Dare we even hope that USM would be designated as the first quota free university in Malaysia in terms of recruitment of faculty and student admissions? This would effectively cement its status as the apex university of Malaysia.
Even in India, they are reversing quotas at some of the top universities.
January 29, 2009
India Reverses Faculty Hiring Quotas at 47 Top Universities
New Delhi — Buckling under pressure from academics at the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology, the Indian government has decided to exempt those and a number of other universities from quotas in faculty appointments. News of the exemption was revealed at a meeting on Wednesday of the institutes’ council, the highest decision-making body for the engineering schools.
The council was told that a bill passed in December by the upper house of parliament spells out the representation for India’s lowest castes and classes in federal-government posts, including at public universities, but exempts a total of 47 higher-education institutions, labeled “institutions of excellence,” from faculty quotas.
It is almost certain that the lower house of parliament will endorse the bill in its summer session. “Once the bill is passed, there will be no reservation in IIT faculty,” the education secretary, R.P. Agrawal, told reporters on Wednesday.
For higher-education institutions the exemption is a rare victory against Arjun Singh, the minister in charge of higher education. The move to introduce the exemptions comes three years after the minister announced that 27 percent of seats in public universities were to be set aside for the “Other Backward Classes,” thus increasing total quotas to almost 50 percent.
The engineering schools’ directors told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year that faculty quotas would hurt the quality of teaching at a time of severe shortages of faculty talent, The Telegraph reported. One university official told The Hindustan Times of receiving 15,000 applications for 300 open faculty posts, but of being unable to find qualified candidates from among the reserved groups. The prime minister promised he would take up the concerns with Mr. Singh, and subsequently a new bill was introduced in parliament. —Shailaja Neelakantan