Opening Up Job Mobility in ASEAN – Why Qualifications and Quality Matters
As ASEAN continues to link and integrate the various countries in the region, one of the biggest opportunities for students will be the ability to live more easily and work in other ASEAN countries. But the hiring of professionals from other countries presents a series of challenges, not least of which is how to recognise the equivalency of qualifications awarded by the ten countries of ASEAN. Unlike many other countries in the region, Malaysia already has an internationally recognised 'Qualifications Framework' which was modeled on countries such as Australia and New Zealand. The framework permits qualifications (such as Certificates, Diplomas, Bachelor, Masters etc.) to be made comparable for length of study and learning outcomes. In Europe, what is known as the Bologna Process, now encompasses some 40+ countries. These countries have all aligned their higher education framework, qualifications and academic systems.
Taylor's University was recently asked by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to host a delegation from two of the other members of ASEAN - Myanmar and Laos. Their trip was funded under the ASEAN-Australia/New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Technical Exchange Programme. The aim of their visit to Malaysia was to assist them in the development of their own national qualifications framework, and to help them do it in such a way that it aligns with the other countries in ASEAN. Following a visit to the MQA headquarters in Petaling Jaya, where the MQA outlined the development of the Malaysian Qualifications Framework, a series of technical visits to a number of selected public and private higher educationinstitutions were made. This helped to explain both the implementation of the Malaysian Qualifications Framework from a policy point of view, as well as the practical issues faced in the development of the internal quality assurance system of higher education institutions in Malaysia. This visit was hosted by the Taylor's University Quality Advancement Department (QAD) and Dr. Thian Lok Boon said that she had been "delighted to share with the visitors from Myanmar and Laos the rigorous academic systems we use at Taylor's University to ensure not only compliance with MQA requirements, but also to continually raise the bar of academic standards". Visit Taylor's official website to find out more about Quality Assurance of academic programmes at Taylor's University.