Higher Education and English Language

Topics: Higher education, Communication, English language Pages: 9 (2732 words) Published: February 17, 2013

Malaysia has evolved into a middle-income country and moving forward in achieving the Vision 2020 which was introduced by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir bin Mohammad in 1991. The vision calls for the nation to achieve a self-sufficient industrialized nation by the year 2020 in all aspects of life such as economic prosperity, social well-being and educational world class. The economy of Malaysia is growing and a newly industrialized market economy. Manufacturing has the large influence in the country’s economy. High levels of foreign and private investment played a significant role as the economy diversified and modernized. Malaysia’s strong domestic jobs growth is being driven by the continual expansion of multinational companies into the country as well as the government initiatives to nurture and up-skill local Malaysian talent.

Steady economic growth in Malaysia throughout 2011 has driven a consistent increase in the number of employment opportunities available for fresh graduates from higher learning educations. Business confidence remains positive with the volume of job opportunities in the market holding steady across all industries. With positive jobs growth predicted to continue this year, students are confidence in the employment market is high. Career development is a key motivating factor for fresh graduates in Malaysia during 2012. “Malaysia can achieve economic growth of between five and six per cent this year via systematic government planning, matured policies and effective implementation”, said Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Unemployment has become an increasingly important issue in most countries around the world. Normally, the unemployment rate in developed countries is higher than developing countries due to higher competition. Through observation by the Human Resourced Ministry of Malaysia, youngsters are facing more difficulties in getting jobs as compared to adults. In Malaysia, one of the effected sectors is the nursing field where more than 54 percent of the nursing graduated were unemployed three to four months after graduating. Even though, the stable economic growths in Malaysia as well as the increasing number of job opportunities available in the market give fresh graduates a brighter job path in the future, these benefits are not contributing towards the increasing number of unemployment among fresh graduates either from local or private higher learning institutions. It was announced in The Star news on July 6, 2011 that the number of jobless graduates had increased from 65,500 to 71,600 although the overall unemployment rate had dropped from 3.4% to 3.1% during the first quarter of 2011. The measures about the unemployment rate of graduates were taken by the government and told by Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Maznah Mazlan. Table 1.0 showing the unemployment rate in Malaysia, 2011 can be seen in Appendix. According to a study conducted by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), there are four main reasons that contribute to this phenomenon. Firstly, graduates are lack of working experience. Secondly, poor command of English. Thirdly, graduates lack of positive attributes. Lastly, there is a mismatch between the type of graduation degree and the job requirements.

This study on the importance of English language in job interview applied in three factors which are personal factor, communication factor as well as organizational factor. JobStreet.com has conducted an English Language Assessment (ELA) test whereby it had ranked Singaporeans first, Filipino second and Malaysians third. This has proven that Malaysian command of English is not up to standard. A survey by online recruitment agency Jobstreet.com in 2011 showed that 55% of employers cited unrealistic expectations of salaries while 48% of them said poor...
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