The New Economic Model and Education
In March 2010, the government published a document entitled the ‘New Economic Model (NEM)’ which put forward a radical plan for the transformation of the Malaysian economy. Education was highlighted both as a cause for the parlous state of the economy, the lack of talent in the country as well as the primary lever for the proposed transformation. On 25 October 2010, the Prime Minister launched the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), A Road Map for Malaysia. The transformation plan presented a comprehensive proposal to transform Malaysia into a high income nation by 2020, lifting Malaysia’s GNI per capita from USD6, 700 to USD15, 000. This estimates a GNI growth of 6% per annum to achieve the targets set in the ETP by 2020.
Education was slated to play an important role in the ETP and was marked as one of 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA). The focus of the Education NKEA was on strengthening the private education services sector by increasing private consumption and investments as well as expanding education exports.