The Tempinis diaries

December 29, 2008

Another Blow to University of Malaya

Filed under: education, malaysia — toru @ 1:55 pm

Coming close to the news of losing the race for apex university status to USM, the story below spells more bad news for University of Malaya. Even University of Malaya’s business school is not rated as the top in Malaysia by the Higher Education Ministry.

Are the standards University of Malaya that bad these days? The new Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya, Ghauth Jasmon really has his work cut out for him.

Two business schools earn top accolade 

PUTRAJAYA: It’s no longer business as usual at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) business schools, which were yesterday named Malaysia’s premier institutions in the field.

UKM’s Graduate School of Management and UPM’s Graduate School of Business have become the first members of the “top business schools” grouping, a position that brings with it a RM25 million grant and international acclaim.

Another Hare Brained Scheme by Khaled Nordin

Filed under: education, malaysia, politics — toru @ 1:44 pm

Here is another hare brained scheme by the Higher Education Minister, Khaled Nordin. It seems that in Malaysia, we are always scraping the bottom of the barrel. Why do I think this is a bad idea? Academics who are retrenched are probably those who do not write. So tell me again why does Khaled Nordin want to hire them?

Local Varsities To Recruit Foreign Academicians

JOHOR BAHARU, Dec 20 (Bernama) — The Higher Education Ministry will identify academicians who are being retrenched abroad as a result of the global economic downturn for absorption into local institutions of higher learning.

Its minister, Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the recruitment of teaching manpower from abroad could raise the level of higher education in the country.

´┐ŻEducational experts who may be retrenched abroad can be engaged by the local tertiary institutions which will at the same time raise the standard of higher education in the country,” he told reporters after the handing over of the instruments of appointment of Members of the Advisory Committee of the Pasir Gudang Community College, here Saturday.

Mohamed Khaled said the ministry was also considering the re-employment of lecturers and tutors who had retired.

He said the scope of studies at the community colleges would also be scrutinised to give the students a better edge in their job applications.

He said to date, more than 75,000 students had pursued diploma and certificate courses at the 37 community colleges and 19 branches of the community colleges throughout the country since their inception in 2001.

The minister said nine more community colleges and 15 branches would be set up nationwide under the 9th Malaysia Plan.


December 15, 2008

Thinking out of the Box: Fund Raising for University of Malaya

Filed under: education, malaysia — Tags: , , , , — toru @ 2:35 pm

The new Vice Chancellor, Ghauth Jasmon has an unenviable task of taking over as the head of University of Malaya. His job is made more difficult by the fact that University of Malaya was not chosen by the Malaysian government as an apex university. In the exercise of choosing the apex university, UM was pipped by USM. The apex university status is especially crucial because it comes with extra funding. In this era, lack of funding usually spells disaster for an institute of higher education as the institution cannot afford to recruit the best and brightest staff and also foot the costs of labs and cutting edge research.

So is this the death knell of UM as the premier institution in Malaysia? It does seem so. Without the extra funding, it is inevitable that USM will overtake UM. The Vice Chancellor, Ghauth Jasmon needs to do something really drastic to turn things around.

One idea is to think out of the box. If the government will not fund UM adequately, Ghauth Jasmon should think of going to the alumni to raise funds. Of course, you can’t start asking alumni for money out of the blue. UM should begin by building a competent alumni office headed by someone with good contacts. Efforts of reconnecting with alumni must be made. An attractive and credible alumni magazine needs to be published; class reunions should be held. The alumni office should then approach the alumni members for donations. Alumni especially older ones are usually generous during class reunions when they recall the good old days. I am sure that many UM alumni would donate generously to their alma mater if the rallying cry for the donation is to keep UM as the premier institution in the country. Judging from the experience of the Singaporean universities like Nanyang and NUS, the task of fund raising is difficult but not impossible. Perhaps, ‘a rombongan sambil belajar’ across the causeway should be made soon?

In Asia, American-Style Fund Raising Takes Off The Chronicle of Higher Education December 5, 2008 Friday

Copyright 2008 The Chronicle of Higher Education
All Rights Reserved
The Chronicle of Higher Education

December 5, 2008 Friday


LENGTH: 2003 words

HEADLINE: In Asia, American-Style Fund Raising Takes Off


DATELINE: Singapore


Until last month, the development office at Nanyang Technical University was hidden away in a forgotten part of the sprawling Singaporean campus. The building was dated and the air-conditioning was cranky — a description that could also have summed up the university’s fund-raising efforts and its alumni.

Marina Tan Harper, director of the university’s brand-new development office, toiled in obscurity with her tiny staff. Few understood what the American fund raiser had been hired to do. Even fewer thought raising money from alumni made any sense. After all, in 2005, the year Ms. Harper was hired, just 143 out of 90,000 alumni had made contributions to their alma mater.

“Singapore is very first world, but the funding for universities is very third world,” says Ms. Harper, referring to the reliance on the government to finance higher education. “Literally, the concepts have to be taught.”

Teaching alumni why they need to give — and making giving easy to do — is what Ms. Harper set out to accomplish. And last year more than 4,000 graduates opened their checkbooks, helping the university raise $27-million, largely for its endowment. No one is asking what a development office does anymore.

This month the director, who used to run the development office at Northern Kentucky University, moved her staff of 21 out of their old digs and into the newest building on the campus. Today they sit at brand new desks working shiny new phones. Here at the heart of the campus, the air-conditioning never breaks down, and it is always a perfect 69.8 degrees.

Nanyang is just one of dozens of Asian universities adopting American-style fund raising. The institutions are opening development offices, hiring professional fund raisers, investing in slick billion-dollar campaigns, and trotting out their presidents to pass the hat, tactics unknown here a decade ago.

December 8, 2008

KAUST Discovery Scholarship

Filed under: education — Tags: , , — toru @ 8:47 am

The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is offering very generous postgraduate scholarships to talented undergraduate students. More details can be found on their website.

KAUST is a pretty promising institution with their huge endowment funds and with Professor Shih (formerly of NUS) and Professor Fawwaz Ulaby of Michigan at the helm as President and Provost respectively. Of course, the downside of going to KAUST is that this is a new institution; I also think that living in Saudi Arabia as a foreign student is not a walk in the park.

Australian Graduate Scholarships

Filed under: education — Tags: — toru @ 7:59 am

Singaporean and Malaysian students who are interested in pursuing postgraduate (masters, doctoral studies or post-doctoral studies) should consider applying for the Endeavour awards in Australia. The terms of the scholarship looks pretty good.

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