NEW DELHI – Malaysia will set aside 15 percent of places in public universities for foreign students as part of its plan to liberalise the education system, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, Najib said Indian students can grab the opportunity to study in Malaysia as part of mutual recognition of the educational qualifications between the two countries.
“Education is very important and I thank India for giving places for Malaysian students (in India), especially in medicine and dentistry,” he said after a delegation meeting with Modi at the Hyderabad House in conjunction with his six-day visit to India.
Prior to the press conference, both leaders witnessed exchanges of six Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) and one agreement between the two countries, including one between the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi and Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) on Mutual Recognition of the Educational Qualifications to encourage students to study in each other’s country in all courses.
Najib also announced another initiative to boost the tourism sector which would see Indian tourists getting visa without any fees, with approval within 48 hours for a 15-day visit and multiple entry.
“I told Prime Minister Modi, we have decided to allow no visa fees. This will enhance tourism and people to people contact,” he said.
The number of Indian tourists dropped from 722,141 in 2015 to 638,578 last year.
At the press conference, Najib, who arrived in the country on Thursday, said he thanked Mody for the numerous contracts given to Malaysian companies, including infrastructure projects such as building of highways.
Describing the ties between both nations as ‘a historic high’, Najib said the proposed development of a urea and ammonia manufacturing plant in Malaysia was very significant by Indian investors.
He said both leaders hoped that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership (RCEP) Agreement can be concluded by end of 2017, adding that a fresh trade cooperation was needed with the “demise” of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Modi, who visited Malaysia in 2015, said they agreed to enhance strategic partnership by prioritising action orientation approach and looking at new areas of cooperation.
He said India welcomed Malaysian companies to tap the vast business opportunities, including setting of 100 smart cities and many infrastructure projects.