Monday, May 02, 2005

World Class Universities?

One of the major peeves I have is when I see many private colleges advertising their twinning programmes as "world-class" and are partnered with the "top" universities in the various countries overseas, particularly in the United Kingdom (UK), the United States and Australia.

I get further upset when students with great potential i.e., some of the top students in SPM and STPM are "seduced" to enrol in some of the above courses which results a poorer education, making them less qualified for the employment market as they do not fulfil their best possible potential. These students who have paid so much more taking these twinning courses would have learnt more, and be better qualified for the job market if they had enrolled in some of the better local universities in Malaysia.

The Guardian, a leading newspaper publication in the UK has in April released their University ranking guide. I saw it as an opportune moment to research the universities which our local private colleges collaborate with for their twinning programs and verify if they are indeed the "leading" or "top" or "prestigious" universities in the UK, which they are marketed to be. Please note the following assumptions, when reviewing the "results" of my simple study.

  1. While it can be argued that universities rankings are never going to be "accurate" in any study, it's fair to say that it does provide some indications to the quality of the institute. For example, there may not really be any difference between a university ranked 21st and 25th, but there's likely to be a significant gap between the universities placed as 30th vs 55th vs 80th vs 110th.

  2. This study only involves the UK universities as the Guardian have only just made the latest rankings available. However, I believe that the results from this simple study is likely to be fairly uniform across the colleges in the United States and Australia.

  3. In this study, I'd also focus significantly more on the Computer Science (and related) studies as it's one of the most popular course which candidates apply for today, as well as the fact that I have dealt extensively with graduates from the above courses.

  4. There are a total of 122 universities ranked in the Guardian study in total, of which 111 universities offer Computer Science degree courses)

  5. For the purposes of reviewing local private colleges offering degree courses, I've focused on some of the more popular choices such as APIIT, Inti College, Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU), HELP Institute, Kolej Bandar Utama (KBU) and Nilai College. They are used as examples and they are not specifically targeted for criticism. In general, it is my believe from my experience that most of the other private colleges suffer similar shortfalls.

  6. I've focused my comments a bit more on the more popular UK universities with the "leading" local private colleges. These universities are more popular through the fact that most of the graduates resumes I've received from foreign universities are from these.

1. Staffordshire University (Ranked 79/122 Overall; 79/111 for Computer Science)

Staffordshire University is the degree from which the large majority of APIIT information technology students graduate with. For APIIT which proclaims that APIIT students are "recognised for entry into leading universities in the UK" on the website, the ranking does leave much to be desired.

2. Coventry University (Ranked 70/122 Overall; 103/111 for Computer Science)

Coventry Unversity is a popular choice among degree students studying in Inti College. Twinning courses with Coventry is also available in APIIT as well as KDU. Inti College has advertised on their website that their students can select from an "impressive list of prestigious universities and enroll in the UK Degree Transfer Programmes".

Apart from a series of programmes that have been carefully and thoughtfully designed in collaboration with top-notch universities in the UK and Australia, INTI provides an exceptional environment to promote propitious Computing and IT learning.
Being ranked 70th out of 122 universities in UK is relative poor, but ranking 103 out of 111 universities offering computer science courses (i.e., bottom 10%) cannot in any way be regarded even near mediocre. Students need to be made aware that by choosing to obtain your computer science degrees from Coventry University (and unfortunately, many do - I've received many resumes of such), you are enrolling to one of the poorest Computer Science universities in the UK.

3. University of Northumbria at Newcastle (Ranked 87/122 Overall; 83/111 for Computer Science; 60/67 for Electrical Engineering; 60/118 for Business)

This university is the UK university partner of Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU) - so you'd find that most UK-based degrees courses offered by KDU will lead to a degree from Northumbria. This includes Computer Science, Engineering and Business degrees. Once again, the rankings tell of how misleading the advertisements and information provided by these colleges can be:

That is why our Department of Information and Multimedia Technologies is recognised and renowned for setting high standards of excellence in education. Your UK qualification will give you worldwide recognition and equip you with the necessary skills sets to meet the challenges of this competitive market. That is why our graduates are highly sought after and earmarked for employment before graduation.
With industry recognition, work relevant programmes, experienced professional lecturers, continuous upgrading of facilities, you are at the right place - you will be joining a leading engineering department with a track record of having produced one of the highest number of 3+0 graduates in the country. [KDU-Northumbria University(3+0) B.Eng(Hons) in Electrical & Electronic Engineering]
How can a local college be advertising that they have one of the "leading" engineering department when their partner university is ranked among the worst in the UK (60th of 67 universities)? Northumbria IT degrees are also offered at Binary College and Stamford College.

