Malaysia recently achieved the distinction of being the first country worldwide to offer MOOCs for Public Universities. These popular online courses are offered through the internet and can be accessed or undertaken from across the globe. This initiative by the Malaysia education ministry has expanded the role and scope of this new medium of learning from Public Universities which is the first of its kind globally.
This path-breaking initiative is focused on students getting an opportunity to waste less time in attending classes and to expand the role of institutions of higher learning (IPTA) in imparting world-class education. The first 2014 semester began in September 7 and 8 with 16,000 students having enrolled in the MOOCs for compulsory subjects like the Islamic Civilization and Asian Civilizations, Ethnic Relations, Entrepreneurship and ICT Competency. These are the first year students in the IPTA.
The MOOCs have seen a wide acceptance due to the convenience they offer regarding anytime and anywhere access through the internet. Students can log in from anywhere to undertake the course through www.openlearning.com/Malaysianmoocs website. The Ministry aims to increase the percentage of learning in the IPTAs via the MOOC route to 15 percent next year and to 30 percent by 2020.
“We take the pride for becoming the first country to have undertaken this inclusive initiative towards making learning in higher universities accessible to many more students. We consider MOOCs to be the medium of the future that will be all inclusive and build on the popular concept of being global citizens. We aim to continuously upgrade our course structure to make it a perfect fit for this exciting new way to impart education,” said a Ministry spokesperson.
Speaking to few first year students who have enrolled in this course, we received the following reactions:
“I am so glad for this new way to learn, I am not bound to a rigid classroom system anymore, and have the freedom to pursue other interests,” said Yusuf, a student.
According to Sylvia, “It gives me a chance to take up a job to hone my skills and have real time experience, while also continuing my studies. This is very helpful in many ways.”
Mateen said, “This is a new age and we are all very dependent on the internet for everything, so adding our education to it is just expanding the scope and giving us some free time to do other things, I surely am going to continue studying this way as I have the control over my time and my passions.”
The above reactions display the popularity of the initiative and the high level of acceptance of this new path-breaking initiative by Malaysia.
“We are very happy with the response we have received since introducing this new platform and we look forward to making new strides to ensure that students are connected to their own future via the means of a good, steady educational background,” added the Ministry spokesperson in conclusion.