An investigation and discussion on a private university in Malaysia

By | April 19, 2015

Executive summary

In Malaysia, its central government has realized the importance of its higher education on the development of its economy, which has been regarded as the issue to improve the national interests. With the more and more importance of higher education in Malaysia, Malaysian government has implemented several action plans and policies to support the development of its higher education including the strategic plan on higher education in the year of 2020, the action plan for higher education in the year from 2007 to 2010 and so on, which give these higher education providers especially these private higher education providers such as Top University investigated by us in this project more autonomy to develop them as more attractive to stand them out in not only the Malaysia education market but also the entire Asia market.

Top University is a private higher education provider located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which was set up 1999. And during the good development of so many years, Top University has gained relatively good reputation out from some many competitors all the Asia around.

Although there are so many outstanding aspects performed by Top University among these private higher education providers in Malaysia, there are also many shortcomings in this university. In this project, we’ll investigate many aspects into both the outside environment and inside environment of this organization, to figure out these problems and weaknesses, which required for modification. And the some modification measures will be suggested to Top University to employ in its future operation.

Content

1.0 Introduction 3

2.0 Background 4

3.0 Organization evaluation 5

3.1 General information 5

3.2 Congruence model 6

3.2.1 Diagnosis 6

4.0 Current environmental analysis 12

4. 1 Political environment 13

4.2 Economic environment 13

4.3 Sociocultural environment 14

4.4 Technological environment 14

4.5 Legal environment 15

4.6 Competition environment 15

5.0 Recommendations 16

5.1 Improvements on core competencies 16

5.1.1 Curriculum building 17

5.2 Increase the access 20

5.2.1 General situation 20

5.2.2 Marketing mix 22

5.2.3 Teaching profession development 23

5.2.4 Improvement on communication skills 24

6.0 Conclusions 25

7.0 Reference 26

Figures

Figure 1.0 Organizational structure of Top University………………………………..5

Figure 2.0 The Congruence model……………………………………………………7

Figure 3.0 the tuition fees in business department of Top University from 2010 to 2012 ……………………………………………………………………………………8

Figure 4.0 Top private university of Malaysia…………………………………………………….11

Figure 5.0 The curriculum for one batch of MBA students in Top University……………………………………………………………………………………………………..22

1.0 Introduction

In this paper, we’ll develop an investigation and discussion on a private university named Top University in Malaysia to figure out its major problems faced in its current operation.

The reason why we develop this project paper on Top University is to assist this university to find out these related reasons on these issues including why the graduation rate of this university become lower than other competitors, why there are some people began to doubt the high cost and teaching outcomes of Top University and why there are some customers including students and parents have some complaints on the service both from these course consultants and teachers and so on.

And then we also figure out some measures to assist Top University to relieve its current headaches.

2.0 Background

Top University is founded in 1999, which has already become one of the top private universities in Malaysia. Its principle is an education expert who owns rich oversea experience of teaching and study. Top university is located in Kuala Lumpur, which cost about one $ 20 million. And it has gained a lot of prizes in the education industry of Malaysia. And it also enjoys a good fame in Asia around as a responsible higher education provider.

As Top University is located in the capital city of Malaysia, its size is limited. Although the size of Top University isn’t as big as these public universities such as University of Malaya, the departments of Top University are several as well (Ministry of Higher Education 2007). There are six secondary colleges, two academic sections and a department majored in affairs of international students (see figure 1.0) and other operation departments.

Figure 1.0 Organizational structure of Top University

Organizational philosophy

The organizational philosophy of Top University is to assist students to learn as effective as possible with the full support of all the facilitator and staff of this university.

Mission

The ultimate organizational mission of Top University is to build its brand as an excellent and trustworthy private university in not only Malaysia but also the whole Asia by offering its students with the first class educations to meet the needs of the international market and the globalization.

3.0 Organization evaluation

3.1 General information

Although the fame of Top University can be regarded as good, there are still some problems required it to take full consideration.

As Top University is now one of the most expensive private universities in Malaysia, with the steady increasing tuition fee, which make the increasing rate of new students in a low level which can’t meet the expectation of Top University on the student increasing number. At the same time, the increasing fees of Top University has aroused awareness from groups such as legislators, parents, students both domestic and international to compare its education valuate and its cost. As the ultimate mission of Top University is to produce high quality gradates to prove the value of its expensive education fees. We will evaluate the education services offered by this University in the following and figure out its problems later.

