Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business

Corporate Governance and Performance of University Holding Companies

By Wan Nordin Wan Hussin et al. (n.d.)


Public universities are allowed to develop their commercialisation activities through holding companies and subsidiaries in generating income to cover their operating expenditures. Two of the big ideas in the Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025 relate to Shift 5: Empowered Governance and Shift 6: Financial Sustainability. In order to assist public universities to achieve greater financial autonomy following the Government budget cuts, it is critical for the boards of the holding and subsidiaries companies owned by the public universities to embrace good corporate governance to enhance the financial performance.

To help the Ministry of Higher Education assess the state of corporate governance and the financial performance of University holding companies, a team of researchers led by Wan Nordin Wan Hussin examined the process and structure used to direct and manage the business and affairs of the University commercial entities towards enhancing business prosperity and corporate accountability. Eight holding companies have been selected and the mixed method research involves gathering data through questionnaire survey, interviews with the board chairs, CEOs, audit committees and internal auditors of holding companies as well as examinations of board charters, annual reports, audited financial statements over the 2010-2014 period, minutes of board meetings and other relevant documents.

The findings indicate that corporate governance practices among the holding companies are diverse and companies that adhere to the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance 2012 and the Green Book 2006 exhibit higher financial performance. The study made some recommendations on governance reforms for University Holding companies. 

Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business (OYAGSB)
Universiti Utara Malaysia (Kampus Kuala Lumpur)
27-1B Tingkat 1, Wisma Sri Muda (UUMKL Menara 2)
Jalan Raja Muda Abd Aziz, Kampung Baru
50300 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
TEL: +604-928 7192/7194