Too many performing arts grads in Malaysia, says official
November 3, 2023 Published in FMT
A senior government official has voiced concern over the limited opportunities in the performing arts industry
resulting in many graduates remaining unemployed.
Rosnan Nordin, who is deputy director-general of policy and planning for the national department of culture and arts, said about 4,000 performing arts graduates are produced every year, Daily Express reported.
“However, the workforce demand for performing arts graduates in the country is limited, maybe only 10%.
“This contrasts with medicine and engineering for example, where demand reaches 80%,” he was quoted as saying after officiating an event at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).
He said in Malaysia, many public universities offer performing arts courses and this does not include private institutions.
“The mismatch between the (low) demand and the influx of students has resulted in graduates working in fields that do not match their qualifications,” he added.
Rosnan said he was also concerned that the influx of performing arts students would cause the industry to become static.
“This is different from developed countries where the demand for performing arts brings business revenue or income.
“However, only a few of our students here create employment opportunities such as opening dance studios or their own production companies, sound system rentals,” he said.
He said local graduates also face challenges from the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which is expected to dominate the global creative arts industry.
“We found that most students choose performing arts because it is the last option for them to enter university,” he said.
Also speaking at the dialogue titled “Youth’s Performing Career…?” were veteran actor, director and theatre activist Ahmad Tarmimi Siregar, veteran singer and composer M Nasir, and Sabah actor and director Ebi Kornelis.
About 500 local arts activists and UMS students attended the session.