Although the establishment of a system of governance for the putative institution is one of the criteria that has to be satisfied before approval is given for the establishment of a private higher education institution, there are no prescriptions as to how governance systems are to be structured. Malaysian Qualifications Agency`s guidelines for Institutional Audit and Approval of Programmes both specify governance as an area for evaluation. Troubled by perceptions that business interests may override academic considerations in Private Higher Educational Institutions, the Ministry of Education has prescribed separate model constitutions for institutions with university status and those without that status in which academic functions are separated from the business functions of the institution. Representations from institutions inhabiting the private sector show that the models have not always been successful.
The programme is about developing ideas for a governance structure that will accommodate the expectations of the investor in educational enterprise. The programme will consider the provisions of the model constitution and at the same time explore the good governance codes that apply to limited companies. Since the Private Higher Educational Institutions operates under the aegis of private companies, well established rules from the corporate domain may provide effective solutions to balance business interests with the demands of higher education.