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Higher Education & Graduate Employability: The Role of Private Institutions Assoc. Prof. Chin Peng Kit Deputy VC, UCSI Prof. Jim Graham HEQCL (UK), Consultant, Quality & Strategy 12 November 2007, Selangor, Malaysia. This Presentation . . . Express personal not institutional opinions

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higher education graduate employability the role of private institutions

Higher Education & Graduate Employability: The Role of Private Institutions

Assoc. Prof. Chin Peng Kit

Deputy VC, UCSI

Prof. Jim Graham

HEQCL (UK), Consultant, Quality & Strategy

12 November 2007, Selangor, Malaysia.

this presentation
This Presentation . . .
  • Express personal not institutional opinions
  • Speak about & not on behalf of private institutions
  • Treat HE system as an organic whole & not as atomistic bits
    • can’t just ‘fix’ e.g. Employability statistics
    • total institutional commitment
    • structural facilitation by government
this presentation3
This Presentation . . .

Present “Employability & Human Capital Development” as an educational ecology:

  • Vision, mission, leadership & commitment
  • Government & funding mechanisms
  • Employers’ willingness & engagement
  • Regulations, QA mechanisms & Benchmarking
  • Student demand & commitment
  • Curricular design for learning processes & outcomes in knowledge & skills
  • HEI effectiveness & efficiency = success
this presentation4
This Presentation . . .
  • Focus on Life-Long Learning (LLL) issues & E3 in all cycles of HE
    • Enterprise
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Employability

These involve developing E3 graduate & post-graduate attributes …..

unesco 1998 the requirements of the world of work
UNESCO 1998 The Requirements of the World of Work

Graduates who are

  • flexible
  • able and willing to contribute to innovation & be creative
  • able to cope with uncertainties
  • interested in and prepared for life-long learning (LLL)
unesco 1998 the requirements of the world of work6
UNESCO 1998 The Requirements of the World of Work
  • able to work in teams
  • willing to take on responsibilities
  • become entrepreneurial
  • prepare themselves for internationalisation of the labour market through an understanding of various cultures
unesco 1998 the requirements of the world of work7
UNESCO 1998 The Requirements of the World of Work
  • acquired social sensitivity & communication skills
  • versatile in generic skills across different disciplines
  • literate in areas of knowledge which form the basis for various professional skills e.g. new technologies
health warning what is he for
Health Warning!!! What is HE for?
  • the pursuit of knowledge & truth?
  • a basic lifelong human right?
  • a way of constructing self-identity?
  • a state benefit for each citizen?
  • the foundation of democracy & a just society?
  • personal & collective empowerment?
  • world peace & a sustainable future on the planet? ETC…..

E3 is not the only legitimate rationale for HE!

this presentation9
This Presentation . . .

4 sections

  • Change, diversity, E3 & LLL policymaking
  • 4 Models of intervention
  • International Benchmarks
  • UCSI – inventing future practices
international trends privatisation marketisation
International Trends:Privatisation & Marketisation
  • Globalisation of HE as tradable GATSS services via new technology & cheap travel
  • Falling % tax contributions & lower % govt provision – state monopoly reduced
  • Internationally mobile fee paying students
  • Stakeholders demand value for money & return on investment – students, parents, employers, taxpayers
international trends privatisation marketisation11
International Trends:Privatisation & Marketisation
  • Consumer-led vs provider-led programmes – market rules ok
  • Consumers expect fully customisable & tailor-made services
    • Anytime, anywhere, on-demand.
    • JIT = Just In (my) Time, not when you say
    • Personalisation - my wants, my lifestyle, my study
transformation of heis globally
Transformation of HEIs Globally
  • Corporatisation & privatisation
  • Business-facing & businesslike
  • Flexible E3 & LLL programmes
  • Step on step off credit accumulation
  • Interdisciplinary ‘combined’ programmes
  • Work-related, work-based
  • Multiple registrations, cash in for an award
  • HEIs operate as international consortia, partner industries & community groups
international bologna process
International: ‘Bologna Process’
  • European Higher Education Area – 46 countries
  • Global dominance of HE market
  • Euro convergence of standards, benchmarks, curricula
  • Fully portable international credit
  • Where is Malaysia? Public Unis?
  • PHEIs with Euro franchises included
towards a national strategy for malaysia
Towards a National Strategy for Malaysia

Higher Education provision must create opportunities for all by being flexible and inclusive.

