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Emerging Issues in Southeast Asian Education Systems (individual papers)

Friday 20 March 2015, 1630 – 1830, Lecture Theatre 8

Jona Widhagdo Putri
Universitas Indonesia 

List of papers:

  • Retaining High-Quality Teachers in Rural Primary Schools in Malaysia
  • Cambodian Higher Education at crossroads: How to catch up with the rest
  • Internationalising higher education in South East Asia: Malaysian transnational perspectives

Paper 1: Retaining High-Quality Teachers in Rural Primary Schools in Malaysia

Nur Aziz
Collective Impact Initiative

A lot of education policy studies have carefully focused on teacher quality. Many too have begun focusing on how to retain high-quality teachers particularly in needy schools. One type of school that falls in this bracket is the rural schools. This paper explores the teacher experiences and progress in rural schools specifically in rural Malaysia and how this leads to severe challenges in teacher retention, especially high-quality teachers. A policy recommendation to retain high-quality teachers is forwarded as a conclusion of a detailed analysis of four policy alternatives, namely increasing teacher salary, improving pre-service training, improving in-service mentorship and professional development, and finally, improving work conditions in rural schools.

Paper 2: Cambodian Higher Education at crossroads: How to catch up with the rest

Serkan Bulut
Zaman University

Cambodia has been enjoying a steady economic growth over the last decade and more. This growth mostly fuelled by the low environmental standards for aspiring companies and low cost of labour. While this model currently drives the economic development of Cambodia, and will continue to do so in the near future, in order for Cambodia to break the vicious cycle of low cost labour-low standard of life for the citizens without comprising the economic growth prospects, the country needs to invest in train highly qualified university graduates support genuine domestic research. While Cambodia has a large youth population, the level of education the youth get from high schools and the training they get from universities remain deeply questionable. Some of these problems are clearly evidence by the very low success rate for the high school students in the National Exam and lack of genuine research done by Cambodian Universities and researchers. This paper aims at identify the inherent problems in Cambodian higher education system and propose solutions to those issues (standardization, research focus, need analysis are to name a few.)

Paper 3: Internationalising higher education in South East Asia: Malaysian transnational perspectives

Cheng Mien Wee
Sunway University

In recent decades, enrolments into higher education institutions in SEA countries have increased alongside new typologies in transnational higher education (TNHE) provisions and growing numbers of international branch campuses by foreign universities. The move by ASEAN member states towards regionalisation of their educational spaces and harmonisation of education systems for greater academic mobility and educational collaboration have been linked to development of regionalism in higher education in Europe, specifically the establishment of the European Higher Education Area. Malaysia’s higher education space is defined not only as a geographical place but is scoped temporally by lived experiences, cultures, and beliefs. Herein, Malaysia’s present economic transformation agenda prescribes internationalisation of higher education as the way forward and the private sector to be the nation’s engine for educational growth. This paper reports in two parts. Firstly, it describes SEA’s higher education space and how TNHE typologies are evolving in this region. Secondly, it discusses how the shifts and flows in SEA’s higher education space affect the work of curriculum actors in Malaysia who make TNHE programmes. The paper reports on interviews conducted with curriculum workers in public and private institutions in Malaysia together with information from document research. The findings reveal gaps in our current knowledge of TNHE developments in SEA and offers new perspectives on the meanings of internationalisation of higher education in this space.