EDUCATION HUB: Quality of studies assured
ATHENS (Ohio): AMERICAN students should regard Malaysia as the preferred destination for study and research.
This was because the level of education offered by Malaysian higher learning institutions was good, evidenced by the huge number of international students in the country, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said education practitioners and government leaders the world over had now recognised the impact of having international students in their campuses.
Muhyiddin also said many foreign universities, such as those from the United Kingdom and Australia, had set up campuses in Malaysia and conducted programmes with local universities.
Muyhiddin, who is also education minister, said this in his speech when launching the Malaysia @ Ohio University Outreach Programme: Celebrating Five Decades of Strategic Partnership held in conjunction with Ohio University's International Education Week yesterday.
He pointed out that Ohio University had been instrumental to Malaysia's academic development. He also lauded the university's move to include Bahasa Malaysia as a foreign language study option, saying it should be sustained.
"Internationalising" Bahasa Malaysia was a good way to introduce and promote the language to foreign students so that more countries would know about it, Muhyiddin said.
The Bahasa Malaysia language studies, introduced in August, is included as a credit to obtain a degree. It was initiated by the current holder of the Tun Abdul Razak Chair, Professor Habibah Ashari, aimed at encouraging students to use the language effectively for practical communication and to offer insights into the culture and civilisation of Malaysia.
There are currently 14 American and other foreign students enrolled for the course.
Muhyiddin said: "To these young men and women, learning a new language may be hard, but it can only strengthen your grey matter. We hope that Ohio University will continue to offer Bahasa Malaysia to its students."
Muhyiddin added that the university management had been asked to continue its efforts to assist Malaysia to become a regional hub for higher education by introducing more exchange programmes with local universities in the country and region.
This could help bring about cross fertilisation of ideas and thoughts which would lead to enrichment and strengthening in various academic areas.
Muhyiddin said he had deliberated the matter with university president Roderick J. McDavis, during his visit to the university campus on Tuesday.