Traditional forms of HE provision designed for school leavers do not meet the requirements of working adults.

Greater diversity of institutions and programmes is crucial

Ref: OECD (2001) Lifelong Learning for All OECD Observer March 30 2001 Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development Paris

need for a diverse system
Need for a diverse system

The HE sector is extremely diverse. Each institution has its own distinct mission, and each emphasises different aspects of higher education.

No meaningful league table could fairly demonstrate the performance of all higher education institutions relative to each other.

Ref: Higher Education Funding Council for England http://www.hefce.ac.uk/learning/perfind/2003/guide/league.asp

multiple missions multiple excellences
Apex university


one summit,

one dimension of excellence?

Multiple Missions, Multiple Excellences

Your university here? 

Or here? 

multiple missions multiple excellences18
Multiple Missions, Multiple Excellences

Mass participation (70%+) = wide diversity of needs

Global trend is diversity of HE missions to meet needs = multiple dimensions of excellence

= many summits, many apices

Your university here? or here? or here? or here?

Tetons michaelcadengallery.com/_wsn/page4.html

sample mission niches in diverse system
Sample Mission niches in diverse system






International Research – led

Local, Community focussed

Online & virtual, global reach

Specialist industry partnerships

Open access

International consortium


E3 & LLL flexible programmes

E3 & LLL Work-based, experiential learning

E3 - Entrepreneurship & business hatchery


three broad e3 mission areas in diverse system
Three Broad E3 Mission areas in diverse system
  • Learning & Teaching
  • Research (BigR)
  • ‘3rd stream/3rd mission’ =
    • developing capacity & capability
    • building social capital
    • exchanging knowledge
    • promoting innovation & creativity
what should a national action plan do
What should a National Action Plan do?

The development of human capital through Life Long Learning & E3 is fundamental to enhancing the competitiveness of the Malaysian Knowledge Economy

Ref: ILO (1997) Malaysia: Skills for Competitiveness Wong Yuk Kiong, International Labour Organisation p1

what should a national action plan do24
What should a National Action Plan do?

Appropriate National Qualification Systems are vital to promote E3 & LLL.

Formal accreditation systems and entry requirements for qualifications must be adjusted to enable working adults to participate in tertiary education

Ref: OECD (2002) The Role of National Qualification Systems in Promoting Lifelong Learning Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Paris

what should a national action plan do25
What should a National Action Plan do?

The quality of national Higher Education policymaking and governance may be benchmarked internationally against economically effective practice.

‘Cumbersome administrative rules and bureaucratic procedures’ are criticised by World Bank as failing to establish a coherent policy framework or to create an enabling regulatory environment

Ref: World Bank (2002) Constructing Knowledge Societies: New Challenges for Tertiary Education, pp63, 83

what should a national action plan do26
What should a National Action Plan do?

‘Policymakers need to create a level playing field between public and private providers’

Ref: World Bank (2003) Lifelong Learning in the Global Knowledge Economy: Challenges for Developing Countries p63

what should a national action plan do27
What should a National Action Plan do?

Competent private universities should not prevented from innovating and responding to market demands of E3 & LLL by inappropriately restrictive regulation

Ref: OECD (2003) Beyond Rhetoric: Adult Learning Policies and Practices Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Paris

essential transformation of private heis
Essential Transformation of Private HEIs

To recruit students & thrive, PHEIs must be

  • highly responsive to the rapidly changing market
  • consumer led
  • service focussed
  • industry driven
  • interdisciplinary
  • conspicuous graduate quality
  • value for money, return on student investment
  • fast ‘conception to inception’ of new programmes
  • free of bureaucratic drag of out-of-date regulation
section 1 review
Section 1 Review
  • Malaysian HE MUST change faster to keep up with global developments
  • The market is diverse & regulation MUST support mission specialisation
  • No HEI can be an ivory tower – networking is vital
  • PHEIs MUST be competitive in the international market - or perish
  • Any govt intervention MUSTenable & not disable by cumbersome regulation
section 2 4 models of govt intervention
Section 2: 4 Models of Govt Intervention

