Osolase Ehikioya Hilary
Malaysia got its independence in 1957, and its system of governance is Federal Constitutional Monarchy. It has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometers. It is a country with three major ethnic groups, the Malays which are the majority, and then you have the Chinese and lastly, the Indians. However, there are other minority ethnics, and the official first language of the country is Bahasa Melayu, with the second official language been English language. It is home to many religions like Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hindu. Despite been a multi-ethnic nation, Malaysia is a very peaceful country, and welcome to nationals of various countries, who come to Malaysia for higher education. Diversity in this study includes the following issues: Language, ethnic, cultural background, and national identity. Malaysia has over the years intensified efforts for recruitment into its higher education program across various countries in different continents. Such recruitments cuts across various African countries, Central Asian countries, and also some other Island nations. There is also the “internationalization policy”, which has placed Malaysia above majority of the countries in Asia, in terms of “higher education”. In Universiti Putra Malaysia for example, there is a very large community of “international students” cutting across various continents. There are African students from Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Cameroon, Sudan, Kenya, and Somalia etc. In Asia, there are students from China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and India. Etc. In terms of higher education, Malaysia is now the hub for most developing countries around the world. The study concerns itself with the management of diversity in the academic department, between the various international students and the local indigenous students. The findings reflected that diversity exists in the academic department and there is the need for the management of the existing diversity in the academic department into a patronizing component. The findings reflected that there is the need for the promotion and proper management of diversity among the various diverse ethnics in the Department of Professional Development and Continuing Education, Universiti Putra Malaysia, and therefore a policy that would promote the cultures of the various ethnics in the academic department, that would at the end support a more culturally balanced academic environment of learning.