Private higher education providers who had invested heavily saw a need to have an Association to represent their interests as well as to work with and assist the Government in the development and growth of the private higher education sector as provided for under the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act and the National Accreditation Board Act, which was passed in November 1996 by Parliament.
Thus on 20 October 1996, representatives from 17 private colleges met to set up MAPCO, and a Protem Committee was formed.
Subsequently, a Constitution for MAPCO was drafted and approved by the Protem Committee and was submitted to the Registrar of Societies for approval. MAPCO’s application was approved and the Association was registered on 18 March 1997. The Malaysian Association of Private Colleges (MAPCO) was established on 18 March 1997.
On 20 November 2002, the Association received approval from the Registrar of Societies, Malaysia, to change its name to The Malaysian Association of Private Colleges & Universities (MAPCU). This step was taken to dovetail the Government’s decision to allow the establishment of foreign university branch campuses in Malaysia and subsequently the upgrading of private colleges to university college and university status.
Today, MAPCU stands as Malaysia’s most prestigious grouping of Private Colleges and Universities, comprising of major and well-established private higher education institutions, all of which are duly approved and licensed by the Ministry of Higher Education. All members offer post secondary and / or tertiary level courses independently and / or in collaboration with established local and foreign institutions of higher learning.