Social and Academic Profiles of Degree Students in Malaysian Public and Private Universities: Implications for Equality of Educational Opportunities

By Bahaman Abu Samah, Sharifah Md Nor and Md Yusof Abu Bakar.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper discusses the role of public and private universities in ensuring wider participation of students from various social background. Factors highlighted are gender, family income, sponsorship, employment and income soon after completion of study, students’ achievements (CGPA), achievement in the Malay and English language at entry and entry qualifications. Data was collected involving degree students who graduated in 2007. Approximately 81.1% of graduates from first degree programs answered the questionnaire. Of these, 94.3% were from public universities and only 32.3% were from private universities. The data was analysed descriptively using frequencies and multiple linear regression equation. The findings of the study reveal that majority of graduates have family whose monthly income is RM2000 and below, majority of graduates in the lower income group obtain financial aid (loans) from the government. Private universities have more graduates from higher income family. The number of female graduates double that of male graduates in public universities, while in private universities, the number of female graduates are only slightly higher, in public universities , female graduates obtain significantly higher mean CGPA. A higher percentage of private university graduates obtained jobs soon after completing first degree as compared to public university graduates. A higher percentage of graduates from higher income family obtain employment soon after completion of first degree and earn higher income compared to graduates with lower income family. In the Technical field in public universities, the variables that contribute most to CGPA are academic variables; Form Six qualifications, achievement in English language, Matriculation/Asasi and the social variable, gender. Family income is not significantly related to CGPA. These findings have important implications on policy as well as programs to be undertaken by universities to ascertain that students of all socioeconomic background can achieve their full potentials not only in the university but also in terms of employment.

Keywords: Academic and Social Profiles, Degree Students, Malaysian Public and Private Universities

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.95-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 709.938KB).

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bahaman Abu Samah

Associate Professor, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Sharifah Md Nor

Lecturer, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Sharifah Md Nor is a professor of sociology of education in the Faculty of Educational Studies University Putra Malaysia.

Dr. Md Yusof Abu Bakar

Head of Graduate Tracer Study Unit, Ministry of Higher Education, Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia


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