3.2 Congruence model

According to Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (2005), there are four elements included in the congruence model such as special work and activities to be carried out, which is defined as the task; the necessary knowledge, skills, requirements, as well as the expectations on its people, which is defined as the individual elements; structures, procedures as well as measures, which is defined as the element of formal arrangements of the organization; and the values, beliefs, practices and so on, which is defined as informal arrangements in the organization.

Figure 2.0 Congruence model

Source: Palmer, I., Dunford, R. & Akin, G. 2009, Managing organizational change, McGraw-Hill Companies, New York,

3.2.1 Diagnosis

In the following, we will base on the congruence model to evaluate the situation and performance of Top University in Malaysia from the valuation on these inputs to the evaluation on these outputs.

3.2.1.1 Symptoms identification

The first symptom in Top University which is eyes catching is its high tuition fees. Let’s take the example of at the tuition fee in the business school of Top University for example in figure 3.0.

Figure 3.0 the tuition fees in business department of Top University from 2010 to 2012

Business department

Major

Tuition fee from 2010 to 2012 ( total tuition within three years)
201020112012
Bachelor of Business39,000 RM41,400 RM44,000 RM
Bachelor of Economy41,000 RM43,000 RM45,600 RM
Bachelor of Finance and Accounting52,500 RM54,000 RM57,000 RM
Bachelor of Business Administration 43,000 RM44,600 RM47,200 RM

Based on the data from figure 3.0, we can get that only in the business school, the tuition fees have a shoot-up only in three years from 2010 to 2012, let alone the increasing tuition fees in other academic school of Top University. And due to the bad economy situation all the world around, the economy capacity of students both domestic and international who are the target customers of Top University is reduced to a certain level (Johnson 2012). Hence, faced to the increasing tuition fees, the increasing rate of new enrolled students isn’t so satisfactory in Top University.

The second symptom in Top University is that the teaching ability level of facilitators belongs to medium level. As the teaching faculty is made up of two groups: the full time group and part time group, it has an influence on the development of the overall teaching ability in Top University more or less, because the imbalance of the number between part time teachers and full time teachers make these training and development programs for teachers become difficult to handle out and produce expected outcomes in Top University.

The third symptom is that the graduation rate in Top University belongs to a medium or even low level. For instance, the average study years for bachelor degree students are at the average of three years and the average study years for postgraduate students are about 1 to 1.5 years which is the general situation for students who study in these private colleges or universities of Malaysia (Sirat 2009). While in Top University, the average study years for degree students are increased to about 3.5 or 4 years and the average study years for graduate students in Top University are increased around 2 to 2.5 years, which result in the low graduate rate of students in Top University in Malaysia compared to the contemporary level of other universities or colleges.

The fourth symptom is that there are many complaints from these customers namely potential students of Top University on the unsatisfactory services offered by these marketing people such as consultants when they consult some information on Top University such as the issue about tuition fees, course information, and facilitator information and so on.

3.2.1.2 Evaluation on inputs

For the success of an organization, there are so many important input elements for Top University to consider including environment around organization, resources, history, strategies and so on (Cummings & Worley 2005, 2008).

At first, the environment around Top University is full of competition not only in the domestic education market but also in the international education market especially in the Asia market. In figure 4.0 we list out these top private universities in the domestic education market of Malaysia, which indicates the fierce competition faced by Top University. Generally speaking, the environment for Top University to develop is actually tough.

Figure 4.0 Top private university of Malaysia

Top seven universities in Malaysia
Help University College
Taylor’s University College
Sunway University
Stamford University
SEGI University
Multimedia University
Limkokwing University College
Top University

Source: Marshallsay, Z. 2011, Educational Challenges in Malaysia: Advances and Prospects, Monash Asia Institute, Clayton,

