Graduates with East-West knowledge more employable in global economy

KUALA LUMPUR: Graduates with knowledge of the East and West will be more employable in the global economy while collaboration among Western and Eastern universities are deemed crucial in preparing global talents.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said collaboration among the Western and Eastern institutions of higher learning would be more crucial now, more than ever, in developing global graduates with balanced knowledge of the East and West.

"Graduates with knowledge and experience of both power blocks will be more employable in the global economy," he said in his speech at the EURIE (Eurasia Higher Education Summit) 2018 in Istanbul today.

The text of his speech was made available here today.

Before some 2,500 delegates comprising educators from the Eurasian region and other parts of the world, Idris said Malaysia had a comprehensive approach in redesigning higher education for Industry 4.0 and welcomed international collaboration, especially on student mobility, academic mobility and research collaboration.

"A significant amount of research pursued by Malaysian academics is done through international collaboration with 196 countries and we have funding agencies from the UK and Japan. Between 2012 and 2017, over 55,700 publications were co-authored between Malaysian and international researchers.

"At the same time, we are proud that 10 Malaysian researchers are among the top one per cent most cited, for example, by Thompson Reuters, indicating a high level of quality of researchers produced.

"Malaysia welcomes international students from all over the world, as we believe students will learn more in Malaysia, both in and out of the traditional learning spaces," he said.

Idris also highlighted Malaysia being the 12th most preferred education destination in the world (Unesco Report 2014).

"Our education system ranks 25th, we have 11 subjects that rank in the world's top 50 and 42 subjects in top 100 (under QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2017).

"Our five research universities are among the top eight universities in the ASEAN region. Malaysia offers a culture that is uniquely Asian, comprising Malay, Chinese, Indian and other ethnic cultures and traditions," he said, adding that Malaysia welcomed the current diversity of 170,068 international students from more than 150 countries who add to the exciting potpourri.

Idris said Malaysia was prioritising Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to prepare younger citizens with technical, technological and relevant work skills for future industries.

"Automotive, logistics and supply chain, food technology, halal manufacturing, industrial design, culinary, tourism and hospitality are some of the programmes we specialise in and are open to collaboration.

"We have friendly immigration laws and it's fairly easy to apply to study in Malaysia via our one-stop-centre, Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS)," he added.

EURIE is a three-day conference and exhibition from Feb 14 to 16.

Malaysian participating universities include Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) , Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), Management & Science University (MSU) and Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU).

Meanwhile, EMGS chief executive officer, Rujhan Mustafa said: "Platforms such as these are crucial in developing effective partnerships which will enhance the curriculum and students' learning experience. We continuously strive to enhance both".

For information on studying in Malaysia, visit to