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The Ministry of Education formulates the national educational policy in terms of the goals and objectives set by the Prime Minister, Minister of Education, and the Cabinet. It prepares plans, programs, and projects periodically to fit into the national Five-Year-Plans. Although the country's constitution provides for decentralization of certain powers to the states, the federal Ministry of Education has throughout Malaysia's history played a superior role in laying down policies and guidelines for the state-level education departments, and at times, the district level officials in charge of education.

Unlike academia in many non-communist, developing countries keeping ostensibly away from business and industry, the Malaysian universities and research institutions have been very open in building bridges with the industry. Close collaboration among some university departments, research and development institutions, and the private sector have been promoted through the National Council for Scientific Research and development. This includes joint research projects with multinationals, who are a large part of Malaysia's economic development. A separate government organization, The Malaysian Technology Development Corporation is engaged in promoting linkages among companies, innovators, entrepreneurs, and financial institutions for the "commercialization" of university research projects. Notable is the "purpose-built" construction of high technology parks close to major universities to enable interaction between academia and industry and the optimum utilization of resources and capabilities of both. As the Ministry of Education proclaims, "the emphasis is on matching research and development efforts with market needs within a dynamic and flexible environment. This provides students with a unique learning opportunity where classroom knowledge can be immediately tested in a real-life business environment."


Kanji, Gopal K., Abdul Malek Bin A Tambi, and William Wallace. "Comparative Study of Quality Practices in Higher Education Institutions in the U.S. and Malaysia," Total Quality Management, May 1999.

Mohd Nor Wan Daud, Wan. The Concept of Knowledge in Islam: and its Implications for Education in a Developing Country, London: Mansell, 1989.

Nordin, Abu Baker. Improving Learning, an Experiment in Rural Primary Schools in Malaysia. New York: Pergamon Press, 1980.

Sato, Matsuo. Report and Recommendations of the President to the Board of Directors on a proposed Loan and Technical Assistance Grant to Malaysia for the Technical Education Project. Manila, Asian Development Bank, 1997.

Selvaratnam, V. Ethnicity, Inequality, and Higher Education in Peninsular Malaysia: the Sociological Implications. Singapore, National University of Singapore, 1987.

Wong, Francis Hoy Kee. Perspectives: the Development of Education in Malaysia and Singapore. Kuala Lumpur: Heinemann Educational Books, 1972.

—D. R. SarDesai

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Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceMalaysia - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education