Secondly, teaching resources including these teaching materials and teaching staffs in Top University as one of the input element can be defined as the following. On the one hand, teaching materials which mostly refer to the text books. Let’s take the MBA courses of Top University for instance, there are twelve compulsory courses including Operation Management, Leadership & Organization Effectiveness, Management of Organization Change, Human Resource Management, Asia Business Environment, Business Ethics, Corporate Economics, Accounting, International Business, Marketing, Management Theory and strategy management. All of the necessary textbooks in the MBA courses of Top University are all from overseas, which are all original English versions. In another word, these teaching materials may become one of the most expensive expenditures spent by students who are studying in Top University of Malaysia. On the other hand, teaching staffs of Top University are the other resources for it to maintain its position as a higher education provider, which includes both full time staffs and part time staffs especially these part time teachers. (Marshallsay 2011)

Thirdly, with reference to the strategy issue in Top University, we can get that the strategy employed by this university is defined as an international strategy, which means the target student market of Top University is not only within the scope of Malaysia but also in the field of global especially in the Asia scope. This kind of strategy make the students in Top University full of international characteristics, which including students from South Korea, Singapore, China, Japan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Viet Nam and so on. (Marshallsay 2011)

3.2.1.3 Evaluation on output

With the above presentation of these symptoms and inputs for Top University, we can also figure out some of these outputs produced by these inputs. At first, in figure 5.0, we can get that Top University of Malaysia belongs to the top list of private universities in Malaysia, which discloses its competitiveness and reputation for us in the Higher education industry of Malaysia.

Secondly, the international strategy to enlarge the student scope into international field rather than only limited into the region of Malaysia further enhances the influence of Top University into a wider scope namely into the international scope. And with the reputation of Top University become higher and higher, the number of International students is increased in this university. For instance, at the beginning of the establishment of Top University, most of the students in this university belongs to Malaysia nationality and with the fame build in the international market, there are almost more than half of the students who come from overseas, which prove the successful part of Top University in employing international strategy on student enrolling.

Thirdly, this kind of achievement also tells us the great efforts contributed by both these teaching staffs and other staffs who are engaged in other issues in Top University such as marketing staffs, who assist Top University to attract and enroll more students from both domestic field and international field.

At the same time, although Top University is included in the top list of private universities of Malaysia, its rank is seemed to lag behind, which shows there are some insufficient aspects practised by Top University, which we will figure out in the following with its problems.

3.1.2.4 Problems identification

Thanks to the congruence model, we have developed a relatively thorough analysis on the operation of Top University as the higher education providers. And then we can figure out these problems faced by Top University in Malaysia.

The first problem faced by Top University is these low competitive teaching staffs compared to teaching staffs in other top private universities in Malaysia. As we have pointed out above, there is an imbalance between the number of part time teaching staffs and full time teaching staffs that the number of part time staffs is larger than that of these full time teaching staffs. Just because of this kind of imbalance, the management of teaching staff isn’t operated so well which decreases the development and enhancement of the classroom teaching ability among teachers in Top University of Malaysia. As this important skill of teachers in Top University is influenced to a certain degree, their service namely their teaching performance offering to students will be decreased, which directly influence the performance of students compared to that of students in other first class private universities in Malaysia such as the Help University College, Taylor’s University College, Multimedia University and so on.

The second problem faced by Top University is the imbalance between the improvement of teaching outcomes and increasing rate of tuition fees. In another word, the tuition fees in Top University increases faster than the increase rate of the teaching outcomes, which may hinder the future development and the reputation maintenance of Top University.

The third problem faced by Top University is the low graduation rate compared to that of other competitors. The reason for the low graduate rate in Top University is mostly because the course design and teaching material choosing isn’t so appropriate for the acceptance level of these students, which may also become one of the reasons for the high failure rate of students studying in Top University and finally result in their low graduate rate. Moreover, as the failure rate of students is relatively high and the graduate rate of student is relatively low, it further influences the transferring rate of students in Top University, which often has a high student transferring rate.

4.0 Current environmental analysis

As there are so many problems faced by Top University, to make these problems faced by Top University to be easy to solve, we’ll investigate the macro environment faced by Top University and then combine the conclusion produced by congruence model to produce effective solutions.

4. 1 Political environment

Based on the survey from Sirat (2009) and Chung (2011), the expanding rate of higher education in Malaysia is regarded to be fast and significant. And the higher education system in Malaysia is defined as this kind of system including both college education and university education, namely incorporating the post secondary education. And at the same time, higher education in the country is untaken in two patterns including public institutions offered higher education and private institutions offered higher education. And the annual budget in the higher education to finance its development in the government budge of Malaysia is around 15%, which shows the great support offered by Malaysia government towards the higher education development.

