Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Malaysia's "Excellent" Universities

On Monday (July 12, 2010), Higher Education Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin announced 18 "excellent" universities and private university colleges in Malaysia, as outlined by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) six-tiered rankings, called SETARA ‘09, or the 2009 Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education Institutions.
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Mohamed Khaled said among the top scorers were Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Universiti Sains Malaysia, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Curtin University of Technology Sarawak, International Medical University, Sunway University College and Taylor's University College. A very interesting list.
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None, however, were ranked Tier-6 (Outstanding), Tier-2 (Satisfactory) or Tier-1 (Weak). A total of 25 universities and university colleges were ranked in Tier-4 (Very Good) and four university colleges received Tier-3 (Good) ranking.

Mohamed Khaled said results for the 2009's rating system of institutions of higher learning were based on 25 criteria, covering three generic dimensions which were the input, process and output of the universities. I don’t have the specific details but one criterion that should be measured is “graduate employment” – especially given the incidences of high graduate unemployment in this country.

Of course, university ranking systems are not generally welcomed by academics for many reasons – but in today’s fast-paced world of instant gratification, we ignore them at our own peril.

That’s why I have students asking me, why is HELP not in the "excellent" list? I shrugged my shoulders. I have no answers for them.

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