4. University of East London (UEL) (Ranked 52/122 Overall; 51/111 for Computer Science; 100/118 for Business Studies; 46/76 for Economics)

UEL is the main UK twinning partner university for HELP "University" College. The courses which HELP twins with UEL include degrees in Business Administration, Accounting & Finance and Business Information Systems. As a university, UEL is ranked just about in the middle tier of universities in the UK as well as for Computer Science courses. However, UEL is clearly poorer in its Business as well as Economics faculties. Fortunately, HELP does not exaggerate UEL's reputation too much on its web site (below), although it did "highlight" that "HELP has an array of programs affiliated with educational institutions of excellence in the United Kingdom..."

... a rapidly developing university with 102 years of excellence in teaching and research, offering the 3+0 programme in Bachelor of Science (Honours) Business Information Systems. On top of that, the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Multimedia Studies and Bachelor of Science (Honours) in E-Commerce are also available in 2+1 arrangement with UEL.

5. University of Greenwich (Ranked 101/122 Overall; 61/111 for Computer Science)

HELP did however, advertised one of its other degree twinning partner, Unversity of Greenwich as one of the "renown university" partners. One would hardly regard the rankings provided above as "renown" in any way. University of Greenwich programmes are also offered in Nilai College and Inti College.

6. University of Sunderland (Ranked 79/122 Overall; 66/111 for Computer Science)

The University of Sunderland is the main degree twinning partner of Binary College - whom they described as "world-class qualifications well recognised both in the industry as well as overseas universities". [You really wonder which world these colleges are talking about when they call these universities "world-class"] University of Sunderland degrees are also available through Inti College.

7. Oxford Brookes University (Ranked 51/122 Overall; 41/111 for Computer Science; 45/118 for Business Studies)

Of the various UK twinning universities, I would have to regard Oxford Brookes as one of the better ones, although its rankings are still no better than average. Oxford Brookes is the main degree twinning partner of Nilai College with its courses also available as alternative options in Inti College, KDU, Sunway College, and APIIT.

8. Nottingham Trent University (NTU) (Ranked 82/122 Overall; 43/111 for Computer Science; 75/118 for Business Studies)

NTU is the degree twinning partner of choice for Kolej Bandar Utama (KBU). NTU is described on KBU website as follows:

NTU occupies a creditable position in the UK university league table and is highly rated in many aspects such as in research. It has been praised for its excellent teaching quality and the employability of its graduates.
I'd leave it to the readers to form their own conclusion as to whether a degree with NTU for the respective courses will be worthwhile pursuing.

9. De Montfort University (DMU) (Ranked 83/122 Overall; 95/111 for Computer Science)

DMU has becoming increasing popular destination for a twinning degree in Malaysia through the local private college FTMS. Obtaining one's degree through FTMS is understandably a popular choice for the simple reason that one "saves" 2 years on STPM/'A' Levels or 1 year foundation courses. I've seen many top SPM students (i.e., 7As or more) sign up for courses at FTMS, and often graduating with 1st class honours. However, having hired 1-2 of them at one time, I quickly realised that despite the excellent secondary education and a supposed 1st class honours degree, the graduates clearly do not meet the necessary depth in skills and knowledge (in my case, Computer Science degrees) to perform anywhere near say, the good local graduates. And now, after 'discovering' DMU's ranking, I'm now not at all surprised. These top students would unfortunately have done better for themselves - intellectually, academically and career prospects-wise, by enrolling in the top 5-6 local universities (i.e., do STPM, A-Levels or Foundation studies). The 1 year saved isn't any good at all in the longer term.

