Between identity and internationalisation: vision and reality in the Malaysian education system
Bohan, Helen (2007) Between identity and internationalisation: vision and reality in the Malaysian education system. Master of Arts thesis, Dublin City University.
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Focusing mainly on third level education, this thesis presents a critical analysis of the Malaysian education system. It investigates to what extent the multicultural model promoted in the Government's Education Development Plan 200 1-20 10 (MoE 2003) has been effectively translated into reality and explains the underlying aims of the Malaysian Government's efforts, to create a unified multicultural society and to advance economically on the international stage.
Data were collected over a 14 month period of living and working in Malaysia, and consist of a combination of empirical research, namely 5 1 interviews with students, staff, parents and government bodies, 11 questionnaires, and classroom observations, along with references fiom relevant articles in local newspapers, educational journals and government documents. A qualitative analysis of the data revealed that the aspirations expressed by government policies do not always reflect the practice on the ground.
As Malaysia seeks to attract international students and international business in order to forge a modem state, and show itself as a model of excellence in multicultural society, there are tensions that exist and strategies that contradict each other. The thesis explores these areas.
With an annual expansion of approximately 10% in Higher Education Institutions (International Students in Higher Education in Ireland 2006), Ireland is experiencing a rapid expansion in the number of international students at third level. As this phenomenon is relatively new to Ireland, there appears to be no prevailing 'norms of multicultural education in Ireland' - and little guidance from the government. It would appear to be the ideal time to look around the world for models of excellence.
Drawing on the Malaysian experience, conclusions and suggestions have been outlined in the final chapter which may help Ireland deal with the issues which will inevitably arise as a result of internationalisation on an institutional level, if the development is not carefully managed.
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