The Malaysia English Assessment, launched in November 2017, seeks to increase university graduates’ competency in English through a “holistic ecosystem” of formal and informal assessment, allowing them to experience the language and prepare them ready for work and engagement within a global setting.
“The integration of formal and informal learning and assessment is expected to produce graduates aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference English proficiency level after graduation,” education minister Idris Jusoh told reporters at the launch of the MEA.
“Accomplishing the tasks will require appropriate use of the language within a given cultural and social context”
“The assessment is critical for learning because not only [does] it provide the bridge between teaching and learning, but enhances the learning process and drives a student’s educational experience as well.”
Developed over three stages, the program consists of formal and informal assessment, classified as MEA 1 and MEA 2 respectively, with the second component focusing on students using English in real-life situations.
“Accomplishing the tasks will require not only knowledge of English but also appropriate use of the language within a given cultural and social context and as against relevant competencies,” Idris said.
The announcement comes after ongoing complaints from employers that Malaysian students did not possess a working understanding of English, and Idris said the MEA aimed to have all graduates on a minimum B2 level – the third highest level on the CEFR.
The MEA is a culmination of over four years’ work, after its announcement in early 2014 as part of the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013–2025.
Malaysia announced its intent to step onto the world stage as an education powerhouse, launching the Malaysia Education Blueprint (Higher Education) in 2015 in a bid to increase the number of international students within the country to 250,000.