Country Information
Brunei Darussalam

Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
Land Area: 5,765
Population: 413,000 (UN, 2012)
Language: Malay, English, Chinese
Religion: Islam, Buddhism, Christianity
Currency: B$ (Bruneian Dollar)
Major Industries: Crude oil, liquefied natural gas, petroleum products

Education System: Higher education system of Brunei Darussalam, post-secondary education consists of a number of educational options, most of which offer varying levels and types of certificates, diplomas and degrees(university only). Although hierarchical distinctions of types of post- secondary education may seem arbitrary, by the very nature and structure of courses offered within each tertiary institution, it would seem more useful to consider the university system of UBD as the only higher education system of Brunei Darussalam. To date, the university is the only institution offering 'degree' level programmes and the certificates and diplomas offered by other named institutions (i.e.;primarily synonymous with TVE institutions) are generally of a lower level to those offered at UBD. Top of the TVE institution ranking are BTEC HND or BTEC HNC programmes offered by ITB and these qualifications may only normally entitle entry into the second year (at the maximum) of the University program. UBD is a public State University and it was fully operational in 1985 following His Majesty's 'Titah' or royal command. 2 Coordination of higher education and institutional governance Although subsumed under the Ministry of Education, following the Constitution of Brunei Darussalam, the administration of UBD is quite autonomous from the Ministry of Education. This is not to say that there are no links with the Ministry. Administratively, UBD is self-governing and it follows organizational structures that are commonly adopted by universities in the Commonwealth, where the Vice-Chancellor is the principal executive and academic officer of the university. The Chancellor of the University is His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. There are 2 main bodies in university governance; the University Council and the Senate. The University Council is the executive body and consequently, the main governing body of UBD


Capital: Phnom Penh
Land Area: 181,035
Population: 14.5 million (UN, 2012)
Language: Khmer
Religion: Buddhism
Currency: Riel
Major Industries: Clothing, timber, rubber

Education System: Higher education in Cambodia was one of the areas most severely affected by the events of recent years. Despite an unstable political situation. The Cambodian Government throughout the 1980's reestablished its institutions of higher education. A network of 9 public higher education institutions have been established which provide for instruction in areas such as agriculture, medicine, economics, industry, technology, teacher training, science, art and culture. A further fifteen technical and professional training institutions (specialized secondary schools) also offer tertiary level courses lasting for periods of 2 to 3 years for upper secondary school graduates. All higher education institutions providing degree programs are public. Although Cambodia is economically weak, higher education is almost completely free. Students, whether poor or rich, pay nothing for tuition. Apart from a recently established private university providing degree programmes, there are a few private institutions providing tertiary level courses which are non-degree programs. Post-secondary and higher education institutions receive their authority to function and to grant degrees from the Council of Ministers. This authority is granted by a sub decree of the Council of Ministers. The Ministry of Education , Youth and Sport has overall responsibility for establishing national policies and curriculum guidelines. All institutions receive financial support from the government,basically for salaries, but this financial support is quite limited and it does not allow institutions to develop.


Capital: Jakarta
Land Area: 1.9 million sq km
Population: 242.8 million (UN, 2012)
Language: Bahasa Indonesia
Religion: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholism and Christianity
Currency: Rupiah
Major Industries: Oil and gas, plywood, textiles, rubber, palm oil

Education System: Indonesia's commitment to the further development of education is based on the recognition that development goes hand-in-hand with advancement in science and technology. There are currently 51 state/public universities (including several teacher training institutions), 26 state/public polytechnics (engineering, commerce and agriculture) and 1,328 private higher education institutions (including academies, polytechnics and teacher training institutions). Besides, there are also Islamic higher education institutions (both private and state/public) which are under the control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Coordination of higher education The coordination is done by the Ministry of Education and Culture except for the Islamic higher education institutions as described earlier. The Minister of Education and Culture then delegates the authority in these higher education matters to the Directorate General of Higher Education. Institutional governance At each higher education institution there is a body called a Senate which acts as a normative body to the institution. Every major decision including degree and diploma granting procedures should be approved by the Senate.

Lao People's Democratic Republic

Capital: Vientiane
Land Area: 236,800 sq km
Population: 6.4 million (UN, 2012)
Language: Lao
Religion: Buddhism
Currency: Kip
Major Industries: Clothing, timber products, coffee, gold, copper, electricity

Education System: Higher education institutions are public and are managed by the governmentdirectly. The Department of Higher Technical and Vocational Education or HTVED (within MOE) is responsible for management and coordination of the country's post-secondary sub-sector, including the overall supervision and monitoring. As mentioned above, there are no private institutions that can award the high degree level (at post-secondary level) in the country, except for a limited provision of vocational training by proprietary schools. Some post-secondary institutions, such as the former Pedagogical University which is now the Faculty of Education, NUOL, offer non-formal post-secondary education in various areas such as language training providing general English courses up to ESP (English for Specific Purposes) level. All faculties/institutions which provide higher education are not formally equal in contact hours, for example, some subjects take more or less hours than the others. In addition, the study programme of each institution/faculty varies in length as mentioned earlier.


Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Land Area: 329,847 sq km
Population: 29.3 million (UN, 2012)
Language: Malay, English, Chinese, Tamil
Religion: Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Taoism
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit
Major Industries: Electronic equipment, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, chemicals, palm oil, wood and wood products, rubber, textiles

Education System: Institutions of higher learning in Malaysia provide opportunities to equip individuals with knowledge, skills and professionalism to meet the need of national human resources for the national development. The public and private institutions play important roles to fulfill the national needs. Besides the public educational system, there also exists a widespread and expanding system of private institutions ranging from kindergarten to university. These institutions mostly cater exclusively for local examinations, especially the Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia--STPM (equivalent to A-Level) and professional courses. The most recent development has been the introduction of twinning programmes where a local college enters into an arrangement with a foreign university and provides the first stage of the degree course in this country, while the final part is taken at the university concerned overseas. The Higher Education Division of the Ministry of Education functions as a secretariat which will coordinate and monitor the activities of institutions of higher learning including public and private universities and college education in Malaysia, while the administration of polytechnics falls under the jurisdiction of the Technical and Vocational Education Division of the Ministry. Institutions of higher learning can be classified into three categories: polytechnic, college and university. The Higher Education Department.


Capital: Yangon
Land Area: 676,552 sq km
Population: 48.7 million (UN, 2012)
Language: Burmese
Religion: Buddhism, Christianity, Islam
Currency: Kyat
Major Industries: Teak, pulses and beans, prawns, fish, rice, opiates, oil and gas

Education System: There are 163 higher education institutions in Myanmar. Among them, 66 institutions are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education while 97 institutions are under 11 other ministries and the Union of Civil Services Board. All the higher education institutions are state-financed and they specialize in varied fields and offer a variety of programmes – undergraduate, postgraduate diploma, master’s degree programmes and doctorate programmes. Higher education institutions under the Ministry of Education have also established Centres for Human Resource Development that offer re-education and retraining human resource development programmes ranging from short-term certificate programmes to master’s degree programmes. There are two Departments of Higher Education – one for lower Myanmar and one for upper Myanmar. These two departments are responsible for administration and co-ordination of higher education institutions under the Ministry of Education. Although higher education institutions function under the administration of different ministries, academic and administrative policy matters relating to higher education are managed by the two councils chaired by the Minister for Education. They are the Universities’ Central Council, and the Council of University Academic Bodies. The Universities’ Central Council is principally responsible for the framing of broad policy and co-ordination of the work of higher education institutions while the responsibility of the Council of University Academic Bodies lies in the adoption of academic regulations and co-ordination of academic work.


Capital: Manila
Land Area: 300,000
Population: 96.5 million
Language: Filipino, English, Spanish
Religion: Catholic Christianity, Islam
Currency: Peso
Major Industries: Electrical machinery, clothing, food and live animals, chemicals, timber products

Education System: There are presently 1,282 higher education institutions in the country, broken down into: 98 state universities and colleges, 105 Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-supervised institutions, 35 local universities and colleges, 14 other government schools, and 1,030 private institutions. State universities and colleges (SUCs) are institutions funded by the national government. They have their own charters and are thus autonomous from CHED. CHED-supervised institutions are non-chartered colleges, directly under the supervision of CHED and whose annual budget allocation is integrated in the government budget appropriation for CHED. Local universities and colleges previously called community colleges are those operated, supported and maintained by local government units. In addition, there are other government schools offering bachelor's degrees and/or graduate degrees and advanced training such as military and police academies which are supervised and regulated by the Department of National Defense and Philippine National Police. Private institutions, on the other hand, are owned and administered by private individuals, groups or corporations. These are classified either as sectarian or non-sectarian colleges and universities. Sectarian schools are usually non-stock, non-profit institutions, owned and operated by religious orders. Non-sectarian schools are owned by private corporations which are not affiliated to any religious organizations, majority are stock, a few are non-stock, non-profit corporations, and a number are foundations. The CHED oversees the higher education system. It is an agency attached to the Office of the President of the Philippines for administrative purposes. CHED is responsible for administering and supervising both public and private higher education institutions in the Philippines. Higher education institutions establish and maintain their own internal organization. The framework of their organization is generally divided into two areas, namely: policy formulation and policy implementation. The formulation and/or approval of all policies, rules and standards in the school is the main function of the Governing Board. The implementation of policies and the management of the school operations are vested in the administration headed by the President.


