Post-election hope for higher education autonomy, academic freedom

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The unexpected, stunning defeat in May elections of Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, which had been in power for more than six decades, has given academics fresh hope for greater university autonomy and academic freedom. Anil Netto reports.

New Education Minister Maszlee Malik was formerly a lecturer at the International Islamic University Malaysia and holds a PhD from Durham University in the United Kingdom. A relative newcomer to politics, he suffered under constraints of lack of academic freedom.

On 25 May, shortly after taking up the ministerial post, he said in a speech at Sunway University in Selangor: “We need to enhance academic freedom. I was among the victims of non-academic freedom under the rule of the previous regime.”

Malik also said that he would like to personally move a bill to repeal the stifling Universities and University Colleges Act of 1971. “Please give me the honour to move it in Parliament, to remove that draconian act.”

Full article on World University News website.

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