The Tempinis diaries

June 11, 2008

The Bradley Report: Lessons for Malaysia?

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 2:26 pm

The Minister of Higher Education, Khaled Nordin, should be studying this report closely. Perhaps, there are lessons to be learnt for Malaysia. The Rudd government is treading cautiously and this is merely a consultation phase. I will read the report soon and post my thoughts in an upcoming post.


Two-class university system on agenda

Stephen Matchett | June 10, 2008

SOME universities would lose their research function and be restricted to teaching if the Rudd Government adopted an option set out in the Bradley Committee on higher education reform’s discussion paper.

This would create a two-class university system with funding focussed on institutions with established research reputations and infrastructure.

Universities are set for the severest shake-up in a generation following the release today of the Bradley Committee report.

The committee is charged with advising the Rudd Government on reforms to higher and further education and this paper sets the context for a national debate.


June 9, 2008

Reviewing Khaled Nordin’s Higher Education Plan

Filed under: education, malaysia — Tags: , , , — toru @ 1:24 pm

Star’s interview with Khaled Nordin (see below) is a pretty depressing read. There doesn’t seem to be any substantive changes that Khaled Nordin, the Minister of Higher Education, intends to implement. There’s also mention of the half baked Setara exercise filled with UKM professors. As I have written before, the whole assessment exercise is a complete embarrassment. That’s bad news. If Malaysian tertiary institutions are to compete globally, nothing short than a radical overhaul is required. To give him credit, there are some positive moves mentioned below, namely, the improvement of accommodation for foreign students. These soft factors are crucial in attracting global talent.

Currently, the main pre-occupation of the Ministry seems to be this process of identifying apex universities. Now the identification of the so-called apex universities is not a panacea to all the ills in higher education in Malaysia. Realistically, only three universities in the country have the potential to compete globally i.e. UM, UKM and USM. Khaled Nordin does not make it clear what kind of support would be given to an apex university. Will they dismantle the quota system for at least one of the apex universities? As I have written before, what is really killing the universities in Malaysia is the quota system. The solution to improving universities is quite simple really. But is there the political will to do so? It is far better to have one decent university which operates on merit rather than have more than a dozen lousy ones filled with unqualified candidates who got in through the quota system.


Sunday June 8, 2008

Doing it his way, with team support

BELOW are extracts from StarEducation’s interview with Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

Since his appointment on March 27, Khaled has been making the rounds of university campuses. At a briefing on UKM’s strategic plan at its campus in Bangi, Selangor, in April, he speaks to VC Prof Datuk Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin.

Q: What do you see as the top priorities and challenges in higher education?

A: The Higher Education Ministry (MOHE) is translating the national mission and the Ninth Malaysian Plan into an actionable National Higher Education Strategic Plan, to develop first-class human capital.

My predecessor (Datuk Mustapa Mohamed) has done a good job in identifying the strengths and weaknesses in order to bring about change. My task now is to engineer the change, and implement what has been planned to ensure that we achieve the targets.

The higher education sector has evolved to meet global challenges.

We are moving in the right direction.

I now have a clearer picture of what is happening and should be done.

I would also like to see the universities in the country move up in the world rankings. By 2020, we hope that our universities can be

The amendments to the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 are expected to be tabled in Parliament in August. On May 29, Khaled (right) and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (second, right) received a memorandum on the amendments from USM Student Representative Council president Muhammad Syukri Ibrahim (left) and his counterpart from UM, Afandy Sutrisno Tanjung.

ranked among the Top 50 worldwide.


June 5, 2008

NEP and The Incredible Shrinking Pie

Filed under: malaysia — Tags: , , — toru @ 2:06 pm

The paradox of the NEP was that it was designed to help the Malays. As it stands now, I think that it is being implemented in a way which ultimately harms the intended beneficiaries. How so you might ask? Let me count the ways:

1. Too many unqualified graduates are produced by the local varsities. This results in a high unemployment rate in the country.

2. The stress on Bahasa Melayu to the detriment of the English Language in schools. Like it or not, English is still the language of commerce. A poor command of English is a sure recipe for graduate unemployment.

3. The policies of NEP make Malaysia an incredibly unattractive place to invest in. The result: a rapidly shrinking economic pie.

