As a main component of Malaysia's transformation into a high-income nation, the Education NKEA undertakes initiatives which develop the education spectrum in the country, ranging from early childcare and education to professional skills training.

The NKEA also seeks to leverage Malaysia's strategic location and accessibility throughout Southeast Asia and sound infrastructure to make the country a regional education hub. The industry's entry point projects reflect these ambitions, with the initiatives already making great strides in increasing private sector participation, attracting top tier foreign universities to Malaysian shores and developing new education clusters, in areas such as games development and accountancy.

List of EPPs
  • Legend
  • Operational
  • Work In Progress
  • Not Started
    NoEPPs2020 GNI (millions)JobsLocationStatus
    EPP 1
    Scaling Up Early Private Childcare and Education Centres2,40078,000Nationwide 
    EPP 2
    Improving Early Child Care and Education (ECCE) Training1803,500Nationwide 
    EPP 3
    Scaling Up of International Schools2,64410,000Nationwide 
    EPP 4
    Expanding Private Teacher Training400430Nationwide 
    EPP 5
    Scaling Up Private Skills Training Provision2,10012,400Nationwide 
    EPP 6
    International Expansion of Distance Learning4003,920Nationwide 
    EPP 7
    Building an Islamic Finance and Business Education Centre1,2004,300Nationwide 
    EPP 8
    Building a Health Science Education Discipline Cluster3,79013,943 
    EPP 9
    Building an Advanced Engineering, Science and Innovation Discipline Cluster6004,300 
    EPP 10
    Building a Hospitality and Tourism Cluster60033,000Nationwide 
    EPP 11
    EPP 12
    Championing Malaysia’s Education Brand2,800153,000Nationwide 
    EPP 13
    Introducing Public-Private Partnerships in Education2001,010Nationwide 
    EPP 14
    Building a Games Development Cluster6105Nationwide 
    EPP 15
    Establishment of Branch Campuses65.9365 
    EPP 16
    Establishment of Not-For-Profit Education Institutions74.0190 
    EPP 17
    Transforming Malaysia into a Leading Accountancy Hub14234 
    Business Opportunities

    In addition to the entry point projects (EPP), the Education NKEA has identified additional business opportunities that can support the growth of the industry. These include projects already planned and baseline growth in areas beyond the education segments highlighted by the EPPs. Overall, these business opportunities, coupled with the baseline growth of the sector, are estimated to contribute an additional RM14.3 billion of GNI in 2020 and generate over 252,000 incremental jobs.

    • BO 1Discipline Clusters to Support NKEAs
      The Education NKEA began with EPPs that centred on four discipline clusters – Islamic Finance and Business, Health Sciences, Advanced Engineering and Hospitality and Tourism. This expanded to include the Games Development Cluster, allowing Malaysia to compete with countries such as South Korea, Singapore and China.
    • BO 2Centre for Excellence in Language Learning
      There exists a gap in developing quality language centres specialising in the English language, in which there is potential to serve the fast-growing economies of China and India. Malaysia can also leverage its position as a multicultural, multilingual nation in Southeast Asia to bridge this gap.
    As Malaysia continues to grow, new opportunities for clustering are expected to arise to support the demand for human capital in other sectors such as Accountancy or Oil and Gas.


    Raise Quality through Regulatory Reforms

    The aim is to amend policy frameworks that will encourage all private sector colleges and institutions to enhance their programmes. A key initiative involves implementing the Malaysia Quality Evaluation System for Private Colleges (known as MyQuest), which is an instrument to evaluate the current performance of private colleges in Malaysia. The evaluation of private colleges is aimed at driving improvements towards quality education through developmental approaches, ratings and self-assessments.

    The MoE also uses the Rating System for Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia (D-SETARA). D-SETARA measures the quality of teaching and learning at level six of the the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (undergraduate level) in academic disciplines in universities and university colleges in Malaysia It classifies its rating into six Tiers ranging from 1 as weak to 6 for outstanding. Among the results are Taylor’s University ranked at Tier 6; Universiti Teknologi MARA at Tier 5 for Hospitality and Tourism; and Universiti Malaya achieving Tier 5 (the highest) for medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. Further details on the ratings can be obtained from MQA’s website at

    Shift to Demand-Side and Performance-Based Financing

    This enabler encourages demand-driven and performance-based financing of educational institutions, which include a fee assistance scheme for pre-schools and childcare centres and additional funding for TVET institutions based on the Star Rating Exercise.

    Remove Barriers to Entry for International Students

    This enabler assists Malaysia in increasing its intake of international students in the private higher education sector. It will also help identify high-performing post-graduate students for jobs in strategic industries in the country and streamline visa passes for foreign students. The Malaysian Government introduced the Employment Pass II in October 2011. This initiative enables high-performing foreign graduates who had completed tertiary education in Malaysia and young professionals to pursue employment in the country.

    Foreign graduates are required to fulfil the following stringent criteria in order to be eligible for this initiative:

    • Successful in the graduate selection process of a reputable firm


    Pursuing degree/postgraduate in SETARA Tier 5 Institutions

    • Top scorers with at least second upper (or equivalent)


    Top scorers with at least second upper (or equivalent)

    • Credible multinational companies, Government-linked corporations and strong Malaysian-based companies
    • Higher value-added job descriptions
    • Employment contract of two years and below with a minimum gross salary of RM2,500 monthly
    • All applications must be submitted by companies to the Immigration Department Further details on the Employment Pass Category II can be obtained from TalentCorp’s website at


    Improve Ease of Doing Business

    The focus of this enabler is to liberalise the way private sector educational institutions set up businesses in Malaysia. The education services sub-sector has been liberalised, where international schools, private skills training centres and private higher education institutions are able to operate with 100% foreign ownership. Foreign entities are now allowed to operate businesses in Malaysia without requiring a minimum percentage of local ownership.

    Economic Transformation Programme
    The ETP Transformation Story
    The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is a comprehensive effort that will transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020.
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