A state-of-the-art Education and Learning Management System (ELMS) that can manage their internal resource planning, academic & management tasks and at the same time provide the colleges with the capability of delivering quality Open & Distance Learning (ODL) to their students would normally be beyond the means of SME Colleges.
In December 2020, MyEduflix Sdn Bhd was established to commercialise the developed system which was deployed to a partnering College since September. The key task of MyEduflix is to now complete the MOODLE integration, develop a critical mass of academic content and market the system to other colleges on a Software/Platform as a Service (SaaS/PaaS) basis.
The company needs up to RM3 million to bring the product to market.
A Snapshot of Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia
Public universities (20),
Polytechnics (30) and community colleges (73)
Private universities (53), university colleges, private colleges (403) and
Vocational training centres
These HEIs offer a wide range of tertiary qualifications at affordable prices.
SETARA and MyQuest ratings deploy a comprehensive and rigorous methodology to assess an education institution’s core functions and quality criteria. They do not provide ranking but rather detailed quality assessment following visits and in-depth inspections by auditors.
Both SETARA and MyQuest ratings are used by students to make an informed decision when choosing their education path. Key points of which MOHE only allows MyQuest rating of 4 and above
Open Distance Learning (ODL)
Traditionally, HEIs deliver the courses on a face to face (F2F) basis as ODL requires a separate approval from MOHE and MQA.
HEIs are required to invest in management and academic systems, content, facilities and equipment as well as to modify the delivery of the courses for MQA approval. The process of obtaining an ODL license is resource intensive and time consuming.
Current Status of Private HEIs
The 460 private HEIs together account for a student population of 469,738 as at May 2020. However, many of these colleges house small student populations.
In fact, 300 out of the 403 colleges have less than 500 students. On average, each of these colleges, has a student population of only 169.
It can be seen that 20% of the 460 colleges cater to 80% of the 460,000 students.
Nevertheless, these colleges play a useful role within the HEIs to provide affordable education to the students and are an important part of the overall higher education system in Malaysia.
A highly fragmented industry with many small and not well funded institutions.
What We Do
Devastation caused by the Pandemic on the HEI Sector
required all schools and HEIs to close down for a period of more than 6 months
prevented returning foreign students from coming back after their semester break to continue their education
prevented new foreign students from enrolling in 2020
led to the postponement of the 2020 SPM exams from November 2020 to March 2021 thereby postponing the main annual semester intake from January 2021 to July 2021
When MCO was implemented, the MOHE directed that all institutions will have to stop F2F teaching and MOHE had no choice but to allow all institutions to deliver their classes online, even if these HEIs did not have an ODL licence and the facilities and platforms to do so.
1. Lack of Quality Content
Insufficient resources to digitize or support live sessions. This serious lack of content exists even in the largest universities simply because these HEIs never planned on ODL delivery of the courses.
2. Attendance & Attention Deficit
Keeping a student’s attention and underlining their understanding of content is a huge challenge.
3. Access to Study Material and Resources.
Such resources has always been within the institution’s premises. Now they must be provided to the students in an ODL manner of which failure to do so will mean that quality of education is substandard.
4. Academic Misconduct
A recent survey in May 2020 by Wiley states that 93% of instructors believe that students are more likely to cheat online than in person.
The MOHE has issued a circular to all institutions of higher learning in October 2020 to take note of this study and take appropriate measures to ensure the quality of online education is maintained.
Critical Risk Group – the SME HEIs
The group that was most impacted by the sudden ODL directive from MOHE are the 403 private colleges, who never carried out online classes prior to this. In order to keep going, they had to improvise and make use of whatever systems they could access to deliver their lessons. Most, if not all, resorted to systems such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom.
As a result, the quality of course delivery dropped.
Internet connectivity became an issue for some students. Leading to no show for classes or dropping off halfway through the lectures.
These HEIs are likely to face closure in the near term if they do not invest in ODL soon. Meanwhile, MCO has decimated the financial condition of HEIs, especially the SME colleges, during 2020.
The Silver Lining – Moving Education into the Students’ Premises
After many false starts, it is now here to stay and the impact of the Covid pandemic has been the catalyst. A hybrid delivery system consisting of F2F and ODL is the ideal way to move forward as education can become more affordable and within the reach of the.
Huge building and facilities of the HEIs will largely be unoccupied. The education industry will be forever disrupted.
Over the next year or so, there will be a considerable shift in which the proportion of people opting online education to grow significantly. The current pandemic will force many conventional institutions to consider technology-led solutions to teach their students. Education will become more affordable as fees and living expenses will be substantially lower. More people will be drawn to study as it becomes more affordable and accessible to working adults.