The effects of NEP to Malay and Bumiputra Women in Higher Education

Here is an example of the difficulties in measuring the effects of NEP.

Going back to the education system, one effect of the NEP is the prevalence of female Bumiputra students in universities. If my facts are correct, policy makers are concerned that in many fields of study, females outnumber males. Now, in my opinion more having females in universities is a big plus. It means that in the future there is a potential that the position of females will be uplifted drastically. Students of women liberation (or feminist) movements may agree with me. For example, years before the feminist movement in the U.S. went into the upswing, the U.S. society experienced major changes, especially in the inclusion of women into workplace and higher education institutions.

So what are the effects of having more Bumiputra female students in Malaysian universities? If I may re-call one UN personality says that educating women in 3rd world countries will have positive effects in reducing poverty and increasing family welfare. Perhaps (and this is my guess), if a country has more females (than males) in higher education, there would be a long term positive effects to the welfare of society. This effect is more pronounced when the current position of Malay women (and other Bumiputra women) is at disadvantage vis a vis their male counterparts. In addition I would guess that the position of Malay women is worse compared to let say Chinese women. Malay women especially experiences more “social restrictions” and many other impediments.

This example illustrates several of the themes which have been discussed in the previous posts today. The first is issue what and how would the effects be measured. This example illustrates that thewhat issue is very important. And then there is issue of time lag. The effects of an economic may not be felt today or even in the short to medium time frame after the implementation of that specific policy. Of course, you can’t see the effects and consequences of having many Malay (and Bumiputera) women in universities and colleges now. The effects will be experienced in the future.

There is actually one more issue that is very specific to this example. We may not be able to even think what will be the effects of certain economic policies. This is particularly relevant to this example. Not many predicted that women would outnumber men in public universities in Malaysia.

I am also aware that some may argue that the rise of women in higher education cannot be attributed to NEP alone. Some one told me that in other countries, women have outnumbered men in universities. Now I have forgotten what those countries are. Readers are more than welcome to conduct their own inquiries.


About this entry