Malaysia Entices Its Academics Who Were Laid Off Abroad to Come Home

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Nov 24 18:09:11 UTC 2008

November 24, 2008 Malaysia Entices Its Academics Who Were Laid Off Abroad to
Come Home

Malaysia, which suffers from a vast brain
drain,<>has started
yet another effort to lure academics home. This time the
Ministry of Higher Education has told administrators to take advantage of
the global economic crisis and recruit Malaysian professors who have been
laid off at foreign universities, the *Malaysian

Under the plan, Malaysian universities are to be given "total freedom" to
hire out-of-work academics, the higher-education minister said in a speech
on Saturday. The proposal is likely to mean that the government will not
impose ethnic quotas on professors who return from abroad.

Malaysia's public universities have an affirmative-action program for
Muslims, which are the majority in the country. For years Malaysia's
brightest ethnic Indian and Chinese high-school graduates have left the
country because they cannot win seats in the universities even though they
score higher than do ethnic Malays. It is also more difficult for members of
minority groups to get teaching jobs, particularly at the senior level.
As long as the ethnic quotas stay in place, it is unlikely that the programs
to lure them back home will succeed. *—Martha Ann Overland*

*From the Chronicle of Higher Education*


Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at

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