Saturday, October 24, 2015

Slashed Budgets for Public Universities

The Budget 2016 produced an unfortunate victim – tertiary education. Allocations for 19 out of 20 public universities are being mercilessly slashed.
University of Malaya is the biggest loser, with a 27.3 percent cut in its allocation for next year. Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Ismail, Universiti Teknologi Mara and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu would be pared by more than 20 percent, allocations for 11 other universities were pruned by 10-20 percent, and allocations for the remaining four shaved by up to 10 percent.
The total budget cuts suffered by public universities amounted to RM1.4 billion, despite the fact that enrolments are projected to increase next year. This would mean that expenditure per student would be reduced dramatically.
And the government say they want our universities to achieve world-class rankings. Talk is cheap because it is not being matched by action.
After all, their academic achievements are nothing to shout about. With budget cuts, they will only deteriorate further. Doesn't Najib Razak know that our universities actually need more investments, not less – in order that academic standards can be raised?
The trouble is that Najib knows he cannot keep on spending. Sure, there are not a few beneficiaries from his Budget 2016 but he must also wield the axe because there is simply not enough money to go around. But then again, if he really cares about these students, he could have used his donation of RM2.6 billion and still have cash to spare!
Let's not forget that Najib is not only a politician but he is also a survivor – hence, he must protect his crucial vote banks. Besides, university students in Malaysia are generally infected with apathy – so he can afford to be dismissive of them. 
On Friday, I was at Mahsa University’s Faculty of Business, Finance and Hospitality where I attended the Mahsa FBFH Toastmasters meeting. This campus is located at KL's Jalan Elmu which is off Jalan Universiti.
It may be only their second meeting but it showed that they still have a lot to learn. And I mean, a lot! The club mentors have their work cut out for them. I would score this meeting a poor 1.5 over 10.


Anonymous said...

Wow Sir. Only 1.5? That is a super low score. Were they that bad?

Glam said...

Truth be told, the meeting was a disappointment. There must be more hand-holding and by experienced hands.