Polytechnic education began in Malaysia with establishment of the Ungku Omar Polytechnic, Ipoh in 1969 under the United Nations Development Plan. The need to provide wider access to technical education and training for the country was given prominence by the Cabinet Committee on Education in 1979 and in the First National Industrial Plan (1985-1995).
In addition to decisions made by these committees, the Cabinet Committee on Training (1991) paved the way for the significant development in Polytechnic education. As a result, there was an increase in the number of Polytechnics and these institutions were able to offer more programmes to cater the demands of semi-professional personnel in the engineering, commerce and service sectors.
On 26th March 2010, the Cabinet further deliberated and approved the Higher Education Memorandum (No. 198/2685/2010) to establish four METrO Polytechnics in the 9th Malaysian Plan and another six in the 10th Malaysia Plan.
Formulate policy and sets the direction of polytechnic education in developing human capital in technical, trade and service sectors.