Posted: 06 Sep 2011 01:15 AM PDT
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin to help Malaysian
universities to be truly competitive. He must compare our varsities with better ones.
On 6.9.2011, Dr Tan refers to Khaled's view on the competitiveness of Malaysian universities.
That Univerisity of Malaya, UM, is ranked 167 in the QS World University Rankings 2011/12 is encouraging. Its Vice-Chancelor wants it to get to 100 by 2015. This is achievable. If Hong Kong University is nombor 22, why can't UM be at the same position gradually?
The minister talks about being compettitive as seven Malaysian univerisities are in the top 600 out of 30,000 univerisities globally. A true comparison means comparing with better-ranked univerisities.
Previously the Government used the perverse logic of devlopment programme and national priority to explain the poor rankings of Malaysian universities. Now, it appears that the minister is recognizing the need to avoid this type of perverse logic as he says the recent QS World University Rankings has shown that Malaysian varsities are competitive. Prime Minister Najib's performance indices and result oreintation mean comparing with those who are better than us.
In 1982, I asked in parliament, why the the British Medical Council withdrew its recognition of UM medical degree. The answer was that the Government had its own development programme. This type of perverse logic exists for many years. Khaled's statement shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel. At least, we hope so.
One thing the minister can do is to find out why USM, after having been awarded the Apex Status, its ranking drops from 309 to 335. Once the weaknesses are identified, it can strive to attain a better ranking.
Cambridge University tops the Rankings, followed by Harvard, MIT, Yale and Oxford. These are private universities. As the minister has said, private universities in the country should be ranked.
Tan Seng Giaw
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