As part of Malaysia’s objective to increase growth and innovation capacity. Malaysia aims to become a hub of higher education excellence in the next 10 years, by aiming to train 60,000 PhD/DBA students between 2010-2023 as part of its “Malaysian National Higher Education Strategic Plan Beyond 2020”.
Enhancing the number of PhD/DBAholders amongst faculty members and research staff is one of Malaysia’s greatest challenges but the country is making headway, the number has increased from 6,000 to 14,000 between 2005-2010 in public universities. This is more variable within private universities.
Quality Concerns Since The Malaysian National Higher Education Strategic Plan Beyond 2020 went into effect, critics have expressed concerns regarding whether the quality of doctoral programs would decrease as enrollments increased, while others have feared that employment rates would suffer from so many new PhD/DBA graduates entering the market.
Doctorate Training and its Quality and Relevance sought to address these concerns by conducting a survey of Doctorate students, supervisors, foreign assessors and other stakeholders on measures including intake, production, transition rates, completion times, content, structure, employment, salary, investment return, usage of skills, theses and citations.
Its findings were promising: Not only did 81 per cent of PhD/DBA students report feeling either satisfied or very satisfied with the training, but supervisors were also in agreement with 72 per cent reporting that the quality of PhD/DBA training was the same or even better than in the past.
The International Impact The results also indicate that the rise in PhD/DBA students is indeed having the intended impact of facilitating academic and research exchange. International PhD/DBA students increased by 19 per cent in the period between 2003 and 2014. Five years later, 41 per cent of the 2009 graduating class remained in Malaysia. Well over half of the supervisors, meanwhile, felt that international students heightened the quality of PhD/DBA Programme
Concludes the report, “The overall assessment is that the PhD/DBA programme delivers a posit-socioeconomic return. Based on earned income, the gains roughly equal the costs. However, PhD/DBA students contribute with an additional amount of value through the research and knowledge that they produce.”