TRANSFORMATION IN MALAYSIAN HIGHER EDUCATION: STUDENTS’ UNDERSTANDING OF CREATIVITY IN SOCIAL SCIENCES

Fuzirah Hashim, Jamaluddin Aziz, Abdul Latiff Ahmad

Abstract


Malaysia is undergoing a transformation plan from an industrial-based to a knowledge-based economy in an effort to become a high-income nation by the year 2020. The fact that knowledge is foregrounded means that at the center of the transformation is education, and higher education, inevitably, has to, hand in hand, work with the government policy. In this new transformation plan, higher education in Malaysia has to promote creative and innovative minds. Nonetheless, there exists a gap between the administrative policies at Malaysian public universities and students’ own understanding of what creativity is all about. This gap is wider especially in the social sciences since the term innovation is often associated with the hard or pure science. This paper, using qualitative approach, analyzes students’ descriptions of creativity in three focus group discussions – male only, male and female and female only groups. The aim is to provide data that can be used by the university with regards to students’ understanding of creativity in social sciences. This hopefully will help young social scientists to start thinking about being innovative. 


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