REGULATING QUALITY ASSURANCE IN MALAYSIAN HIGHER EDUCATION
The Malaysian Quality Assurance (QA) system in higher education evolved from certain educational legislations and directives that aspired to achieve international recognition and excellence thus making Malaysia as the educational hub in the Asian region. The shift from dual public-private system to a single system created a common QA platform with the establishment of the national quality agency, the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), in 2007. The MQA has overall responsibility for the local accreditation of higher education programmes and qualifications, and for supervising and regulating quality and standards in education providers. The Malaysian QA system aims to adopt global best practices and the ultimate goal is to grant self accrediting status with continuous improvement approach to the higher education providers. Quality assessment is via accreditation of programmes and qualifications and audit of institutions. This study found that top-down approach was prevalent in regulating QA in higher education in Malaysia. However, the developmental approach used by the MQA in guiding the institutions was well-received by the higher education institutions. This study also raised two major concerns on the quality standards and panel of assessors.