By SARAH CHEW
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s efforts to be an international education hub by first attracting African students has hit a snag.
The Botswana government will reduce the number of students sent to study in Malaysian universities and colleges next year.
Its Education and Skills Develop-ment Minister, Jacob Nkate, said Botswana students who accounted for over 20% of the African students here had trouble acclimatising to the Malaysian culture.
He was quoted in a Botswana English daily Mmegi during a function soon after returning from a visit to Malaysia following the death of three students from the country.
Last month, two Botswana students died after falling from apartment balconies while the third died in a road accident.
It was reported that the students blamed the hostile environment they encountered in Malaysia that forced many of them to turn to alcoholism and other anti-social behaviour.There are more than ,7000 African students here and of that number, 1,635 are from Botswana.
Nkate said some of the students had been given too much liberty by the local institutions.
He added that universities and colleges should not allow Botswana students to sit for examinations unless they had attended 80% of their classes.
Multimedia University (MMU) president Prof Dr Zaharin Yusoff expressed surprise at Nkate’s announcement.
“He visited MMU with his team recently and seemed happy with what we’re doing. He said that things would continue as normal.”
Prof Zaharin admitted that MMU’s requirements for those taking examinations were not very strict, but the university was willing to change the rules for Botswana students should the minister insist upon that.
UCSI University president Peter Ng welcomed the minister’s comments and said this was an opportunity to analyse the current situation.
“Local institutions and our Ministry of Higher Education should take stock of where we have failed and see this as a learning opportunity.
“The ministry should have a built-in system to help international students acclimatise socially, such as arranging host families to look after them,” Ng said.
Sunway University College (SUC) executive director Elizabeth Lee gave the assurance that SUC paid “special attention” to Botswana students, such as arranging additional mathematics classes for them.
hmmm......i wonder what kind of 'hostile' environment those people are talking about that 'forced' their students to alcoholism and other anti-social behaviour. So, people had accidents. People die. So, one should blame it on the environment and not the driver even if the driver was reckless?
I tried not to be judgemental about this story, but i know a lot of people will agree with me that these African students (which ever part of Africa they might come from), are the one that will create some sort of trouble where ever they might be located.
I had once lived in an area near to a private college where one can see numbers of black students. And undoubtedly, they are of quite an 'aggressive ' lot and portray no respect to the locals unlike students from another Asian country such as Indonesia.
Hostile environment are non other than they creating it themselves. Involving in alcoholism and being anti-social; they are the one who chose to take that path.
The Malaysian government should not fret (although the private college would) about this matter at all. Failing to attract them to come in to study in Malaysia would have more positive than negative impact on the social environment of the country. Of course some of them really want to study here but some just come in via student visa and later would be illegally working selling items such as fake watches, small leather-ware item and other stuff.
Perhaps, indirectly, the Botswana's government decision to reduce the outgoing students to Malaysia would have its own significance.