Issues and Challenges
4.5 At present, only 11 percent of the population aged 18-21 years have the opportunity to enroll in non-degree programmes and only 5 percent of the age cohort enrolled in degree programmes. The challenge to the MOE is to further increase accessibility to tertiary education in line with the democratisation concept, meet the growing demand of society for higher education, and fulfill the increasing need for knowledgeable and skilled manpower.
4.6 To promote lifelong learning, the challenge to the MOE is to ensure tertiary education institutions are able to provide opportunities to those who want to acquire knowledge, skills, training, and retraining as well as to enable those who had dropped out of school an opportunity to resume their education. To provide access to tertiary education for Bumiputera students in the rural areas, the MOE faces the challenge to encourage the establishment of private higher education institutions in these areas.
4.7 To meet the target of 60 percent students in science and technology, the MOE faces the challenge to increase science and technology-based programmes at local higher education institutions; ensure the enrolment ratio in certificate, diploma, and Education Development Plan for Malaysia 2001 - 2010 undergraduate programmes at both the public and private higher educational institution matches the demands for skilled and semiskilled workers; and improve communication skills in international languanges, especially the English Language.
4.8 The MOE also faces the challenge to acquire qualified teaching staff; overcome the shortage of experienced teaching staff in various fields of industry; retain qualified teaching staff at polytechnics and other public tertiary institutions; and reduce the ratio of student to teaching staff.
4.9 In addition, the MOE has to ensure higher education institutions has the capability to produce more R&D activities which are of quality and commercial value; generate new knowledge; intensify the learning and usage of ICT; and to further increase the role of higher education institutions in transforming Malaysia into a center of academic excellence by providing courses that are relevant to the needs of the local workforce, innovative, and internationally competitive.
4.10 Other issues and problems that need to be addressed are higher students costs especially at private higher institutions and the escalating development and management costs at public higher education institutions.