The public/private division of the higher education sector in Malaysia extends to the legal status and treatment of students' conduct in the two sectors. There is a whole range of rules and legislation regulating student status and rights in the public sector, which do not apply to private higher education students, while the governing legislation on private higher education creates its own regulations for students in the private sector.
The programme conducted over two sessions in the same day explores the ways in which the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996 treats students and attempts to safeguard their interests as purchasers of education. The Ministry eschews the caveat emptor (buyer beware) approach of the free market but neither does it provide any pre-emptive framework for the protection of student interests. The Act only deals with some aspects of these rights, ignoring some important ones. This leaves students’ interests vis-a-vis the institution to be determined largely by the student contract with the institution and importantly, in the case of foreign students, their immigration status.
This programme approaches the topic systematically, exploring the interests of students at the different stages and aspects of their engagement with the institution, their immigration status and their general civic rights within the Malaysian constitutional bill of rights.