4.2 Economic environment

During the year of 2008 to 2009, the economy crisis occurred, which made the whole economy situation in the global region experiencing downturn situation. The most direct influence is the shrink of GDP increasing rate in countries all around the world, which also decreases the economy capacity of Malaysia (Welch & Welch 2010). Furthermore, besides the economy capacity reduction in Malaysia, the economy capacity in other countries such as these target markets of Top University in Asia including China, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam have been decreased too (Welch & Welch 2010).

Generally speaking, under the influence of economy downturn, it decreases the financial ability of these target customers namely these potential students of Top University in the entire Asia region, which is also become the reason of the unsatisfactory increasing enroll rate of new students in Top University.

4.3 Sociocultural environment

As we all know that Malaysia belongs to a Muslim country, in which there are a large number of citizens especially the Malaysians own the strict religion, which marks this country with the religious mask. And at the same time, one of the official languages in Malaysia is Malay, which means there are a large number of people in Malaysia using Malay as their communicative language ( Marshallsay 2011).

Generally speaking, although English is also the official language in Malaysia, these international students may ignore this part but regard most people in Malaysia speak Malay, which may become the barrier for some international students to make up their decision to study in Malaysia and choose to study in Top University.

4.4 Technological environment

In the aspect of higher education offered by private institution, we get these information that the increasing significance of higher education offered by private institutions emphasized by Malaysia government promote the fast developing speed of these private universities or colleges which offer higher education. And from the year of 1998, the program named “3 + 0” was first introduced by these private higher education providers in Malaysia, which indicates that these private higher education providers including these private colleges and universities own the great competitiveness to allow students to obtain their degrees from the western universities without the need to study at these western universities and spend too much (Ministry of Higher Education 2007). That is to say, as one of the private higher education provider, Top University also owns this kind of advantage to make its students own the chance to get degrees from these western universities.

Generally speaking, the technical environment around Top University is good, which offers Top University great advantages to attract students especially international students who prefer to obtain western universities’ degrees but with lowest costs.

4.5 Legal environment

As different countries own their own laws and principles, if international students want to study in Malaysia, there are many requirements and materials required by Malaysia government on these international students who want to study in Malaysia (Marshallsay 2011).

4.6 Competition environment

Besides the competition from these private universities or colleges, Top University in Malaysia is also faced with the competition from public universities. According to Marshallsay (2011), the education system in Malaysia system is based on the public education and assisted by private education including the higher education. And there are about 20 public universities which enjoy great financial support from the Malaysia government. And at the same time, most of these public universities also have the right to enroll international students.

Compared to these public universities, the advantages owned by these private universities including Top Universities may be reduced. On the one hand, with greater financial support from Malaysia government, public universities owns more advantages over Top University to develop both the infrastructures including these teaching buildings, facilities, equipments and so on and the research fees to strengthen the competitiveness and capacity of the teaching staffs and other academic related areas’ development (Marshallsay 2011). On the other hand, the reputation owned by these public universities is often greater than the private universities, because in the Asia region there is a common sense that most people believe the public universities are better than private ones (Marshallsay 2011).

Generally speaking, under such kind of circumstance, the competition from public universities is fierce than that from private universities or colleges in Malaysia.

5.0 Recommendations

Based on the above analysis about both the internal and external situation for Top University as a famous private higher education provider in Malaysia, we’ll offer several suggestions to deal with its current problems and assist it to gain future development.

5.1 Improvements on core competencies

According to Said (2005), we will first recommend Top University to improve its core competencies. First of all, it is obvious for us to know that the core products of Top University as a private higher education provider in Malaysia is the higher education service for its customers namely its students. To stand out the education product, Top University should concentrate on its higher education products’ development to make these people including the legislators, government, students, parents and other important people confirm the excellence of Top University even it with a high cost.

5.1.1 Curriculum building

To improve the core competencies, the first step we recommend for Top University is to make some modification on its current curriculums.

