staff ratio can also show that is the students are taught in a small or large group. Either it is better and more effective to teach students in a smaller group. Not just ratio on lecturers, staffs in the non-educational division such as the administration are also important to make sure all the administrative task can be handling effectively and efficiently.
Service and facilities spend of an institution will show how the institution manage the welfare of their members, the students and also staff. Facilities provided such as sufficient labs for the students, and lecture halls that can accommodate the students in any given time. Facilities are not just the major infrastructure of an institution, where it is also important to provide minor facilities that would brings great benefits for example, sufficient parking spaces, sports complex, hostel or dormitory, food court, empty space/relocate space for events and also emergency. Other forms of services should be available for students are counseling and financial assistance to the students. Where by institution should assist in giving list or advertise to the students any financial assistance that is available to them to apply.
Entry standards are the entry requirements set by the institution, which is to check whether people are eligible to apply or to enroll in the chosen institution. Entry standards are for the institution to balance their standard and rating, where by an institution would prefer the quality students to enroll. And entry standard is where the students can get the expectation of the learning level of that institution. Where is institution with higher requirements most likely having the toughest level of learning?
Another category evaluate by the times online is completion, completion in their research is the number of student successfully completed their study. This somehow related with student satisfaction where student who are not satisfied with their university would most probably leave for a better institution. Either it may be an ambiguous factor on that. Good honors are the most common evaluation category for an education institution. Good honors in this means universities that produce the highest amount of students with high grades. As this also the point for parents and future student look for in a university as well as other features.
A graduate prospect is the future possibility or expectations of the graduate after completion of study. The institution with the highest score in this category means that, most of its graduates are employed and not just that, they become successful or become and important role in the community or society. Student from this institution were looked up by firms, companies and establishments as the university or institution has the good name of producing good future worker that meet their industry requirements.
The 8 categories made to evaluate the universities are very well combined, where as the research shows what is that particular university strength or advantage and also what that particular university lack of. This research can help evaluated universities to improve their service that is to win over students. And not just that it would be a great way to attract parents to invest their money to an education system that they can trust for their children.
From the research by times online we took out the categories to evaluate Multimedia University, that is to found out what attract the current students of Multimedia University of choosing Multimedia University as their choice of institution. This will help in our research to narrow down and uncover few ambiguities on factors that makes Multimedia University the chosen university among other university not just to the local student (Malaysia) but also the international student.
Nowadays there have been an increasing number of universities set up in Malaysia. Thus, every student knew that they must have to choose the best place for them to further their study. It is because it effects a lots of the students future life. For example, later on when they finishing their studies and applying for job position in one of the company in Malaysia or out of country, the company that the student applying for job might state that the student previous university is not recognize by that company and the certificate also might affected and probably the student will loosing the job even they have a good result. There is some of the cases that happen like this, but not most of the company will strictly doing that way, they might consider the student results. Whatever it is, the student must take an early precaution so that later on there is no problem like this will arise.
The student must know if the university that they want to enter is approval by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) or not. It is important for all of the university and colleges in Malaysia must have approval accreditation by The National Accreditation Board and recognition of programmed by professional bodies or by the public service department (JPA). According to our research, as required by section 38, Private Higher Education Act 555, all Private Higher Educational Institutions (PHEI) are not allowed to conduct any academic program without the approval from the Ministry of Higher Education. Therefore, Multimedia University is one of the private university's in Malaysia that had gone through all the process that required them to be approval by MOHE. Multimedia University also seeks for recognition by professional bodies such as Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and Malaysian Association of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA). It is necessary to have the recognition by these professional bodies to enable graduates from the programmes to gain professional recognition. In contrast, the recognition from Public Service Department (JPA) is necessary to enable graduates to be employed in the Public or Government sector. Without this, graduates can only gain employment in the private sector.
If all university in Malaysia had done the process of approval from this particular department, so the student can choose any of the university that we have and not being afraid if their certificate is not certified and they can't be employed. But what is exactly the main thing that important in choosing a right university? To answer this, we have to know student expectation on the university. According to my review on a research of Yvonne Hill, Laurie Lomas and Janet MacGregor, they states that there is four expectations that emerged in relation to what students perceived quality education to be. It includes quality of the lecturer, student engagement with learning, social or emotional support systems and resources of library and IT. Hence, all four expectations that they had state is the most important thing that every university should consider must have and apply. This review indicates that student expect more on learning technique and sources that they can easily get from university to proceed their study. Therefore, Multimedia University are one of the place that every student expect on. According to article of Reaz, M. Hussain, S., & Khadem, (2007), In a very short span of time, Multimedia University approaches the proliferation of digital learning systems, e-governance throughout the twin campuses, and the maximum implementation of multimedia-based features in the school system. Hence, this will support that Multimedia University always provides good services to all of their students. Even nowadays, Multimedia University had always upgrades their services to be better and to be the best among the rest.
In addition, Multimedia University had done many things in promoting the university to attract students from all over the country. According to Donaldson and McNicholas (2004), the reputation, nature of the courses, location and address, financial considerations, facilities, social climate of the department, programme structure and accreditation factors influence student choice of institution and course for studies. There are several criteria that attract student to further their study in university. It includes interest in the subject for example, personal preference, ability in handling the subject matter, challenging and enjoyable. It also includes influence of others such as advisors and parents. Besides that career also influence student in choosing their university. For example compensation in the way of earning potential and earning growth, job availability and growth in the way of employment opportunity and advancement opportunity and lastly job requirement that require to dealing with people and team work. Therefore, Multimedia University always do a research and survey to find out what that they have to do to improve their facilities and services to all students. This will help the universities to be alert with what are the needs and requirement that they have to provide and fulfill.
Multimedia University always gave a very detail specification and provide many resources about their universities in many source of information such as internet, web pages, TV and newspaper advertisement. Besides that Multimedia University also had done a very effective ways to promote or market their universities such as involving in education exhibition fair, distribute brochures and making posters. According to Mayer et al. (1999), communication technologies, such as CD's and DVD's in university advertising and web page properties, have been considered before. Brochures, posters, meetings, sponsorships and billboards, web pages, TV, and newspaper advertisement are mostly used as some communication tools for university selection. Therefore, it is important for every company including university to have all that it takes to promote and market their product or services.