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S Korea, Malaysia offer education tips

Update: October, 18/2014 - 09:20
Dr Ju-Ho Lee said the country's steady climb in education spending during its "education bubble" had not resulted in an increase in human capital, producing too many graduates with low-wage jobs, among other problems. — Photo dantri
HCM CITY  (VNS) — South Korea was able to reform its higher-education system by tying tuition to family income, giving schools more autonomy and enhancing instructional quality, the country's former Minister of Education, Science and Technology told a workshop held in HCM City yesterday.

Dr Ju-Ho Lee said the country's steady climb in education spending during its "education bubble" had not resulted in an increase in human capital, producing too many graduates with low-wage jobs, among other problems.

During the country's "education bubble" from 1990-2009, there was a mushrooming of private tutoring to enter prestigious universities and a rapid increase in student enrolment at low-quality universities.

Sluggish institutional changes that did not keep up with demand and a lack of focus on quality and diversity contributed to the education bubble, Lee, who is working for the Korea Development Institute's School of Public Policy and Management, said.

Lee, who spoke at the Higher Education Reform-Learning from Successful Countries workshop, said South Korea had also created a support system to link universities and companies to improve the quality and usefulness of higher education.

Also speaking at the workshop, Professor Morshidi Sirat, Head of Malaysia's Higher Education Department, said his government had focused on effective governance and financing models for higher education institutions.

They had also put more emphasis on equipping university graduates with the tools necessary for a knowledge-based economy, and strengthened national innovation by creating stronger links between Malaysian firms and universities.

Sirat said that higher education could be used as a tool to develop new diplomatic relationships and education exchange between Malaysia and partner countries.

He said that Malaysia aimed to become an international hub of higher education by 2020.

The workshop was held by the Viet Nam-based Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation's Regional Training Centre in co-operation with the World Bank Group.

Participants included university and college rectors and HCM City department managers. —VNS

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