(File pix) The Higher Education ministry has ordered 33 colleges shut this year for falling below standards. Pix by Muhammad Zuhairi Zuber

KUALA LUMPUR: The Higher Education ministry has ordered 33 colleges shut this year for falling below standards.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said this was to ensure the quality of education provided would not be jeopardised

The colleges were ordered close for failing comply with requirements set by the ministry which monitors the institutions throught its Malaysian Quality Evaluation System for Private Colleges or MyQUEST.

Between 2012 and 2016, a total of 46 colleges were also ordered closed by the ministry, he said.

Idris said the ministry is also looking into re-evaluating and improving rating exercises under MyQUEST to continue enhancing the quality of private colleges.

MyQUEST evaluation ia conducted twice a year, and is made up of three categories namely quality, course cluster and international students services.

Idris said the ministry would in the future be more in control of regulating private higher education institutes via the newly-amended Private Higher Education Act (Act 555).

The act which came into force on Nov 27, makes it compulsory for private colleges to provide information and data to the ministry for purposes of coordination.

"Before this, they were not obliged to do so (provide information).

"With the act, we are more transparent as we know how many students they have, where their students are from, the number of lecturers they have, the number of classrooms, equipment and the works."

The enforcement of the act is expected to improve the quality of private higher education institutes as well as rate them through a performance-based regulation.

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