Malaysia will recognize degrees from 146 universities in China, the latest move by the government to woo the support of local Chinese ahead of the next general election.
The announcement comes after the two countries inked an agreement to “facilitate mutual recognition in higher education qualifications” last April.
Malaysia’s Chinese community has been pushing for the move for years. About 2,500 Malaysians study in Chinese universities and this would allow them to apply for government jobs in the country when they graduate.
More crucially, however, official recognition is seen as a small nod of approval from the government towards the Chinese education system here, which the Chinese value highly but is sometimes blamed by nationalists for hindering efforts to foster national unity.
More than 60,000 students go through Chinese-medium schools each year. Scores continue their studies in China and Taiwan.
The news, which was announced by Deputy Higher Education Minister Hou Kok Chung on Tuesday, was cheered by Chinese educationists and made the front page of major Chinese dailies here - Straits Times Singapore