The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) was established on 1 November 2007 with the coming in force of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency Act 2007. The MQA was officially launched by the Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, on 2 November 2007. Previously, it was known as the National Accreditation Board or LAN which was established in 1997 to quality assure the private higher education. The quality assurance of public universities was handled internally by the public universities through its quality assurance mechanism and monitored by the Quality Assurance Division (QAD) of the Ministry of Education. The establishment of the MQA which merged LAN and QAD was approved by the government on 21 December 2005. MQA is responsible for monitoring and overseeing the quality assurance practices and accreditation of both public and private national higher education institutions.
The MQA is also assigned with other responsibilities as follows:
- to implement the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF) as a basis for quality assurance of higher education and as the reference point for the criteria and standards for national qualifications.
- to develop, with the cooperation of stakeholders, standards and criteria and instruments as a national reference for the conferment of awards.
- to quality assure higher education providers and programmes.
- to accredit programmes that fulfil a set of criteria and standards.
- to facilitate the recognition and articulation of qualifications.
- to establish and maintain the Malaysian Qualifications Register (MQR).
- to advise the Minister of Education on any matter relating to quality assurance in higher education.
The MQA also evaluates foreign qualifications and assesses its comparability in relation to the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF).
Further information on MQA can be found at www.mqa.gov.my
Malaysian Qualifications Framework
The Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF) serves as a basis for quality assurance of higher education and as the reference point for national qualifications. It is an instrument that classifies qualifications based on international best practices and on a set of criteria that are approved nationally. These agreed upon criteria are used for all qualifications awarded by a higher education provider.
The MQF clarifies the academic levels, learning outcomes and credit system based on student academic load. The MQF also integrates all national qualifications and provides educational pathways through which it links qualifications systematically. These pathways will enable the individual learner to progress through credit transfers and accreditation of prior experiential learning in the context of lifelong learning.
The MQF covers three national higher education sectors, i.e., skills, vocational and technical, and academic. It has eight levels of qualifications. Each level of qualifications has its own learning outcomes based on the eight domains namely, knowledge; practical skills; social skills and responsibilities; values; attitudes and professionalism; communication; leadership and team skills; problem solving and scientific skills; management and lifelong learning skills; and managerial and entrepreneurial skills.
The MQF defines qualifications by using level descriptors and credit system. Level descriptors signify the levels of capabilities expected from the graduating students in terms of the depth, complexity and comprehension of knowledge; application of knowledge and skills; the degree of autonomy and creativity in decision making; the communication skills; and the breadth and sophistication of practices.
Student’s academic efforts are measured by using the credit system based on the total number of student hours that are required to achieve the learning outcomes. This includes activities such as lectures, tutorials, seminars, research as well as laboratory and field works. In Malaysia, 40 hours of notional student learning time is valued as one credit.
More information on the MQF, please click HERE.
Quality Assurance Documents
The MQA has published several documents as a guide for quality assurance exercise. These publications were prepared with inputs from experts and stakeholders via a series of focus group discussions and exchanges. They have also been benchmarked against international good practices. All the documents are accessible in, and downloadable from, MQA’s official website, please click HERE.
MQA Internship Programme
The MQA Internship is a programme where officials from related agencies undergo on-the-job training at the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) over certain duration. The Internship facilitates the sharing of best practices and experiences amongst peer quality assurance (QA) agencies and other higher education organisations around the world. The duration of the Internship is five working days.
The Internship is open to QA professionals which include international QA officials, QA assessors and auditors as well as, other officials of international higher education organizations.
Further details on the MQA internship programme, please click HERE.