MALAYSIA - The initiatives towards transforming Malaysia into an education hub are showing good signs.
Malaysia is now ranked 11th in the World Education Service Report in relation to preferred destinations for higher education.
In 2010, more than 86,000 international students from Asia and the Middle East chose Malaysia as their higher education destination. It provides a place of study for students from some 100 nations.
Today the enrolment has reached 93,000. It is hoped that the higher education sector will contribute between RM34 billion (S$13 billion) and RM61 billion to the gross national income by 2020.
The National Higher Education Strategic Plan, gave emphasis to comprehensive internationalisation efforts capable of making Malaysia a regional hub with a 200,000 international student enrolment by 2020.
At the same time there have been efforts taken in transforming Malaysia into an exporter of educational services.
The Educity project in Iskandar corridor is built to provide access to high-quality education and training for both international and domestic markets. Educity at Nusajaya in Johor is positioned to be a regional education hub and destination for quality world class education.
The campus at Educity Iskandar is now shared by internationally acclaimed universities such as Newcastle University which is offering medicine and biomedical sciences courses, University of Southampton with its engineering courses and Reading University with its business courses.
At the same time, the Maritime Institute of Technology and Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and Marlborough College Malaysia are also located there. Students from these universities live together in one giant international student village and share sports and leisure facilities.
Another education hub has also been established in Cyberjaya. Cyberjaya's inception in 1997 as a key component of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) and Malaysia's first intelligent city was borne out of the nation's need to move forward to a knowledge-based or K-economy.