PUTRAJAYA, 20 Aug 2008: The Private Higher Education Institutions Act 1996 needs to be amended based on the increasing progress and role of private institutions in the country, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin today.
He said the amendment was also necessary because of the increasing intake of students into private higher education institutions.
Intake, he said, was now at 340,000 students compared to 360,000 in public institutions.
“The foreign student intake is also high at 30,000 compared to 20,000 at public institutions,” Khaled told reporters after launching the Merdeka Month celebrations for his ministry today.
He said the amendment to the act would also see a similar allocation as the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (or its Bahasa Malaysia acronym AUKU) with regard to student rights and responsibilities.
Mohamed Khaled said the establishment of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) that oversees the quality of private educational institutions was another reason for the amendment.
On the AUKU, he said the act was going to have a second reading in the Dewan Rakyat as scheduled tomorrow.
Khaled said 61 sections out of 165 sections will be amended in the AUKU. He denied that the changes were just cosmetic.
“Amendments to the AUKU still maintain the same environment in universities, and are not meant to shackle students. It is only that some quarters want to politicise the issue,” he said. – Bernama