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The development of Malaysian higher education: Making sense of the nation-building agenda in the globalisation era

Chang-Da Wan (National Higher Education Research Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, George Town, Malaysia)
Morshidi Sirat (National Higher Education Research Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, George Town, Malaysia)

Asian Education and Development Studies

ISSN: 2046-3162

Article publication date: 9 April 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Universities in Malaysia, particular public universities, have been tasked not only with the traditional focus on the pursuit of knowledge, but also the important role of nation-building. The purpose of this paper is to explore the nation-building agenda in the development of Malaysian higher education in the globalisation era.

Design/methodology/approach

Grounded within the literature of nation-building and globalisation and neoliberalism, the approach of this paper examines the development of higher education in Malaysia across time.

Findings

Two particular aspects in the Malaysian higher education that have seen tension and changes emerging from the interaction between globalisation and nation-building are: the medium of instruction and hybridisation in universities.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates the ways in which universities have adapted in terms of the medium of instruction between the Malay language and English, as well as hybridisation that has taken place as a result of globalisation on the local vision, structure and characteristics of Malaysian universities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper is based on a larger research project entitled “East-West-Islamic Tradition and the Development of Hybrid Universities in Malaysia” led by Morshidi Sirat and Chang Da Wan, with co-researchers Molly N.N. Lee, Hazri Jamil, Munir Shuib, Guat Guan Toh and Nur Rafidah Asyikin Idris. The funding of the project is from Universiti Sains Malaysia Research University Grant: 1001/CIPPTN/816264.

Citation

Wan, C.-D. and Sirat, M. (2018), "The development of Malaysian higher education: Making sense of the nation-building agenda in the globalisation era", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 144-156. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEDS-07-2017-0068

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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