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38 Public Universities’ Academic Programmes Dropped Because Irrelevant to Malaysian Job Market

Higher Education DG: 38 academic programmes irrelevant to job market demand dropped

The Department of Higher Education has dropped 38 academic programmes in 19 universities as they are no longer relevant to the current and future job market demands.

Some of the courses under the engineering bachelor programme includes mechanical engineering in product invention, manufacturing engineering, electrical telecommunications engineering and electronic communication engineering. Other courses include mathematics and chemistry, sports psychology, entrepreneurship and trade, Islamic education for school level and creative technology and animation.

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Datuk Siti Hamsiah Tapsir says the higher education department has requested all universities in the country to redesign their academic programmes in accordance with respective industry developments. —

The report stated that the decision was made as the programmes no longer promise job opportunities for graduates based on current industries’ demand.

The department’s director-general Datuk Siti Hamisah Tapsir confirmed the subjects were dropped and said higher education department needed to ensure that each course offered by public institutions is relevant to current developments.

“Analytic data today shows that (respective) industries needed 20,000 expertise from universities in Malaysia.

“The department of higher education has to ensure that each graduate is able to fulfill this demand.

“We need to face the Industrial Revolution 4.0 which is approaching and hence the academic programmes must be in line with industry needs,” she said.

Berita Harian also reported that at least two courses have been removed from the 19 public institutions, while several others academic programmes under review. In total, 19 universities dropped two programmes each, which are:

  • Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris dropped the sports psychology (Sports Science) and entrepreneur and trade (Education Technology) programmes, while Universiti Malaya no longer offers the product design (Mechanical Engineering) and environmental (Civil Engineering) degree programmes.
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia dropped civil engineering and environmental (Engineering) and manufacturing engineering (Engineering), Universiti Putra Malaysia dropped the primary school education and water management degree programmes, and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia dropped the education management and primary school Islamic education degree programmes.
  • Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, which is in the process of merging with Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) dropped the philosophy and civilisation, and counselling degree programmes, while Universiti Malaysia Sarawak dropped the industry economics and telecommunications degree programmes.
  • Universiti Malaysia Sabah dropped the finance economics programme, along with the planning and development economics programme. Universiti Malaysia Perlis is no longer offering the fotonic engineering and computer network engineering programmes, and Universiti Malaysia Pahang has dropped the Bio-Process and Chemistry degree programmes.
  • Universiti Malaysia Kelantan will no longer offer degree programmes for animation and ludology, and telecommunications design.
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia has dropped the Islamic banking and technopreneur degree programmes.

Datuk Siti Hamisah Tapsir said this is also in line with the government’s efforts to ensure graduates of public institutions are able to find jobs suitable to the field of study to avoid unemployment.

Siti Hamisah said, the department has requested all universities in the country to redesign their academic programmes in accordance with respective industry developments.

“We need to do this so that the academic programmes are current.

“For example, for communication and media courses, we need to know the differences between the current media industry and the media industry in the past.

“The course cannot be not offered, but we need to know the differences. At the same time, the programmes offered must be offered with analytic data and Artificial Intelligence,” she said.

When asked if history and literature subjects were still in the country given the advancement in technology, she said these programmes were still important as they contribute to the nation and society building.

“Not all programmes needed to be reviewed as some are still relevant for nation building, such as Malay education through history is important for all,” she added.

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