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NEW WEB SITE ON LOCAL EDUCATION

The News Straits Times, 31 December 1998

By Shyla Sangaran

STUDENTS can now use the newly-launched Study Malaysia Online Web site to identify institutions of higher learning that offer information technology (IT) courses. The site provides online information on educational institutions. Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak said the Web site was created in response to the Government’s drive to export education and for the country to become an educational hub in the region. It would serve as the online platform to promote study opportunities in Malaysia, under one electronic umbrella, to the international community,:” he said at the launch of the Web site in launch of the Web site in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. At the event, he also launched The Education Guide Malaysia 5th Edition.

According to Najib, the Web site is expected to become a platform for foreign students and those who are interested to further their education in Malaysia. As of October, 11,733 foreign students are studying in 12 institutions of higher learning here compared to 5,635 students in 1996.“Education is an important service sector and the needs of the customers (students) must be taken care off. Private institutions advertising in the Web site must not neglect their responsibilities to create a favourable image to students.” As a safeguard, the Public Services Department (PSD) will be monitoring the materials on the home page to check whether the information is clear and genuine.“ Any private institutions advertising false information will be taken strict action against. This is to maintain that the quality of local education is as good as foreign education,” Najib said.

The Web site and the book are produced by Challenger Concept (M) Sdn Bhd, and supported by the PSD, the Education Ministry, the Association of Private Colleges, and the National Association of Private Educational Institutions. More than 100 institutions of higher learning have given details of their courses to the book and Web site.Challenger Concept’s managing director Tan Mui Hong said the company had invested between RM30,000 and RM40,000 to create the Web site.

The content was completed by final-year students of Kolej Bandar Utama who will also be in charge of the technical aspects of the Web site. Updated weekly, the site is accessible at http://www.studymalaysia.com. Among the features available on the site are Course Directory (latest courses offered). Profiles of Colleges and Universities (institutions’ up-to-date profiles and their expertise), Edu-Info (write-ups on higher educational development) and Edu-Financing (scholarship schemes).

There is also a Career Link which allows graduates to list their resumes on the Internet in order to seek employment opportunities locally and abroad, and Cyber Study News which allows institutions to post their news regularly. In addition, the Web site features Students Enrolment Status Check that allows applicants from around the world to check the status of their applications.

The site also includes a page on PSD which contains information on the Department of Private Education, the Education Ministry, statistics and data, circulars and bulletin and contact details. Information on the PSD page is available in Bahasa Melayu and English. Challenger Concept together with PSD and the Education Ministry plans to launch a new Study Malaysia Handbook in March next year, which include information on studying and living in Malaysia.