Studies in Higher Education | VOL. 41

Employing the ‘unemployable’: employer perceptions of Malaysian graduates

Publication Date Dec 1, 2016


Malaysia has made significant progress in advancing access to education over the last two decades, having achieved the education goals of the UN's Millennium Development Goals. Unfortunately, this has not been accompanied by quality improvement, with reports of ‘unemployable’ graduates a frequent refrain. This paper reports on a study of Malaysian employers’ perceptions of the country's graduates that finds a much more nuanced picture. While employers view Malaysian graduates as far from ideal, these graduates come with several strengths such as familiarity with local conditions, willingness to work hard, and lower hiring costs relative to foreign graduates. Not all Malaysian located graduates are ranked alike qualitatively; those enrolled in transnational private education are rated better than those from public universities. Major policy implications arising from this state of affairs are discussed.


Perceptions Of Graduates Malaysian Graduates UN's Millennium Millennium Development Goals Public Universities Local Conditions Quality Improvement Transnational Private Malaysian Employers Foreign Graduates

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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