5.1.1.1 Curriculums for degree students

At first, let’s have a look at the curriculum for degree students. As we have mentioned, there are several department including the business department, IT department, Auto department, Art department, and Electronic department and Psychology department for degree students. And the curriculum for each department is different but there is a specialty for all of these departments in Top University that is all of these curriculums are all compulsory ones, there is seemed to be no optional courses for students to pick up according to their preferences.

On the one hand, we have to admit the professional of these curriculums designed for each departments and its speed of modification is suitable to meet the needs of these special subjects. On the other hand, the lack of these optional courses may also limit the chances or even the development of students to a wider field rather than their major. Hence on this aspect, Top University may be seemed to have done an insufficient job on course design. Although adding more optional course may increase the financial pressures for Top University especially at the economy downturn era, the long term benefits can produce more benefits than the drawbacks, too.

Let’s have a look at these benefits the offering of optional courses of Top University for students may produce. The obvious benefits will come at the satisfactory level both from the student part and their parent part. From some part, we have to admit the student and parent customers may be the most picky consumption groups who all own the best wishes to gain the most outstanding education services from the colleges or universities they choose (Lundvall 2002). Hence, with the guidance of these wishes from the direct consumers of Top University, it is necessary and also a must for it to further touch up its curriculums for degree students to give them more choices to learn these subjects which they are interested in (Lundvall 2002).

Generally speaking, with the enrichment of curriculums for students in Top University assisted by good course quality, we believe more students will be attracted to this university in the future.

5.1.1.2 Curriculums for postgraduate students

 

Referring to the curriculums for postgraduate in Top University, with relatively thorough investigation, we find these curriculums offering to postgraduate students include more theoretical knowledge rather than practical information and skills. Let’s take the course for MBA students in Top University for example once more. Figure 5.0 shows the curriculum for one batch of MBA students in Top University.

 

Figure 5.0 the curriculum for one batch of MBA students in Top University

 

Subject Commencement Seminar datesExam dateAssignment due dates
Operation Management 28, May2 & 3 June16 June9 July
Leadership & Organization Effectiveness9 July7 & 8 July21 July20 August
Management of Organization Change20 August25 & 26 August9 September 1 October
Human Resource Management1 December6 & 7 December20 December12 January
Asia Business Environment12 January17 & 18 January1 February 24 February
Business Ethics24 February29 & 30 February 5 March5 April
Corporate Economics5 April10 & 11 April17 April16 May
Accounting16 May21 & 22 May28 May 27 June
International Business27 June 2 & 3 July 9 July8 August
Marketing8 August13 & 14 September20 September19 October
Management Theory19 October24 & 25 October 31 October 30 November
strategy management30 November5 & 6 December 12 December 11 January

 

 

 

Based on the information from figure 6.0, we get that almost all of the courses in the curriculum for MBA students in Top University belong to theoretical courses. And at the same time, the actual courses which require student to attend for each subject are very few although the whole seminar for each subject lasts more than one and half months. In another word, there is almost no practical course for MBA students and only a few actually theoretical courses required the attendance of students in Top University, which is the same situation with other majors in the master program.

 

 

With this situation, we recommend Top University to enrich the course contents on its master program. On the one hand, we suggest that Top University should increase the practical programs such as the attendance of some actual projects in some companies to improve their actual competitiveness which may be much effective for these postgraduate students in their future career rather than the theoretical knowledge (Busquin & Mitsos 2003). Moreover, although we have pointed out the importance of practical programs to improve the competitiveness of these master students, the accumulation of the necessary theoretical knowledge is also crucial for them to enhance their knowledge accumulations (Busquin & Mitsos 2003).

 

 

Generally speaking, both the theoretical knowledge and practical ability are necessary for Top University to emphasize in its new curriculums for these master degree students to offer them more chances to improve their competitiveness in their future careers.

5.2 Increase the access

5.2.1 General situation

The second recommendation for Top University is to increase its access to students. Under the investigation on this university, we find that the low increase rate of fresh student number is also because of the narrow access for these potential students to know Top University, which means the marketing practice of Top University isn’t so satisfactory and meet the expectation.

