KUALA LUMPUR: A new Act will be created to abolish and replace several higher education related Acts, including the Universities and University Colleges (AUKU) Act 1971 and the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996 (Act 555).
In a statement, the Education Ministry explained that the move, among others, was aimed at putting in place a new governance and financing structure which was more efficient and sustainable, in efforts to support academic freedom and autonomy in universities.
It said a meeting to discuss the policy framework was held yesterday, chaired by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
"At the meeting, findings of studies conducted by independent academic researchers were shared.
"Among actions that will be taken for consideration is to create a new higher education Act which will abolish and replace the AUKU, Act 555 and Acts involving institutions of higher learning which are academic in nature," the statement said.
Also present at the meeting were secretary-general of the Education Ministry Datuk Dr Mohd Gazali Abas, director-general, Ministry of Higher Education Datin Paduka Ir Siti Hamisah Tapsir and independent experts.
The abolition of the institutions of higher learning Acts was in line with the promise in the Pakatan Harapan government manifesto to bring back credibility to local universities.
Meanwhile, Maszlee in a statement said the government must change its role from exercising strict control over universities to that of a more facilitative policy maker and regulator.
"I am confident and believe that this new approach will enable our universities to be more internationally renowned," he added.