Thursday, November 15, 2007

Malaysian Universities

After our Prime Minister is willing to take the bite on the dropping of ranking of our universities, our Higher Education Minister, YB Datuk Mustapa Mohameed and also USM Vice Chancellor, Datuk Prof Dzulkifli also admit that there is a lot of room for us to work on and improve.

There is no point in blaming the changing of criteria. True, it might affect a few extra ranking, but the bottom line is that we have a lot to improve. Especially in terms of citation, we are no where near there. We do improve lately, but there is still a lot to go. The next aspect would be to grow the Masters and PhD education, to train the next generation of academician. We might need to take the step to hire a lot of top notch professors (perhaps spend some millions), to bring in the talent and try to get fellow Malaysians to learn more and develop.

YB Datuk Mustapa also mentioned that Apex University is not a step for us to declare that our university is world class. But on the other hand, it helps to choose 1 or 2 universities, where a lot more resources going to focus on it, and try to bring up its standard. As of now, we have 4 research universities that rank top 4 in the country - UM, USM, UKM and UPM and follow closely behind is UTM.

So, would really hope that we could find ways/ideas to strengthen our public universities and private universities.

Some of the points that I would recommend:-
a) Much greater alumni network - having the alumni to go back to share with the students and to guide them
b) More industry/public network/collaboration - have more industry people to go to universities to share with students real life experience and also more colloborations between the research labs and industry
c) Encourage students to do internship from 1st year holiday
d) Guide students to learn more soft skills.
e) Allow students to take more diverse courses

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