On the one hand, for these overseas students, the only access for them to know the information of Top University is via these agents who are engaged in the business to assist students to study overseas to make money. Although through these middle men or agents, information about Top University can be spread to these overseas students, the actual situation may hinder the information spread through many overseas markets for Top University. Let’s take the Chinese market for Top University for instance. In China, there are more than hundred of studying overseas agents, that is to say, these students who want to study in Malaysia can contact with these agents to get many information about the universities in Malaysia they want to study. But the truth is that there are only a few agents, who concentrate on introducing students to study in Malaysia, instead they prefer to introduce students to study in these western countries but not in Asia (Xiang 2009). There are two reasons behind this situation, one of which is that the consulting fees to introduce students to western countries are much higher than that of Malaysia. And the other reason is that the reputation of education in western countries is much higher than that of Malaysia, which become the basic reason for the less focus of agents paid on studying in Malaysia ((Xiang 2009).

On the other hand, the marketing of these western universities is much better and professional than that of Malaysia Universities. Let’s take the marketing of Top University for instance. It is seemed that there is almost no marketing activity of Top University to promote its reputation in Chinese market and other Asia counties except in Malaysia.

Under this situation proper and sufficient marketing activities should be practised by Top University first all of, because the target market and target people of Top University is mostly in Asia region especially the Chinese market. According to the statistics from the higher education bureau of Malaysia, the students who own Chinese nationality taking up a large weight in the total number of foreign students who study in the universities or colleges of Malaysia. And in These strong competitors of Top Universities such as Help University College, Taylor University College, SEGI University and so on, the weight of Chinese students taking up 30% or so in the total number of foreign students and sometime the weight is even higher (Marshallsay 2011).

That is to say, China can be the first stop for Top University to market its higher education service to attract more Chinese students to study in Malaysia.

5.2.2 Marketing mix

Elliott, Rundle-Thiele and Waller (2010) emphasize the importance of marketing mix which describes the different elements that markets need to consider. For Top University, the first issue to market its business in the oversea market such as the Chinese market is the promotion issue which including these market activities making potential customers, partners and the society attracted to the offerings of Top University. The first consideration for Top University to consider is to collaborate with some famous universities of China to take advantages of their fame in China to gain the attention of students and parents in China. Although the cooperation with these top universities such as Beijing University, Qinghua University, Fudan University of China, the cooperation with these less famous universities such as Sichuan University, Heilong Jiang University and so on, which are also very famous, will be much easier. There are some successful examples of these competitors such as Help University, SEGI University and Multimedia University have already developed good cooperation relationships with these famous universities, which have assisted these universities to attract many outstanding Chinese students to study in their campuses (Marshallsay 2011).

The second consideration should be taken into consideration by Top University is to cooperate with some academic organizations of China to advertise its higher education service for Chinese students. Such as joining these educational exhibitions offered by some officially academic organization may be one of the shortcuts for Top University to improve its fame among Chinese students and parents.

The third consideration we advised to Top University is to emphasize the price issue. As a matter of fact studying in Malaysia isn’t as expensive as some people thought compared to studying in these western countries. Take the MBA courses for instance. Studying in Top University to engage in its MBA course may only cost a Chinese student about 60,000 RMB including all the tuition fees and material fees and living expenses in Malaysia is also very cheap compared to living these western countries. In total, studying in Top University may only cost a Chinese student 100,000 RMB or so including both studying fees and living expenses, while studying in western countries such as the England, the MBA courses and the living expenses may cost a Chinese student more than 200,000 RMB, which is the double price of studying in Malaysia. And the other advantage of studying in Top Univeristy, Malaysia is its final degree, which is the same as these people studying in western countries (Marshallsay 2011). That is to say, studying in Malaysia, people not only enjoy a low cost compared the expensive cost of studying in these western countries, but also have the same chance to gain degrees endowed by these famous western countries which even includes the degrees endowed by Queensland University, London University and so on. Moreover, although this price advantage owned by Top University compared to some western countries, these potential customers of Top University may lack the access to get. To deal with this situation, we also recommend this university to open its office website in China, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea and other target markets of Top University in these countries official language to further spread the advantages of studying in Top University to a wider scope of students and people in the Asia region.

5.2.3 Teaching profession development

As we mention above that of the the reason for the low graduate rate of students in Top University is due to the relatively low professional quality of the teachers, which may lower the quality of education service in this university. Based on our survey, these facilitators who guide the master degree students in Top University, only one out of five owns the doctor degrees. And among these facilitators who guide the study of degree students, one out of six own the teaching experience before. That is to say, most of the degree teachers in Top University are green hand, who own the qualified education background but lacking in the practical experience to be a college or university teachers.

