KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Malaysians still hold education and tertiary qualification in high regard and consider them major factors in determining one’s success in life, compared to most South-east Asian counterparts, a new survey has found.

Global market research firm Ipsos reported in its latest “Education Monitor” that about 74 per cent of Malaysians’ polled strongly agreed that possessing a college or university degree held immense value and was crucial for success in life.

The global average out of 29 countries polled was 60 per cent.

In the list of 29 countries, India came in first at 80 per cent, followed by Singapore and Malaysia at second and third place, respectively.


Thailand came in tenth place at 68 per cent, and was tied with Italy.

Belgium polled at 43 per cent, making the country the lowest on the list.

“Many Malaysians place great importance on obtaining a college or university degree as a key factor for success in life.


“As a result, they hold high expectations for their education system, with over 60 per cent rating it as sub-optimal,” Ipsos Public Affairs senior research manager Azamat Ababakirov said.

In the same survey, four out of 10 Malaysians acknowledged the quality of education, with 80 per cent saying they recognised the importance of teachers in receiving training in advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to better prepare their students for the future.

Comparatively, Malaysia’s result trumps both the global and South-east Asia average of 65 per cent and 76 per cent respectively.

“Although improvements have been made in the quality of education, Malaysians still recognise several challenges that the education system faces, including limited technology usage, unequal access to education, insufficient infrastructure, and outdated curriculum,” Azamat said.

Moreover, 66 per cent of Malaysian respondents said teachers are highly trusted and respected for their dedication in instilling shared values amongst their students and 65 per cent said they recommend teaching as a profession for youngsters.

“Teachers in Malaysia are respected within their communities and are believed to be adequately compensated for their efforts.

“Malaysia has the highest proportion of individuals in South-east Asia and the second highest in the world who consider teaching careers for young people, demonstrating high regard and appreciation for the teaching profession,” Azamat added.

The Ipsos survey was conducted between May and July 2023 via Ipsos’s Global Advisor online survey platform, with 500 Malaysians out of 23,248 respondents surveyed.