Preferential policies and ethnic differences in post-secondary education in Peninsular Malaysia

Victor Agadjanian, Hui Peng Liew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In this study we use the second wave of the Malaysian family life survey conducted in 1988-1989 to examine the effects of the national economic policy (NEP) instituted by the Malaysian government in 1971 to promote educational opportunities of hitherto disadvantaged ethnic Malays. The analysis focuses on the probability of entering post-secondary education, given the completion of secondary school, across generational cohorts (pre-NEP and post-NEP) and across the three main ethnic groups - Malays, Chinese and Indians. The results show an increase in the likelihood of entering post-secondary education in each subsequent cohort for all the three ethnic groups but the rate of the increase varies across these groups. Reflecting the effects of the NEP, the cohorts of Malays that reached college age after 1971 experienced a much larger increase in the odds of continuing beyond secondary education relative both to their Chinese and Indian counterparts and to the pre-NEP cohorts of Malays. The results also show a reduction in gender inequalities in post-secondary education among post-NEP cohorts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-230
Number of pages18
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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