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Where The SPM Leavers Have Gone

by on February 22, 2015 | Useful Topics

During the whole of February, the media was splashing headlines on where the SPM leavers are heading and the possible reasons for them not showing up in the registers of private colleges and private higher education institutions.

So, just where are they? As the SPM results just came out, there is an even bigger question mark as to where these students are going next. The colleges and private institutions had been reporting that there had been a slow down in intake in January and that they are trying all means and strategies to ‘lure’ students to enroll in their colleges.

Reasons cited for the decrease in the intake into private colleges are:

  1. Education Ministry’s new policy for Form Six classes
    The Education Ministry’s new policy of offering Mathematics and Science subjects in English has been getting good response as the parents and students felt that with the English language, the students can stand a better chance of entering matriculation programmes. Where the past had seen students going for A-Levels and pre-university courses just to obtain the entry requirements into overseas universities, the new policy will enable the students to study in Form Six with the possibility of leading them to high education in the private sector.
  2. The merit system for entering the public universities
    The merit system for entering the public universities has encouraged students to enroll into Form Six classes, spending two years in the sixth form before deciding what field to specialize in.
  3. The Minimum Entry Requirement For Degree Courses
    Last August, the Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad declared that students must obtain a minimum of five credits at the SPM level for entry into any foundation or matriculation programme leading to a degree and three credits to enter into a diploma programme.

    This has resulted in a more difficult environment for students to enroll into private colleges.

  4. IT colleges / IT Field
    Students are under the perception that it is difficult to get jobs with IT qualifications, and the fact that many private colleges are IT-based have delayed the students’ decision into such colleges. The second reason for slower intake into IT-based colleges is that most students feel that the course is not value for money – as the exchange rate has resulted in higher course fees, especially for overseas programmes.

    Therefore, as a result, students opted for Pre-University or other areas of study.

  5. National Service programme
    The students that have entered the National Service programme will have to wait for the next intake into private colleges. Where the courses do not have second intakes (most of them being in January every year), education providers are looking into strategies like special intake during the year or even several intakes throughout the year.
  6. UTAR, AIMST, and 3 new private university colleges
    There exists stiff competition from private universities like UTAR, AIMST and three other newly established private universities college.

  7. Delay in decision
    Another reason for the slow intake into private colleges could be the students themselves are delaying their decisions. One reason for this could be that the parents are not pushing for the decision as the students could be working part-time. The other reason could be peer pressure to ‘hang around’ with a ‘look-see’ attitude.

Hence, in conclusion, the market is there as education is a necessary commodity but the decision to enroll is delayed due to the above-mentioned reasons. However as the exchange rate for UK and Australia is high, the possibility of students not studying in these places could give a 10-20% increase in enrolment into the private institutions here in the future.

Form Six student enrolment in Government Schools
Year Enrolment
January 2000 Form 6 (Lower & Upper) 47,998
January 2001 Form 6 (Lower & Upper) 65,611
June 2002 Form 6 (Lower & Upper) 81,833
Enrolment for STPM Exam Year 2003 (Upper Sixth only) 43,203

(The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy of the data)

Source: Studymalaysia Research Team

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