That is to say, as the professional quality of many degree teachers aren’t so qualified to meet the actual needs of education in the higher education service industry, the graduate rate of students in Top University isn’t as satisfactory as the expectations. Based on this situation, we suggest that some professional development programs such as the training on classroom teaching ability, research ability development and other related academic area for teachers in Top University to strengthen professional quality development should be offered (Mok 2007).

To stand out it among so many competitors who are also engaged in private higher education industry in not only Malaysian region but also the entire Asia region, the steps to upgrade the image of its teachers are so important for Top University. Hence giving them suitable and crucial support to develop their competitiveness and quality will also become an important step for customers to improve their satisfactory level on Top University (Mok 2007).

5.2.4 Improvement on communication skills

As we have mentioned above that these are many complaints from these customers namely potential students of Top University on the unsatisfactory services offered by these marketing people such as consultants when they consult some information on Top University such as the issue about tuition fees, course information, and facilitator information and so on. To remove this problem, we recommend Top University to give its marketing staffs some proper training and developing programs on improvement of their communication skills and language ability. For instance, as there are three major races in Malaysia including Malay, Malay Chinese and Malay Indian, these major languages used by these people including Malay, English and Chinese are so important for these marketing staffs in Top University to develop and master as the useful tool to support their communication with these potential customers, which may improve the communication effectiveness and successful rate to persuade and attract more students.

At the same time, the training and developing programs on these professional skills as a marketing person for these marketing staffs especially these course consultants are crucial as well for Top University to improve the satisfactory level of customers namely these potential students and their parents on the service offered by these course consultants (Reichert 2006).

6.0 Conclusions

With a relatively thorough investigation on the current operation of Top University, we have figured out these major problems faced by this famous private higher education provider in Malaysia including low competitive teaching staffs, the imbalance between the improvement of teaching outcomes and increasing rate of tuition fees, low graduation rate compared to that of other competitors.

And then based on the analysis on both inside and outside environment of this university, we offers several practical recommendations to assist this university to solve these problems.

7.0 Reference

Busquin, P. & Mitsos, A. 2003, Measures to improve Higher Education/Research Relationsin order to strengthen the strategic basis of the ERA, European Communities, Belgium,

Chung, R. M. F. 2011, Observation as a mechanism to identify and promote quality teaching in higher education, Malaysian Qualifications Agency,

Cummings, T.G. & Worley, C.G. 2005, 2008 Organization development & change, Thomson South Western, Ohio,

Elliott, G., Rundle-Thiele, S. & Waller, D. 2010, Marketing, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Milton,

Johnson, G., Scholes, K. & Whittington, R. 2005, Exploring corporate strategy, 7th edn., Pearson Education, Harlow,

Johnson, I. 2012, China closes window on Economic debate, protecting dominance o f state, The New York Times,

Lundvall, B. A. 2002, The University in the Learning Economy, DRUID working pape, Denmark.

Marshallsay, Z. 2011, Educational Challenges in Malaysia: Advances and Prospects, Monash Asia Institute, Clayton,

Ministry of Higher Education 2007, The National Higher Education Strategic Plan: Laying The Foundation Beyond 2020, Ministry of Higher Education, Kuala Lumpur,

Mok, K. H. 2007, The search for new governance: Corporatization and privatization of public universities in Singapore and Malaysia, Hiroshima University.

Palmer, I., Dunford, R. & Akin, G. 2009, Managing organizational change, McGraw-Hill Companies, New York,

Reichert, S. 2006, The rise of knowledge regions: Emerging opportunities and challenges for universities, EUA Publications, Brussels,

Said, H. B. 2005, Education in Malaysia: Enhancing accessibility, capability and quality, Brunei University Press, England,

Sirat, M. B. 2009, Strategic planning directions of Malaysia’s higher education: university autonomy in the midst of political uncertainties, Springer Science + Business Media,

Welch, P. J. & Welch, G. F. 2010, Economics: Theory & Practice, 9th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken,

Xiang, B 2009, International student migration and social stratification in China, International Journal of Educational Development,

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