MALAYSIAN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS: INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

Since 2000 higher education institutions, particularly public universities in Malaysia have sought transformation to become more dynamic and responsive institutions that can meet global challenges and build an international presence. With the interest to becoming ‘center[s] of excellence’ and a regional education hub for South East Asia, public universities have developed a mission and adopted strategic planning to achieve their vision and objectives. To make sure it is achievable the Ministry of Higher Education has developed two master plans or blue prints; The National Higher Education Strategic Plan and National Higher Education Action Plan 2007-2010. Being owned and funded by the Malaysian government, public higher education institutions must ensure that their strategic objectives are in line with those of the Ministry (Malaysia Government, 2007).

In general, Malaysian higher education institutions are segregates by the type of organization, either public institutions or private institutions, and also by the level of academics, which they offer under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Higher Education. The Ministry of Higher Education also provides complete funding such as financial, human resources and technical supports, to all public higher education institutions through budget allocations as well as lump sum funding for development and capital expenditures. Because of their financial contributions, the ministry maintains authorities in the universities decision-making processes and direction. University autonomy in Malaysia should be contextually and politically defined since the Malaysian higher education system is under close state control and strict supervision (Regel, Salmi, Watkins, Tan, Dawkins, Sorayan, et. al., 2007).

The challenges facing the Malaysian higher education system in realizing its policy and objective acquire reforms from education provider to business oriented. Using Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is one of the approaches to transfer the current educational system to a management based system as seen in the corporate world. BPR is the drastic redesign of a business process used to gain dramatic improvements in performance measures such as cost, quality, service, and speed. By doing this, the higher education institutions in Malaysia will process a dramatic change. According to Doomun andJungum (2008), BPR is not about fine-tuning or marginal changes, rather it is for determined organizations willing to make substantial changes to achieve major performance improvements.