Typically governments attempt to regulate HE systems by intervening in

  • Input
    • e.g. entry qualifications, % PhDs
  • Process
    • e.g. subject content & combinations, student learning
  • Output
    • e.g. achievement of internationally benchmarked standards
1 free market or laissez faire
#1: Free Market or Laissez-faire
  • Let the market rip! buyer beware!
  • Students are shrewd consumers
  • Give students vouchers, bursaries & let them choose best in market
  • Government – get out of the way! No regulation of Input, Process or Output!
  • Don’t protect ineffective HEIs from market failure! Survival of the fittest!
2 new public management or steering at a distance
#2: New Public Management or ‘Steering at a Distance’
  • Govt sets Output requirements but does not specify the means e.g.
    • All u/g programmes must Output employable grads
    • HEIs must publish Graduate Employability Output data
    • HEIs must publish Entrepreneurship Output data
  • HEIs, individually or collectively, solve Input & Process issues themselves
  • Consumers choose for themselves on basis of published Output
  • HEI delivery failure penalised by funding, publicity, ultimately closure
3 management by audit of benchmarking quality enhancement
#3: Management by Audit of Benchmarking & Quality Enhancement
  • HEIs collectively agree QA framework of good Process & minimum Output standards
    • based on continuous enhancement not simple compliance, i.e. definition of excellence constantly becomes more demanding
    • benchmarked against development of international best practice in the sector
  • govt sponsors innovation & excellence, penalises delivery failure
  • results of Process & Output audit online for consumer choice
4 micro management of input process neglect of output
#4: Micro-Management of Input & Process: neglect of Output
  • Govt imposes tight external regulation of curriculum Input & Process through MQA/MQF documentation e.g.
    • minimum credit hours
    • mandatory learning, e.g. co-op placement, student E3 transcript in fixed format
    • system policed by bureaucratic approvals
    • Input & Process compliance enforced by penalties
    • inadequate attention to real Output standards & student learning outcomes
  • Damages market responsiveness of PHEIs
section 3 regulation in action international practices
Section 3: Regulation in Action: International Practices
  • E3 is a priority in most OECD countries
  • extensive govt sponsored innovation & research into ‘what works’
  • HEIs collectively determine benchmarks
  • ‘evidence-based practice’ widely published as scholarship of Learning & Teaching
  • requires development & localisation for Malaysian context
  • PHEIs with international franchises already leading practitioners
  • Initiatives can be outsourced to private sector for development & delivery
employability statistics
Employability Statistics
  • Well established systems in UK, Australia, New Zealand
  • Some franchise PHEIs already collect data for partners
  • No need for Malysia to reinvent the wheel – standardise with global partners if possible
  • Need for international comparative performance data via OECD, UNESCO

HESA is ‘owned’ collectively by the associations representing UK HEIs & represents the consensus of the whole sector

personal development planning for e3
Personal Development Planning for E3

UK QAA requires all institutions to implement Progress Files for E3:

a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and / or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development.



QAA is ‘owned’ jointly by UK HEIs & the government’s funding councils, so it represents a broad consensus on best practice

qaa benchmarking for e3
QAA Benchmarkingfor E3

QAA = Collectively agreed self-regulation by all HEIs

Dual approach :

  • All QAA Subject Curriculum Benchmarking includes E3 generic & transferable skills as student learning outcomes (= Outputs)
  • QAA Code of Practice for E3:

‘Career Education, Information & Guidance’ (CEIG) sets minimum standards for Process


All UK HEIs collectively agree to abide by basic principles of good practice in the aspect of provision

higher education academy
Higher Education Academy
  • ‘Collaboration’ by all UK universities for collectively benchmarked enhancement
  • Professionalisation = ‘Competitor colleagues’
  • All contribute to the scholarship of Learning & Teaching
  • HEIs use documented, evidence-based ‘best practice’ to develop own niche excellence
  • Major problem in Malaysia = lack of collaboration, networking & consensus in both public & private sector

Run by the University for Industry (Ufi), an e-learning organisation with extensive access to work-based qualifications & online programmes by personalised including a record of learning & achievement

Developments supported by government funding


Finishing Schools are private sector’s response to the inability of India’s public universities to reform their curricula for E3.

Students pay for the service

Industry pays to get best graduates

section 4 ucsi case study
Section 4: UCSI Case Study
  • Mission, vision & graduate attributes
  • E3 strategy & benchmark against best practice
  • 3rd stream/3rd mission partnerships
  • Co-op
  • MyProfile
  • Centre for Enterprise & Entrepreneurship
section 4 ucsi case study57
Section 4: UCSI Case Study
  • Blue Ocean
  • Adjunct staff
  • Embedding in QA
  • Review of all progs to embed skills outcomes & development; optional modules in Entrepreneurship
  • Academic & management staff training