JICA Research Institute


Working Papers

No.29 Cross-Border Higher Education for Labor Market Needs: Mobility of Public-Funded Malaysian Students to Japan over Years

As globalization and the knowledge economy spreads, the demand for highly skilled workers has increased and developing countries are engaged in cross-border higher education to develop high level human resources for their nations. Using data on a cross-border higher education program between Malaysia and Japan, namely the Higher Education Loan Project (HELP1 and HELP2), this paper explores whether publicly funded cross-border higher education programs have yielded their expected outcomes (i.e., employment immediately after graduation) over the last ten years in the context of the rapidly changing Malaysian economic and higher education landscape. Our findings indicate that the program has met its intended outcomes, that is, the graduates have been absorbed in the industries they intended to work in or have continued with further studies, which are both conducive to Malaysian national development. However, our findings on the rates of graduates staying after completing their degrees imply that factors such as the host country’s immigration policies may influence the decision by graduates on where to work.

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