10. Sheffield Hallam Univesrsity (SHU) (Ranked 92/122 Overall; 102/111 for Computer Science; 105/118 for Business Studies; 54/63 for Mech Engineering)

In the past, Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC) students "obtain" their degrees through an association with Campbell University in the United States. However, in recent years, more and more students are graduating with degrees offered by SHU. These degrees include IT, Business Studies as well as Engineering degrees. According to the SHU/TARC website, there are now approximately 3000 SHU graduates in Malaysia, with some 700 new graduates every year. TARC is historically one of the colleges of choice among the local Chinese school students in Malaysia. With a rapidly growing student in-take through the establishment of many branch campuses throughout the country and partnerships with universities such as SHU (no disrespect, but SHU is consistently ranked bottom 15 for its Computer Science, Business Studies and Engineering courses in the UK!), are we providing the quality education required by our students, especially those with top results (many whom do enrol into TARC)?

11. Other Twinning Universities

The other popular universities in the UK which offer twinning type degrees for Malaysian students through the various private colleges are as follows:

None of the above can really be regarded as prestigious, "world-class" or excellent by any standards. However, some of the above are clearly the poorest universities in UK in terms of academic quality. None of the above universities where the typical Malaysian graduates are likely to obtain their degrees from are ranked in the top 50 universities in the UK. On the other hand, of the 23 universities listed above, 17 are ranked in the bottom 50 universities in the UK!

12. Promising Universities through Local Private Colleges?

While the above universities are clearly the most popular choices taken by the Malaysian students in the UK via the "twinning" route, there are some universities listed in the web site and marketing materials of the local colleges as their collaborative partners. These universities are of significantly better standards and they include:

However, it is totally unclear, through the web sites and marketing materials how these colleges provide the degrees from the above universities. In all likelihood, the above degrees are not awarded through the typical twinning programmes (whereby the local colleges have a large degree of autonomy with regards to entry and qualification levels), but are degree programmes in which the students will have to qualify separately for based on examinations such as 'A' Levels. It also probably accounts for the fact that there are fewer Malaysian students with degrees from the above universities than the earlier list.

However, there is one notable exception, that the Diploma in Economics at HELP is awarded by London School of Economics (LSE). LSE is ranked top 5 in the UK overall as well as for its Economics courses. This Diploma, while insufficient to secure a "lucrative" career immediately, does provide the students with the right qualification towards a separate degree with the top UK institutions. Note that to obtain these degrees from the top universities, the degree programme is NOT conducted by HELP. HELP does however, have a separate degree program in Economics (and related subjects), but it is accredited as an external degree from University of London. While the lead university in this external programme is LSE, students should note that it is not the same as a degree from LSE.


My conclusion as well as advice to prospective university students, especially those with excellent SPM/STPM (or equivalent) results (e.g., SPM aggregate <10):>

  1. At this point of time, based on the quality of twinning degrees offered by the local private institutions, do not sign up for these degrees. You will lose out in terms of the quality of education, and correspondingly damaging your future career prospects. This is not to say that you will not get employed if you were to undertake the twinning degree programmes - it is to say that your full potential may not be achieved.

  2. If you have the funds, or is able to obtain the necessary scholarships, take the academic route which will lead you to the top 20 university in the UK (top 5 in Australia and top 20 in USA). The Top 20 universities according to the Guardian in the UK are:

    1. Oxford
    2. Cambridge
    3. Imperial College
    4. Schl of Oriental & African Studies
    5. London Schl of Economics
    6. King's Col, London
    7. University College London
    8. York
    9. Warwick
    10. Edinburgh
    11. St Andrews
    12. Queen Mary, London
    13. Bath
    14. Nottingham
    15. Manchester Uni
    16. Surrey
    17. Bristol
    18. Sussex
    19. Cardiff Uni
    20. City

  3. If you do not have the funds and is for some reason or other not able to obtain the necessary scholarship (but have obviously got excellent secondary school results), aim to enter the top 5 local universities. University Malaya is always a safe bet in terms of academic quality. You are likely to save more money and be a better graduate from these universities instead of joining the twinning programmes.

