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Commonwealth Tertiary Education Facility (CTEF)



The Government of Malaysia believes that the establishment of CTEF under IPPTN is a pioneering initiative and collaboration between the Ministry of Education, Malaysia and the Commonwealth Secretariat to support the development of tertiary educational facilities among Commonwealth countries. Malaysia aspires to support the strong linkage between Commonwealth countries in the development of tertiary education. This is an opportune time for Malaysia to spearhead the development of tertiary education that is sustainable and that could strengthen the global network of higher education by offering opportunities for the sharing of expertise and research collaboration. Malaysia hopes that CTEF will become a referral centre for the Commonwealth and other international agencies in the field of tertiary education.  



The key role of CTEF is to provide policy advice and guidance to ministers in Commonwealth countries responsible for higher education. It is hoped that CTEF will become a referral centre for the Commonwealth and other international agencies for sharing expertise and research collaboration towards achieving a sustainable tertiary education.

The four key functions of CTEF are Data Collection, Research, Policy Papers, and Contract/Advisory Services.

CTEF has three interrelated functions or activities as follows:

  1. Data collection, research, and policy papers on higher education that would be of interest to all member states;
  2. Institutional, country or regional projects which may be funded by a client or the CTEF itself;
  3. Contract advisory and consultancy projects, fully funded by a donor, a government or a university client.



Main activities carried out by CTEF are as follows:

  1. Collecting and disseminating information on tertiary education sector in the Commonwealth countries.
  2. Collecting and disseminating reliable and up-to-date information of good practices in member states.
  3. Assisting member states in developing and implementing policies and systems in their tertiary education sector.
  4. Facilitating communication and information exchange among governments, regional organisations, and institutions of member states in the tertiary education sector.



CTEF adopts the following operational principles:

  1. Wherever possible its publications and products will be written for the widest possible audiences in the Commonwealth.
  2. CTEF will ensure that all work is easily accessible to member states (unless the client seeks confidentiality).
  3. CTEF will first draw on the staff resources of the Commonwealth through its network of partnerships and its own database of advisors. If relevant experts are not available in the Commonwealth countries, then only CTEF will use non-Commonwealth staff and will draw on the skills of people in China and the USA, for example.



The guiding principle of CTEF is that it must be financially sustainable within five years.  



Potential users of, and beneficiaries from, CTEF’s work will be the following:

  • Commonwealth Ministries of Education or Higher Education, as they were the sponsors and originators of the CTEF concept, and were articulating an unsatisfied need when they suggested the creation of the CTEF.
  • Multilateral donor agencies or foundations (eg Ford Foundation, Asian and African Development Banks, EU and the World Bank) when seeking consultants to undertake specific components of their country projects (or to carry out overall sector studies).
  • Higher education agencies such as buffer bodies (University Grants Commissions, Higher Education Councils etc), quality assurance agencies, and regulatory and accreditation bodies.
  • Regional associations of universities or regional quality assurance networks.