04 March 2021

Study: ‘Implications for higher education internationalisation in Malaysia’

Study: ‘Implications for higher education internationalisation in Malaysia’

M.Miandy Munusamy, under the supervision Prof. Dr. Azirah Hashim from the Asia-Europe Institute, Universitii Malaya has carried out a PhD research on how the ASEM Education Process influences the process of internationalisation of higher education in Malaysia. The main conclusions of this study have recently been published in the journal AEI Insights, an International journal of Asia-Europe relations.

M.Miandy Munusamy is an Administrative and Diplomatic Officer of the Public Service Department, Malaysia. He was seconded to the ASEM Education Secretariat Jakarta from 2015 to 2016 and attached to the ASEM Education Secretariat Belgium in 2018 and 2019. In September 2017, he started his Doctorate study at Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti Malaya. His involvement in the ASEM Education Process (AEP) since 2009 spurred his interest in conducting this study to investigate the contribution of the AEP to the development and internationalisation of higher education of ASEM partners, in particular, Malaysia. During his attachment to the ASEM Education Secretariat Belgium in 2018 and 2019, data were collected from ASEM Education Senior Officials in Belgium, Austria and Romania through short interviews using Likert style questionnaires. Findings from the study have been incorporated into his research which is now completed. Miandy would like to thank all the ASEM Education partners for their valuable time, contributions and inputs.

Prof. Dr. Azirah Hashim is Professor at the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics and the Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti Malaya. She was former Executive Director, Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) and Founding Director of the Centre for ASEAN Regionalism at the Universiti Malaya and has been actively involved in ASEM Education meetings and in organising the ASEM-AEI Summer School since 2015. Currently, she is a FRIAS Senior Fellow and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), University of Freiburg. She heads the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence project on ASEAN and EU in Dialogue (2017-2021) at AEI and has been very much involved in ASEAN-EU research, seminars and outreach activities. Prof. Dr. Azirah Hashim, as a supervisor, has guided Miandy in developing the concept, analysis of data and planning of this article and the thesis.

In their study, M.Miandy and Prof. Dr. Azirah Hashim explored the implications of the AEP for the process of internationalisation of higher education in Malaysia. A qualitative study with semi-structured interviews was conducted with fifteen senior officers of the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia and five Malaysian research universities. The findings reveal that the AEP can play a major role in internationalizing Malaysian higher education through effective networking and strategic alliances. The four priority areas of the AEP have provided opportunities for Malaysia to work closely with European and Asian counterparts in the field of higher education. The findings can assist Malaysian higher education stakeholders to participate actively in the inter-regional platform to learn and share best practices and to formulate and revise policies on higher education internationalisation.The study has thrown some light on how interregional organisations are relevant for the Malaysian national government and higher education stakeholders to formulate and revise policies effectively.

As such, the findings would be useful and applicable for the internationalisation processes in higher education in other ASEM partner countries. Therefore, all ASEM partners and stakeholders are invited to share these findings with relevant institutions or policy makers and officials in their respective nations and higher education institutions.

Read the article in the ‘AEI Insights: An International journal of Asia-Europe relation’ of January 2021 edition (Volume 7, Issue 1) published by the Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti Malaya from p. 19-35.