Sunday August 5, 2012
Weed out colleges in lousy premises
SINCE the first private institutions started about 25 years ago, a number of them have become household names, serving the education needs of thousands of local and foreign tertiary students each year.
We were told that licences were given to some 580 private institutions, many of which are operating in small towns.
In the recent case of a kindergarten that was forced to leave the premises of an apartment building, we learnt that its joint-management committee wanted to rent it and other common areas to an “international college”.
Despite the fact that the common facilities belong to the apartment owners, I am told that the said college has renovated the ping pong room and turned it into a classroom.
What is more interesting is that the college is currently operating out of a shoplot and occupying an area within the apartment block which was designated to be the laundry room.
Having been given a licence to operate as an international college, the management of the college should have looked for a better location, with campus-like facilities, to cater to the needs of its students, instead of occupying space for the common facilities belonging to apartment owners.
Even if the apartment owners had agreed to rent out their common areas to the said college, to me such things should not be happening in a country that is seriously positioning itself as a regional educational hub.
A so-called “international college” can occupy a single shoplot and recruit foreign students. How long has this been going on?
I suggest that the Higher Education Minister investigate the matter.
If nothing is done to address the issue of the quality of our tertiary education institutions, I wonder how foreign students would view Malaysia as a “regional hub for educational excellence”.