Polytechnic upgrade under way

PUTRAJAYA : Malaysian polytechnics are a step closer to shedding their image of being a “dumping ground” for students who do not make the cut for entry into colleges and universities.

Three of the institutions were upgraded by the Government to premier polytechnic status and there are plans to upgrade others further to university level by 2015.

The premier polytechnics are Malaysia’s first polytechnic Politeknik Ungku Omar in Ipoh (Perak), Politeknik Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in Shah Alam (Selangor) and Politeknik Johor Baru (Johor).

The upgrade sets the momentum for polytechnics nationwide to undergo a major revamp under the Higher Education Ministry’s Polytechnic Transformation Plan.

As part of the transformation plan, the three institutions will be granted high levels of autonomy and their focus would be in areas that support the service industry.

The plan was launched here yesterday by Deputy Prime Minis­ter Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who said that it was part of the Govern­ment’s effort to transform Malay­sia’s education system from pre-school to higher education.

“I believe this plan is an important effort to improve the quality of vocational and technical education in Malaysia,” he said in his speech.

Muhyiddin added that with the national economy becoming more service-based, polytechnic programmes must address the changes by offering courses in areas such as digital animation, design, finance and nanotechnology.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said that certificate-level courses would no longer be offered from the July 2010 intake as part of moves to improve the quality and image of polytechnics.

Mohamed Khaled added that the transformation plan aimed to make polytechnics a preferred choice for students.

To uphold quality, premier poly­technics would be benchmarked against renowned technical institutions such as the Faschoschule in Germany and its counterparts in Austria, Sweden, Finland, Norway and France.

by Richard Lim.

Read more @ http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/2/26/nation/5748105&sec=nation

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