Appointed as Malaysia’s Minister of Higher Education in July 2015, HE Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh had previously held posts as Minister of Education II, Chairman of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) (2008-2013), Chief Minister of Terengganu (2004-2008) and Deputy Minister of Entrepreneurial Development (1995-1999).
Currently Member of Parliament for the beautiful constituency of Besut, Terengganu, Idris’ passion for education is second to none. He was instrumental in setting up programmes to bring in native English speakers from the UK and USA in order to enhance English proficiency amongst Malaysian students. He has founded schools known as “Imtiaz Schools” which combine science and Islamic-religious education. At the tertiary education level, Idris is credited with the establishment of the Sultan Zainal Abidin University (UniSZA) Terengganu, and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT).
As Minister of Higher Education, Idris played an important role in the formulation of the Malaysia Education Blueprint (Higher Education) 2015-2025, launched on 7th April 2015, which aims to develop holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced graduates, to enhance industry participation and collaboration with academia, to make Malaysia a regional education hub, and to raise the global prominence of Malaysia’s higher education system, among others. Unique initiatives under the Blueprint include the Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCGPA), the CEO at Faculty Programme, the 2u2i (a work based learning) programme, and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) (a lifelong learning initiative). Mainstreaming TVET (technical and vocational education and training) is also one of Idris’ passions and the Blueprint’s goals. Idris calls these initiatives the Ministry’s efforts to ‘Redesign Higher Education’.
Idris came up with the tagline “Soaring Upwards” which is the Ministry of Higher Education’s motto. Soaring Upwards is meant to serve as a reminder that Malaysia’s education system is improving and has achieved many successes while at the same time, denotes the continuous efforts required to bring Malaysia’s higher education system to the next level.
Idris holds an MBA (Finance) from the University of New Haven, USA and a Degree in Social Sciences (Economics and Management) from University Sains Malaysia (USM) where he also received the Gold Medal Award for emerging as USM’s valedictorian. At USM, Idris was the students’ association president while at New Haven, he was the president of the international students association, showcasing his knack for leadership at a young age. He studied Arabic at the University of Jordan in 1994. Committed to lifelong learning, he has also attended the Advanced Management Programmes (AMP) in Harvard (2001) and INSEAD, France (2008), the Leadership in Developing Countries Programme at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University in 2009. Most recently, he attended a Neuro Linguistic Programming course in Orlando, Florida (2016).