The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) embarked on a pioneering project on researching autonomy in higher education in Malaysia. Professor Tan Sri Dr. Dzulkifli Abdul Razak was appointed as IDEAS’ Chair in Higher Education to lead this project. The purpose of this project is to study how higher education institutions in Malaysia can be improved by giving them more autonomy, yet ensuring they are accountable at the same time. This study builds upon the National Higher Education Blueprint as well as the Wan Zahid Report of 2005, which was tabled in Parliament the same year.
In the past year, IDEAS has conducted four roundtables on this topic, where we gathered stakeholders from the government, public and private universities, other think tanks, as well as representatives from university student associations. This national level conference brings together the final recommendations of this project, to be discussed and presented to a wider audience. The inputs from various stakeholders are compiled in a report that will be presented to the Minister of Higher Education at the end of this half-day conference.