For the authorities (i.e., our Ministry of Education, and or Ministry of Higher Learning), the most important agenda should be for the right candidates with the right qualifications be enrolled in the right educational institutions. It is an absolute waste of Malaysian talent, if the most promising secondary school student is enrolled into a bottom 20 university of any country. The Ministries should:

  1. Take a pro-active stance in monitoring and regulating the commercial marketing activities of our local private colleges. Some of the marketing activities clearly exaggerates the quality of the education provided which misleads uninformed students. I often cringe when I hear or read advertisements by these colleges proclaiming (with impunity) their "world-class" qualities. While the above study relates purely on UK universities, it is my experience dealing with twinning graduates from all countries (UK, USA, Australia) which leads me to the conclusion that the above UK study when applied on the other countries will lead to similar results.

  2. Be pro-active in guiding students to the institution of learning which best "fit" the potential of the students at the secondary level. The Ministry should publish guides which outlines the qualities of the schools both locally as well as overseas, so that students will be able to tell whether they are really enrolling into a "top" institution (or one which is ranked near the bottom). Note that these guides should NOT be designed by the administrative civil servants (which they often are), but actually produced by the relevant academic specialists on the above subjects as well as based on credible studies (such as the University ranking guide published by The Times or the Guardian in the UK).

As I have mentioned at the start, it really really peeves me to find students opting for the wrong courses in the wrong institutions of higher learning, which happens quite frequently due to misinformation or poor (or misguided) educational and career guidance. The university years are some 3-4 years of your life which you will not likely repeat again, and if the graduate has made the wrong choice, he will have to live through it by compensating through other means during his work life (e.g., taking a more difficult route to prove himself) in order to fulfil his or her fullest potential.


mystic said...

Hi Tony,

Sort of stumbled upon your blog. Although, I have much lesser experience than yourself, I am passionate about education in general & find your blog entries interest, tho I wont know about the British unis since I am an American grad.

surfnux said...

Hello... Don't mind me to trackback a portion of your blog for reference? I am from INTI and taking Conventry University twinning degree: Network Computing.

Nice review. Any guides for us who had chosen a lower rank twinning degree from UK? :p I am finishing this degreein 4 months time.

Tony P said...

Hey Surfnux,

Feel free to trackback the blog :)

You are obviously not in my "original" thoughts when writing this blog i.e., more for the authorities as well as future university students rather than current students at these institution :)

I'll probably have a think about what I can "guide" should you already be enrolled in these institutions. But off my head:

1. Being part of these institutions means you may not be getting the "best" degrees, but that doesn't mean you are getting hopeless degrees, or that you won't get employed. It merely means that you may not yet have "fulfilled" your potential.

2. You may have to put in additional hours in more rigourous course work on your own in order to "better" yourself and to learn more than what your existing university is offering you. This will give you a better chance with your future employers for your jobs of choice. If you can do that, then discipline and hardwork will obviously be your key assets to make up for the weaker degrees.

:) Tony

Dzof said...

It's impressive how much work you put into this article, and yet...

If you look at the criteria used to score/rank the universities , you will see that a lot of them cannot be applied when evaluating twinning programs.

In the case of twinning programmes, the foreign universities offer their curriculum, material and assessment system for use by local univeristies. They generally (I believe) do not provide teaching staff, they may not use the same admission procedures and they do not provide their libraries and equipment for use.

As a result, five out of the seven criteria used by the Guardian to grade the universities are very probably not applicable and the other two are, at best, dubious.

Let's put it this way: even if one of these colleges suddenly twinned with Oxford University, will that mean that the student it produces will be of the same calibre?

surfnux said...

Thanks for the guides Tony. I think what u said is true. We have to build a discipline and learn the stuffs we found useful for the future working life and what the degree does not offer.

aznijar said...

Wrong comment location.

Here's the repeated comment at the correct blog!

Interesting and quite in-depth observation.

we're cousins then, yeah, me being the product of the poorer uni at Oxford, the polytechnic, in Mech. Eng.

You know what? I'll do something in the same line on Mech Eng, we compare notes, then maybe we publish a joint-paper? What say you?

On another note, dzof have some valid arguments about the differences of local and twinned programs. Maybe we could check one program and compare as well, to include in the joint paper?

Lastly, I normally refers to Times Uni guide, since Brookes has alwasys been getting good reviews there.

Zhen Yang said...

