KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) review of the National Council on Higher Education Act 1996 (Act 546), pertaining to the appointment of National Higher Education Council (MPTN) members and the university board of directors, is expected to be completed this October.

Higher Education Minister, Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad (pix), said the review was made through the power allocated to the Law Revision Commissioner under the Revision of Law Act 1968.

“MPTN was established under Act 546, and functions to plan, formulate and determine national policies for the development of higher education. Currently, Act 546 stipulates that the chairman of MPTN is the Minister of Education.

“Therefore, the process is to re-empower MPTN to face challenges, as the function of the responsible minister is not the minister responsible for higher education,” she said while winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s royal address, in the Dewan Rakyat here, today.

She said that since the process of reviewing the act may take time, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) has administratively set up a Higher Education Advisory Committee (JPPT) which carries out part of the MPTN function.

Noraini said that the composition of JPPT’s members was similar to MPTN’s members, with an additional member, namely, the director-general of Polytechnic and Community College Education Department. The committee’s first meeting was held on July 22.

“Among the matters discussed in the meeting were public university income generation, success plan in public universities, future teaching and learning, graduate marketability, operation of IPT (higher learning institutions) during the National Recovery Plan (PPN) period and important issues relating to tertiary education,” she said.

In the meantime, she said that the Sejahtera IPT (higher education prosperity) initiative, which aims to continue the momentum of excellence of higher education institutions affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, is expected to be fully completed in early 2022.

She said that Sejahtera IPT includes seven strengthening strategies, namely, strengthening a safe ecosystem; the marketability of graduates; the digitisation agenda; strategic collaboration networks; driving community well-being; promoting institutional excellence and invigorating the spirit of KPT Prihatin.

“Sejahtera IPT is also in line with the government’s current policies and direction such as the Malaysia Education Development Plan, Malaysian Family’s KPT Prihatin, Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 12th Malaysia Plan,” she said.