Capital: Singapore
Land Area: 660 sq km
Population: 5.3 million
Language: English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil
Religion: Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism
Currency: Singapore Dollar (S$)
Major Industries: Electronics, chemicals, banking & finance, real estate, tourism, trading

Education System: The Ministry of Education (MOE) is responsible for the co-ordination of education for Singapore. All post-secondary programs offered by public and nonpublic institutions or organisations must be approved by the MOE, Higher Education Division. The MOE also plays a significant role in establishing policy for public higher education institutions. Higher education institutions can be categorised into public and non-public institutions or organisations. Public institutions are established by individual Public Acts. The institutions are operationally autonomous, self-governing, and confer degrees, diplomas, and/or certificates. Policy guidelines for admission standards, enrolment levels, student payments, etc. are the purview of the Ministry of Education (MOE). The MOE approves requests for new programs and program changes. In addition, the MOE recommends the annual budget for public support of higher education to the Parliament. The public sector offers a comprehensive range of postsecondary education and training opportunities. Thai higher education institutions can be divided into three types: the universities, the polytechnics, and the technical training institute. The structure of institutional governance is very similar among the universities and polytechnics and is defined in the Public Acts establishing the individual institutions. Each institution is governed and managed by a Council which is appointed either by the Chancellor of the universities (the President of Singapore) or the Minister-in-charge of the polytechnics. The Council for a particular institution includes the President of the university or the Principal of the polytechnic and representatives from the administration and faculty of the institution, the Government, and the private sector. The Public Act also establishes a Senate or Academic Board which is responsible for the control and direction of academic programs, research, and examination, and has the power to award degrees, diplomas and certificates.


Capital: Bangkok
Land Area: 513,115 sq km
Population: 69.9 million
Language: Thai
Religion: Buddhism, Islam
Currency: Baht
Major Industries: Food including rice, seafood and live animals, office equipment, textiles and clothing, rubber

Education System: Thai higher education institutions can be classified into four categories: public universities, private universities and colleges under the supervision of the Ministry of University Affairs, institutes and colleges under the other ministries, and specialized training institutions. The Ministry of University Affairs supervises and coordinates public universities and institutes, and private universities and colleges. The Ministry of University Affairs is also responsible for formulating educational policy within the framework of the national education development plan. Other responsibilities include standardization of curricula and recommending areas for budget allocations. Each public university or institute has its own Act empowering the University Council to function as the governing body. Under the University Council is the President who is responsible for university administration. The President will operate the university or institute according to the policy laid down by the University Council. The University Council is empowered to grant degrees, graduate certificates, diplomas and certificates at the institutional level. For private higher education institutions, each private institution has its own council which is the administrative body responsible for the general functioning of the institution as well as organizing its internal administrative structure. The Council provides policy guidance for long-term planning and formulates control procedures. It also allocates funds and screens proposed budgets as well as curriculum design and revisions. The Council functions include the setting up of new academic disciplines, appointment or removal of chief executives, and approval of degree and diploma conferment. The Private Institution Council like the University Council, approves and grants degrees and diplomas.


Capital: Hanoi
Land Area: 329,247 sq km
Population: 89.7 million
Language: Vietnamese
Religion: Buddhism, Christianity
Currency: Dong
Major Industries: Petroleum, rice, coffee, clothing, fish

Education System: The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) manages directly 30 important higher education institutions (including allocation of the budget, and decisions on personnel and function). Two newly established Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City National Universities are more or less autonomous. Other ministries (especially Health, Culture and Art) supervise the related monodisciplinary institutions. The provincial authorities govern the junior colleges in their territories. The undergraduate level has been divided into two phases : first phase mainly for general education, the second phase for professional education. The MOET will give the core curriculum for the first phase, will approve the establishment of new majors, the exam regulation and the granting of degrees. The MOET will also allocate budgets to major research projects and monitor the implementation. However, all institutions are under the management of MOET regarding the academic aspect, despite the fact that they are under the direct supervision of provinces or other ministries; this means the MOET will promulgate and manage the admission regulations, the general structure of curricula, the exams and the granting of degrees. The organizational structure of a higher education mono- disciplinary institution in Vietnam. The multi-disciplinary university is a new model in Vietnam and their organizational structure is in the process of investigation. Community colleges should be established to meet the manpower resources of each community and their organizational structure is also being investigated. At present there is not a full system of legal documents, stipulating the management relationship between institutions and the MOET, for example the scope for autonomous governance by the institutions. Regarding the academic aspect, the MOET has given general requirements for teaching programmes (total number of credits, curriculum of general higher education for the first phase, percentages of knowledge areas: general, majors and concentrations).