Hello Tony,
I am a Malaysian but grew up and had my education in Singapore.

After much research on private schools that offer twinning/online degree programs and these universities ranking.I have decided for myself that a on campus mode is what serious education is all about.But going overseas costs a large sum of money.Thus I am now trying to get entry to extended campus.

I have to confess after evaluating that my maths background isn't strong. Yet,having a strong passion for computing and had some experience as a student leader of a ECA/CCA, I have interests in management and working with people.
Thus I am applying for University of Nottingham(Malaysia campus) BSC(Hons)Computing & Information Systems.Thinking it is of a good integration of my passions.

While trying to understand more about Malaysia education system as a whole. I found your objective and delicated work.

Please I seek your affirmation and guidance.

Some Information about the University:-

- A mixture of fly in and local professors.

_ Website appear to be informative about all administrative work as compared to private schools.It show seriousness in educating.

Zhen Yang

Tony P said...

Hey Zhen Yang,

As you would have probably known by now, Nottingham U is a fairly well respected university (ranked 15th overall, and 38th for Computer Science based on the Guardian university rankings).

So, the key things you need to consider before enrolling into the off campus course will be:

1. Are the course syllabus the same as that conducted in the UK?

2. Are you taking all the same examinations to qualify for the same degree from Nottingham U, and of course graded similarly as the undergrads in UK?

3. How are the facilities at this off-campus site? Particularly in your case, computing facilities. How many hours will you be spending on these facilities (no point having great facilities if you are only allowed an hour a week right?)

4. Who are your lecturers and what are their qualifications? While there will be some "fly-in" lecturers, make sure it's not a promotional gimmick where you get a 1 hour lecture from a fly-in lecturer over your entire course.

5. Something harder to determine - who are your likely coursemates? A good indication will be what's the minimum enrolment grades? If it's set too low, the likelihood is that the course may be attracting weak students which won't be as conducive for you to do well.

The above are just some of the considerations you should think about. Hopefully they can provide you with a better idea of whether you should enrol into a particular course or university. Most importantly, always "question" the marketing statements made in the college brochures, whether they are statements of fact or are they being economical with the truth :)

Good luck!

Zhen Yang said...

Hello Tony,

Thanks, you have certainly draw a few important points that I may have over looked.

To my understanding this extended campus is owned by the UK University.Moreover the examination markers and moderation personal will be the same as of those undergrads in UK.

They do allow some vocational/private dipolma holders to enrole in the course.It must be of certain GPA though.

I know not if this course is being offered in the main campus itself. If it isn't are there any implications?
Is Computing and information Systems a degree of neither here nor there?

Thanks, really appreciate to have advices from a busy man like you.Will try to make this the last post as not to take up too much of your time.

(P.S I will check those points that I have over looked)

Thanks once again for your good will in concerning for the education system.

Anonymous said...

I agree. These private colleges advertise and say all good things about the university - well is it true? Students tend to believe everything. For example, INTI, they conduct classes in chinese and boy, is that world class?

cccp said...

do you know of any american university? malaysia is still stucked with the uk education concept that they basically have no understanding of other universities in the world. i face this pathetic problem when i go for interviews, and it is frustrating to know that although i have graduated from an excellent university in america, no one knows of it. all they know is 'ivy league', and they even have that concept all wrong!

Peter said...

Hi Tony,

It's impressive how much work you put into this blog.

However, to be fair, I like to highlight the following:

One of the founding member of a public listed company, WCT Engineering Bhd is graduated from
6. University of Sunderland (Ranked 79/122 Overall; 66/111 for Computer Science). WCT Engineering Bhd is view as a well manage company by a lot analyst. However, He study Economic like you and not in IT.

I do have a friend lecture in Binary College many years ago. He is still pursuing a professional degree when he lecture at that college at that point of time!!!!I think they are not that excellent like what you said. However, that was many years ago.

University of Sunderland degrees are also available through Systematic Education Group Bhd(Management, not in IT ). The programme able to obtain study loan financing package from local bank. Non of other programme in Systematic Education Group Bhd able to get such financing package.

