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Introduction & Background

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The Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE) was founded in 1963 as a binational commission for Malaysia and the United States to promote educational exchange between the two countries. MACEE’s founding document is a bilateral agreement ratified by the governments of Malaysia and the United States. MACEE is one of 50 such commissions worldwide.

As is the case with other binational Fulbright commissions around the world, MACEE is overseen by a Board of Directors. MACEE’s Board consists of 10 regular members (five from each country) and two Honorary Co-Chairmen: The U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia and the Malaysian Minister of Higher Education. These two Honorary Co-Chairs appoint the five regular members to the Board who will represent their respective countries.

Although the focus lies on the Fulbright Grant programs, MACEE has over the years occupied an increasingly larger role in the overall binational educational partnership.

Today, MACEE houses two important sections: the Fulbright program and EducationUSA Malaysia.

The Fulbright program was established when President Harry Truman signed a legislation to use surplus war funding for international education exchanges which aim to increase mutual understanding between the people of America and other countries through classroom teaching and community engagement. The program eventually expanded and is now administered globally.

The Fulbright section at MACEE is responsible in administration of Fulbright grants and several non-Fulbright grants for Malaysians. Led by the MACEE Executive Director, Dr. James Coffman, the program staff manage application and selection process, orientation, evaluations, meetings and welfare of the grantees while in country. The Fulbright program is known to have produced and enriched some of the best achievers in their field and the program in Malaysia is no different. A notable Malaysian Fulbrighter, Indrani Kopal won an award for her film at Cannes Film Festival; Malaysian students taught by American Fulbright ETAs met with Secretary of State John Kerry and American Fulbrighter; Kelsey Grab was mentioned by President Obama in his speech.

The other half of MACEE, EducationUSA (EdUSA) Malaysia, a U.S. State Department-funded program plays a vital role in providing free information on education in the U.S. Over the years, EdUSA expanded its role to provide information on everything to know about American education; most suitable schools, life in America, ideas for funding, guidance on application and more via orientation, education fairs and workshops for Malaysians and partners within the Southeast Asia region. EdUSA has worked with institutions such as MARA, UiTM,  Sunway, Taylor’s University, Bank Negara, JPA and various other Malaysian education institutions. 

MACEE also provides testing services and currently administers the CFA, SSAT exam on an ad-hoc basis.  

With its dynamic and affable staff members, MACEE remains an important source of information for both Malaysians and Americans in the field of education.