SHAH ALAM - Encouraging more students to think local when planning for their degrees could help stabilise the ringgit's value in the long term, says an educationist.
UiTM Arshad Ayub Graduate School of Business director Assoc Prof Dr Jaafar Pyeman said a significant number of Malaysians leave the country in August and September each year to study overseas.
"The ringgit is exchanged for the currencies of the countries these students are heading to, hence the money is being taken out of Malaysia's economy and pumped into the economies of these countries.
"Simply put, we end up with less control of the demand and supply of our ringgit, therefore the ringgit may be prone to depreciation," he explained.
In order to counter this, Dr Jaafar said it was high time that Malaysians thought local in terms of education, since many universities were now offering courses in collaboration with popular international universities.
By doing this, the money spent on education would contribute to the Malaysian economy, thus helping to strengthen the ringgit's value in the long run, he noted.
"For the Government, instead of sending all its scholars overseas, it can choose public universities, many of which are recognised by international tertiary institutions as well as industries on a global scale.
"For instance, UiTM's Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme, which is in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, costs only RM10,000 for a one-year course.
"The same course overseas, by the same international institution, costs around RM100,000 (S$3,582) at the very least he said.