Development of Higher Education in Malaysia: Issues and Challenges

  • Lorraine Pe SymacoEmail author
  • Chang Da Wan
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 39)


This chapter explores six decades of development of the higher education sector in Malaysia. The exploration begins by describing the context of higher education through a historical lens from the early establishments of universities in the First Malaysia Plan to the present. Furthermore, the changing roles and functions of universities across the decades were also examined to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the context. The chapter, then, focuses on the development of universities and higher education institutions in the public sector as well as the private sector, elaborating on the challenges and issues specific to each of these sectors. The last section of the chapter discusses selected issues of higher education in Malaysia, notably the changing state–university relationship, internationalisation of higher education services and the need for an inclusive higher education sector.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research in International and Comparative Education (CRICE)University of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.National Higher Education Research Institute (IPPTN)University Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia

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