I have a subordinate graduated from
9. De Montfort University (DMU) (Ranked 83/122 Overall; 95/111 for Computer Science) in Accounting & Finance before. Her perfomance is good. She is a bumi. Maybe DMU and FTMS strenght and core competent is in Accounting & Finance. Not IT. However, One of the columnist in The Star, J Phang ( an Accountant and hold a Master in IT. His Master is obtain from DMU and FTMS.

As a consumer or a customer of product(Graduate) produce by local University. I can see the reason your concern on the quality of our graduate. On behalf of all our student, can your company give some scholarship for those who obtain place in the University of your choice?

loonatik said...

While I can't comment about the quality difference or the 'potential' one would be able to achieve in studying from a local university as compared to the universities you've listed above, I'm a product from one of the courses you've highlighted, specifically University of Northumbria. I would like to highlight that in my opinion and also that of many of my peers who went there with me or those whom I'd met over there, it's conclusive to us that the quality of education as a whole is much better than those offered in local private universities / local private colleges. Aside from having to complete STPM, another predicament for students would be, as you would know, it's difficult to get a place for the courses they want in top local universities (UM) as you've suggested. The quota system.

cre8tif said...

hi tony,

with reference to your following comments, to quote :-

"However, there is one notable exception, that the Diploma in Economics at HELP is awarded by London School of Economics (LSE). LSE is ranked top 5 in the UK overall as well as for its Economics courses. This Diploma, while insufficient to secure a "lucrative" career immediately, does provide the students with the right qualification towards a separate degree with the top UK institutions. Note that to obtain these degrees from the top universities, the degree programme is NOT conducted by HELP. HELP does however, have a separate degree program in Economics (and related subjects), but it is accredited as an external degree from University of London. While the lead university in this external programme is LSE, students should note that it is not the same as a degree from LSE."

the drift that I am getting is that you are suggesting that the external programme is somewhat INFERIOR to let say having a degree awarded by the LSE itself.

If I may refer you the the Statutes of the University of London; Statute 66(2) states, ‘Candidates granted degrees and other awards shall have attained the same academic standard irrespective of mode or place of study or examination.’ There is only one University of London degree and it is awarded both to students attending in London and External students.

In reality, the University of London is made up of many institutions under its umbrella and the LSE happens to be one of the renowned faculties.

With reference to the following :-

"# Your work is assessed to exactly the same standard as that of a student who attends in London. No concession in quality or academic rigour is made for the more difficult study circumstances of External students.
# Colleges of the University and individual academic staff of the University are directly involved in the External Programme. They develop the syllabuses, write study materials, set examination papers and mark scripts. As a result, high academic standards are maintained.
# The degrees have a ‘Lead’ College which takes responsibility for academic development except for the LLB where a Subject Panel involving the laws school of the Universtiy.
# The study materials you receive have been written specifically with External students in mind."

I hope that the URL provided would be sufficient to clear your doubts about external degrees. Not all people have the privilege to go to universities/colleges upon the completion of their secondary/tertiary education. There are many fine young graduates out there with the University of London whom have proven their mettle in graduating with a diploma/degree with this prestigious university amidst their commitment to their work, family and themselves.

Anonymous said...

Let me offer my 2sens worth about the twinning programmes and the local campuses of foreign universities.

Generally they are all crap, really. The universities are, as quite rightly pointed out, all Div 3 or Div 4 unis. They all have credibility problems in the UK and elsewhere and can't attract enough students and get funding from the govt. and from industry. So the twinning programmes are merely to earn revenue and to ensure a steady stream of students to their universities/colleges.

So they go all out and sell their degrees overseas in countries like Malaysia, China, Middle East and the like to raise money to SURVIVE and to pay their salaries. For each subject, they get a fixed sum or percentage of the fees. I know a univ that offers their course materials for RM 5,000. How much the local partner sells it, well, they don't want to know. Just sell.

The local twinning partner markets the courses aggressively through various means offering discounts and other incentives like exemptions, gifts, easy payment schemes etc etc the list is long.

The degrees are now commodities to be "bought" by paying the fees and going through the motions of attending classes and sitting for the exams and passing in due course. There is hardly any quality control. Most local partners employ half baked local lecturers with the occasional mat-salleh face to give some credibility. Teaching, marking and assignments are lax, grades can be negotiated.

