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Malaysia sets sights on Aus amid reopening

Stakeholders in Malaysia are looking to expand their reach into the Australia to offer students “new insights and perspectives”, and gain more from the re-emerging market as border restrictions ease.

Malaysia wants to promote itself as a top study destination for Australian students amid its borders reopening in March. Photo: Pexels

The push follows a strategic partnership announced last year between the two countries

A delegation of “top academics” from the southeast Asian country are visiting Australia, along with representatives from Education Malaysia Global Services, to “promote [it] as a preferred destination” within the Australian government’s New Colombo Plan.

As part of the promotional visit, delegates will meet with representatives of the Australian department of foreign affairs and trade and will also meet with university representatives from across the country, to bolster both governmental and bilateral university partnerships.

“Given that Malaysia’s borders have reopened to the world and that opportunities for Australian students in the Indo-Pacific region are becoming increasingly diversified, we want to highlight the many benefits of pursuing studies in Malaysia,” said EMGS CEO Mohd Radzlan bin Jalaludin.

It comes after authorities announced earlier in March that Malaysia’s borders would officially reopen in April.

The push follows a strategic partnership announced last year between the two countries, focusing on study.

On top of that, the New Colombo Plan will this year put $22m toward exchange program student grants across Asia – over 6,000 – 372 of which, it is reported, will go to Malaysia.

“Opportunities for Australian students in the Indo-Pacific region are becoming increasingly diversified”

Continuing promotion of what Malaysia has to offer, Education Malaysia Australia – within the  Consulate of Malaysia – has also contacted Australian international graduates who studied in the country to share insight in what it’s like to study there – with encouraging results.

“The fact that I am ‘Asia literate’ makes me highly valued amongst clients and allows me to better connect with our counterparts across the world,” said Sonia Parulekar, who now works as a management consultant for global firm Kearney after studying in Malaysia.

“Studying [there] was one of the best experiences of my life and continues to shape my career,” she declared.

Malaysia is currently ranked in the top 10 destinations for exchange programs by Australian students, and 32 courses across institutions there are currently ranked within the top 100 of the QS World University rankings by subject – the NCP initiative, and Education Malaysia’s push for promotion, hopes to expand on this.

“Students can experience world-class education in Malaysia with top-ranking institutions offering a degree that is recognised globally,” said the acting consul of Education Malaysia Australia Kartini Tajul Urus.

“When you send students abroad, they help the nation to become a better country,” Jalaludin concurred.

“Last year we received around 40,000 new applications from over 150 countries, even during the pandemic. We hope next year there will be more… students will return to Australia with new insights and perspectives, a greater understanding of Malaysia and its people, new professional networks, and lasting friendships,” he added.

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