The cooperation sees the launch of the new FCertNZ foundation programme which will award students both a Foundation Certificate from KYSIC and an undergraduate degree from a New Zealand university.
It will allow students to enrol onto a one-year foundation course at KYSIC's KYS Business School (KYSB) in Melaka, in southwestern Malaysia, before progressing to an undergraduate degree in New Zealand.
Students will have the choice of humanities, commerce, sciences, engineering and health sciences courses on the foundation programme, which stems from a 2015 agreement between KYSIC and the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Waikato.
Commenting on the development, Chief Executive of KYSB and alumnus of Victoria University of Wellington, Datuk Kamaruddin, said the programme aims to create better educational opportunities for Malaysian students.
"KYS has always been at the forefront of quality education in Malaysia and the FCertNZ Foundation Programme kick-starts another chapter in our international education strategy.
"Through this new partnership with the universities in New Zealand, we hope that our students will continue to be exposed to high-quality education and gain valuable international experiences that can eventually help them meet the demands of both the local and global economy's needs," he said.
Additionally John Laxon, Education New Zealand's Regional Director for South, South East Asia & the Middle East, said the new FCertNZ programme will provide a seamless pathway for Malaysian students to further their studies in New Zealand.
Speaking to StudyTravel Magazine, James Kon at AusEd UniEd Group, which currently sends a small number of students to New Zealand, acknowledged that the development would now give the country more visibility in Malaysia. "This is probably the first NZ foundation in Malaysia and will provide a new channel of students for NZ universities."
He added, "Malaysia is a country inundated with pre-university options. This programme would probably only benefit local residents of Melaka who now don't have to go to Kuala Lumpur to complete high school. While the programme is a good one, the challenge is to put this programme into the market and recruit. It has to ensure the programme is recognised by institution from other countries as well as those locally; not just New Zealand as students wants options. It has to be priced correctly and have other USPs to attract students from outside Melaka, as Melaka is not a main city and easily connected."
Also commenting to StudyTravel Magazine, Amy Tan at A3 Education & Training said, "Malaysia is no stranger to transnational education. So I think the foundation certificate collaborating with New Zealand universities is nothing new to many Malaysian parents. In fact, they are considered a latecomer compared with the UK and Australia.
"Now the success of this programme run by KYSIC depends on the attractiveness of the tuition fee, scholarships and entry requirements. If KYSIC want to attract self-paying students (non-scholarships holder) and students who intend to continue their studies in New Zealand, this programme must provide a smooth, easy and hassle-free transition for these potential students. Plus this foundation has to be recognised by other institutions as well, just in case students have a change of mind and would like to transfer to other countries."
By Clarissa Waldron