Design and Development of a Search Portal for Private Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia
The number of candidates sitting for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia has been around the 400,000 and 40,000 marks for the last 3 years. Although more than 50% of these candidates are eligible to pursue higher education at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Malaysia once the exam results are announced, only a fraction is offered place to study. The issue of HEI dropouts are serious and several government agencies have organized special initiatives to ensure more eligible candidates are accepted into HEIs. Looking from the computing perspective, applications to public HEIs is carried out through the UPU Online portal. However, there is no similar system for searching private HEIs. In order to support the government’s initiative and to minimize dropout rates to HEIs, MyIPTS, a search portal for private HEIs in Malaysia was developed. MyIPTS would facilitate HEI search by name and program offered. Results, detailing HEI name, location, program name, education level, accreditation status and link to the HEI's official website are presented. MyIPTS database is populated with details of all HEIs registered with the MOE, details of academic programs offered by individual HEIs, , and list of accredited academic programs for individual HEIs, obtained from the MQA. A traditional rapid prototyping approach for system development was adopted in the design and development of MyIPTS. Development tools used Android Studio and Adobe Dreamweaver for interface design; and php and HTML as scripting languages, and MySQL as the database. The portal was tested by a group of 60 users to confirm its functionality and ease of use. Responses were quantified using a 5-point Likert scale from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Highly Agree). Initial results are encouraging with average scores of 4.7 and 4.8 were recorded for functionality and ease of use were respectively.