4. NEP fosters the development of a crutch mentality and a sense of entitlement. This inevitably leads to a lack of self development and confidence. Also, there is a lack of ‘hunger’ to succeed. This makes it hard for our young people to compete with the young people from China or Vietnam.

As I see it, the NEP and its ill effects is becoming a vicious cycle. The smaller the economic pie, the more demands will be made for a more aggressive implementation of the NEP. Everyone ends up fighting for the crumbs of the incredible shrinking pie. It is far better for us to work together to enlarge the economic pie together. But I wonder – is there a way to break out of this vicious cycle?

June 4, 2008

New Oxford vice-chancellor: The background

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 1:12 pm

Looks like a pretty good fit for Oxford. Certainly, better than John Hood.


New Oxford vice-chancellor: The background

Donald Macleod on what the appointment of Yale provost Andrew Hamilton might promise for Oxford

Tuesday June 3, 2008

Andrew Hamilton
Prof Andrew Hamilton, the current provost of Yale University. Photograph: Michael Marsland/Yale University
At Yale, Professor Andrew Hamilton’s group of biophysical chemists is working on molecular recognition. When he comes to Oxford to take up the job of vice-chancellor, he will have to discover the peculiar molecular structure of the ancient collegiate university and find ways in which its different elements can bond.After the upheavals caused by the reform attempts of his predecessor John Hood, the dons will be eyeing his arrival with a mixture of scepticism and hope, one imagines.

Whether he turns out to be a reformer or a conservative when it comes to the university and its centuries-old tradition of academic democracy, the main question that concerns everyone is how good he will be at raising money.

While fabulously wealthy compared with most other British universities, Oxford feels a poor relation of the Ivy League in the US. It believes it must raise its income and endowments drastically to compete for the best staff and students and maintain its world-class research.

For success in this field Oxford will certainly forgive Hamilton his Cambridge doctorate (his first degree was from Exeter).

As provost of Yale since 2004, Hamilton has controlled an endowment worth $22.5bn (£11.45bn, compared with Oxford’s £3.4bn), which now accounts for the largest share of the Ivy League university’s income. This is enabling Yale to increase financial aid for students, to expand undergraduate numbers to 6,000 (still small compared with Oxford’s 12,000) and to make courses and some historic collections available online, free to the public.

The job of Yale provost has proved a springboard to academic stardom. Cambridge led Oxford in appointing Alison Richard, a previous provost, to its vice-chancellor’s post. Susan Hockfield, who headed Yale between Richard and Hamilton, went on to become president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At Cambridge Richard has certainly made an impact on fundraising, diverting the tensions left by previous attempts at reform into a £1bn appeal – something everyone could agree on.

Last week Oxford launched its own £1.25bn appeal in a bid to keep up with the Yales and Harvards of the university world.

While the president of Yale, Richard Levin, is the public face of the university, the provost runs the place. As the university website explains: “All deans report to him and he is an ex-officio member of every faculty and governing board and of all committees or other bodies concerned with educational policy or with faculty appointments or promotions… and chairs the university budget committee.”

Today Levin applauded Hamilton’s proposed appointment as the next vice-chancellor of Oxford and his “remarkable” impact on Yale. Hamilton helped create Yale’s thriving Center for Genomics and Proteomics and the Yale Institute for Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering, he said.

“He is a warm, sympathetic, and supportive friend of faculty throughout the university, with a deep and sincere respect for the academic mission and the people who carry it out. His fellow officers admire him for his unfailing support of their efforts, and we all appreciate his balanced judgment and wise counsel,” added Levin.

June 2, 2008

Limkokwing Featured in the Independent (UK)

Filed under: education, malaysia — Tags: , — toru @ 12:41 pm

Limkokwing University featured in the Independent (UK). I don’t know much about this institution but I must say the people behind it are very brave to open in the UK.


From Malaysia to Mayfair: The foreign university that is sending out shivers in the higher education world

The overseas student market is worth millions of pounds to Britain, but the competition is increasing from private universities and companies. Are we in danger of falling behind?

By Lucy Hodges
Thursday, 20 March 2008

Ritzy address: students outside the private Limkokwing University campus in Piccadilly


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