A Note Against Commoditisation of International Students

Undergraduates and Postgraduates of UMT

  1. International students are one of the main drive of university’s income.
  2. International students are one of the main contributors of the nations income. In 2015, international students have contributed RM 3.3 billions to the economy of Malaysia [2].
  3. International students come to Malaysia not to ask for money. They won’t come to Malaysia if they don’t have money.
  4. International students come to Malaysia to spend, and in return, to get the maximum values from the best education in Malaysia can offer.
  5. Although the agenda to increase the number of students in university can be seen as an economic agenda, the students cannot be looked as a commodity. They are not simply products, or numbers, or raw materials. Students are humans, but they are cannot be objectified as human capitals [1]. They are simply human beings [2], that have energy, emotions and needs. Human beings that are ready to contribute to the next generation.
  6. Universities are responsible to provide the best education. When we say education, it is not merely about whiteboard and notebooks kind of knowledge. Social skills through cultural exchanges, going to kenduri’s, cooking together, get involved in arts and local events are part of the crucial education that a university can provides.
  7. International students also need social enrichment and help from the universities through proper channels and societies to express their need, and contribute positively. They needed to feel welcomed, being assisted with smooth process in preparation for inbound, being exposed with the culture and great hospitality, and be part of the growing Malaysia.
  8. This is the vision that we should aspire and take action upon. With the passion to increase the number of international students, comes with the mentality to serve the best experience while they are enjoying their life as students in Malaysia.

[1] Capital, is defined as any form of wealth employed or capable of being employed in the production of more wealth. Capital can grow with investment to produce more capital [Link]
[2] Ministry of Higher Education has no longer use the term ‘human capital’ to break the perspective of students as commodities. See Amanat Menteri Kementerian Pendidikan Tinggi 2016 [Link]