Upcoming IPTS Roadmap 2019-2025 to restore integrity, says Maszlee

Education Ministry is currently drafting the roadmap, and it will be made public once launched

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By BERNAMA

The government is committed to upholding academic integrity at private higher learning institutions (IPTS) via the upcoming IPTS Roadmap 2019-2025, said Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

The assurance is in line with the Pakatan Harapan government’s approach to allow more lenient regulations for the private institutions, especially in granting autonomy to the IPTS administration.

Maszlee said the ministry is engaging with private education providers to understand the sector’s expectation and challenges faced, which include regulation and governance.

“The roadmap is not there yet. This is where our continuous engagement to get all the players in the private education industry to come together (and work) with the ministry, to come out with the roadmap,” he told reporters after opening a dialogue session on the Malaysian education system yesterday.

Maszlee said the ministry would re-look at its approach towards the IPTS sector for the government to play a more facilitative role to empower the private learning institutions for future growth.

“This is especially relevant for the IPTS that have too long been over-regulated.

While regulations are necessary to ensure quality, we are working on more performance-based regulations so that innovation is not stifled,” he said, assuring a win-win solution to resolve the matter.

Maszlee assured that the six-year roadmap would address the importance of academic integrity, which have been jeopardised by “profit-first” mentality applied in some private colleges.

He added that the ministry is currently drafting the roadmap, and it will be made public once launched.

In August last year, The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) reported that several private colleges were not adhering to the law by allowing shareholders to make decisions based on profit consideration, including on issues which affect education quality.

An industry source then claimed that many private colleges were “shell companies without proper staff” and all financial matters were run by the parent firm instead of the management.

Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities president Datuk Parmjit Singh, however, considered the “profit-first” private colleges as an isolated issue.

Private learning institutions will not survive by relying on its profitability, with many colleges shut down, he told TMR on the sidelines of the dialogue.

“In education business, you cannot aim for profit but instead quality. When you aim for quality, the institution will be successful and by virtue of that will also be financially sound and profitable.

“Profits in education should be considered a byproduct of reputation and quality.

“I believe more than 90% of universities are practising the right governance policy (and carry the same business model). Maybe there are some of them who did not, which the authority should keep a close eye on,” he pointed out.