THE THINGS THAT JOIN US

Saudi Arabia 2017 | DIPLOMACY | GUEST SPEAKER

TBY talks to Dato' Seri Haji Idris bin Jusoh, Minister of Higher Education of Malaysia, on cooperation with Saudi Arabia and the potential for collaboration on education.

Dato’ Seri Haji Idris bin Jusoh
BIOGRAPHY
Dato’ Seri Haji Idris bin Jusoh is the Minister of Higher Education of Malaysia. He has been in office since May 16, 2013. He was Chairman of MARA from July 17, 2008 to March 9, 2013.

How is Malaysia cooperating with the education sector in Saudi Arabia?

We just signed an MoU with Saudi Arabia. We have a good relationship with its education minister and with the education sector at large. There is great potential in Malaysia because the country offers quality education at 30% of the cost of education in Europe, the US, and other countries. Looking at our ranking, it is easy to see why we are highly competitive. Our engineering programs are in the top 30 in the world. Other subjects keep improving. For the last two years we have continued to improve ourselves. It is a good opportunity. With Malaysia being a Muslim country, people from the GCC will feel comfortable there. It is friendly and safe. That is especially true for Saudis.

What kind of increase of Saudi citizens coming to Malaysia do you anticipate?

Next year we expect a significant increase in the number of Saudis coming to Malaysia for education, as well as Malaysians coming to Saudi Arabia. We share excellent curriculum on Islamic finance, for example. The quality of education is what we have to offer. More and more Saudis understand this, the minister understands this, and recognition was even given to us by King Salman when he was in Malaysia recently. He received two honorary doctorates from our universities. His trip will help to attract more students to Malaysian universities. In Islamic finance we have two excellent institutions. They are both highly ranked in Islamic finance. There is certainly scope to train more Islamic finance professionals between the Saudi and Malaysian systems.