The Higher Education Ministry’s battle cry, surge beyond meaning constant development continues to ring loud in 2016. The year has seen its share of challenges while there have already been many positives. Let us take a look.
Growing in Asia
QS declared its Asia University Rankings only last week, and five Malaysian public universities were rated in the top 100.
While we should not be overly obsessed with positions, the people is certainly excited by them. An infographic on the Facebook page of Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh clocked almost 2,000 shares in a matter of days.
Top 50 global, three areas
In March, its World Universities Positions were released by QS by area. For the very first time in the higher education history of Malaysia, three areas are rated top 50 on the planet.
To add to this, 13 areas were rated within the world’s top 100, including all engineering groups evaluated (aeronautical, mechanical and manufacturing engineering) in addition to agriculture, pharmacy and computer sciences.
As universities globally become more focused and market, it is encouraging to see that we’ve got several standout areas offered.
Three scientists recognised as world’s most powerful
Before this season, two Malaysians, three professors and an Iraqi, serving in USM and UKM, were named in Thomson Reuters Most Powerful Scientific Thoughts list. All three were in the area of chemical engineering. They were chosen because their publications were among the most-highly mentioned on the planet.
Germany top list, Malaysia International varsities to be topped by house. The powerful international educational institution existence of Malaysia and the British Council report bodes well for the Malaysian Government’s intentions to turn Malaysia into an international education heart and pull 200,000
Pursuing postgraduate degrees. International students now provide about RM7.9 billion to the state’s market and this is anticipated to grow to about RM15.6 billion per annum by 2020.
Beyond the economics, competition should be enhanced by the existence of international students between pupils and between associations.
Now, let us take a peek at some of the challenges that are arising.
UM publication exploitation
Only last week, it was reported that four scientific publications printed by UM researchers in various international journals were discovered to have included controlled amounts (pictures and graphs).
The management of uM has acted quickly and have instructed the writer and co-authors to retract the papers, with the research integrity and ethics committee of the university now deliberating the proper actions to be taken.
Rather appropriately, Vice Chancellor, Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Amin said that UM doesn’t condone any kind of research misconduct and has come out.
Maybe for the country’s top university, which can be rated 146th 27th in Asia, on earth, has two areas in the top 50, among others, the pressure of keeping pursuing or operation KPIs is becoming for their research workers.
When things such as this occur, it’s important to reflect and ensure are objectives and precedence are in the correct spot. The pursuing of publication amounts and positions should not ever be done at the expense of academic ethics.
The insensitive slides of uTM
The problem caused a lot of uproar, not only for being insensitive or ignorant, but because it was an academician who’d prepared the slides. The duty of care of an academician is not low, particularly as she or he is viewed as an intellectual leader in society, what a teacher of young Malaysians.
UTM Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Wahid Omar promptly issued an apology for the university. An investigation by an unaffiliated panel is underway, with the result anticipated this week.
So there you’ve got it. The highlights of what’s been an interesting few months for the higher education sector of Malaysia. Universities and the Higher Education Ministry have certainly been working hard, so kudos to them.
There will be a negative. In my own opinion, working towards a better tomorrow and understanding both is essential. I write about schooling – in gloom – and all its glory because I believe in its part in shaping a better Malaysia.