It is therefore not surprising that some colleges and universities have already churned out thousands and thousands of graduates within a span of a few years, something which established universities take decades to accomplish what with their quality control.

Some foreign unis that have campuses in Malaysia are also not much better. Don't be fooled by their names and games.

They practice DISCRIMINATION and their intentions are to earn the lucrative dollar for their parent universities in Australia, UK etc. Be wise to their games and schemes.

They fly their lecturers in and out and their examinations here are supposed to be the same as that in their parent universities. No difference they say!!

DON'T BELIEVE this BULLS..T!! I was a victim of one of this scheme.

When I registered for one of the degree programmes for an Aussie U here and later wanted to transfer to the 'SAME' degree in Aussieland, I was TOLD the programme here is DIFFERENT from that in OZZIE and I could NOT DO SO!!!

Later when I completed their degree here in Malaysia, I was awarded a degree that says MXXXXX U MALAYSIA CAMPUS or you might get a degree cert that says N......... U MALAYSIA.

WHY do they have to say MALAYSIA, or MALAYSIA CAMPUS? See how they DIFFERENTIATE and DEPRECIATE your degree that is SUPPOSED TO BE THE SAME as that conferred in OZ or UK?

You don't believe me? Try and see if your Malaysian obtained degree is recognised in OZ or UK as EQUIVALENT to the ones earned wholly in the two countries. Try applying for a job etc. Try convincing your potential employer that your admission criteria, classmates, lecturers, course content and grades are of the same caliber and standard with those of the parent university.

Also be wary of many degree programmes that are merely VALIDATED (whatever that means or entails) by such and such a university.

These are of no value although the uni's name appears on the diploma/degree which will in most cases carry the local college's name with the course VALIDATED by some foreign institution. Another money making scheme.

So.....World Class Universities here in Malaysia? You got to be kidding. And I am surprised that our government and LAN are impressed by these money making schemes and approving them. What an injustice to the Malaysian (and foreign) students who pay good money for an 'education'.

So reader whoever you are, exercise caution. Apply to a good university with a proper course if you want a proper education. You do it once so why not do it properly. Otherwise you will be sore like me who just hate my degrees!!!

Anon. MBA (Malaysian Campus), BA (Malaysia)

yuefei said...

i couldn't agree more to the " Anonymous" who got a twinning degree up there, as i were a victim also. it was a long story happen long long time ago, at a kingdom not too far away - our beloved 'bolehland'. i went to a local college name "p*i*e" for their diploma. well, don't get me wrong, the problem is not with the diploma, its a good course, my classmate do get in to some top uni at uk after getting the diploma (some more direct entry to second year!). bath, sheffield, bermingham... did i get the spelling right ? never mind, that's is not the problem.
The problem is with those poor student like me.
after getting the diploma, because of financial problem, i couldn't make it to uk, the recession 97-98 really hit my family. but luckily (or unluckily if u prefer) the college manage to get a TWINNING program with one of the famous local university. lack of other choices, i joint the program. by the way, i am an engineering student. So, then the story take a turn from worse to worst....
first, the program suffer from all the problem mention by all the others up there, lack of lecturer, not proper equip lab. no proper uni environment, no senior batch student, no pass semester exam paper.... basically nothing! we are the pioneer man !!!! so proud,, just imagine my situation.
and now comes to part that is related to "world class". the engineering is a professional world. legally speaking, u can't be an engineer if u are not register to the professional body (but don't forget also that we are leaving in bolehland ;p ) and to be able to register, the degree that u are holding must be recorgnise. and its this term "recorgnise" that creates all my problem !!!
op!!! gtg, continue next time if any one care to know more about this "recorgnise" things. sorry.........

yuefei said...

hai, it's me again, part 2 of "URL"
so , recorgnise....
the malaysia engineering world is kind of funny to me, first there is IEM, BEM, which u need to register to in oder to practice engineering in malaysia. but in order to register, ur degree must be "acceptable" by them, so who do the job of accepting ur degree ? one might think IEM/BEM well u r wrong ! its education man, surely some ministries come in to play. so there come the education ministry, but wait !!!! they don't know engineering, they just make policy, so how ? well don't worry, they can always consult IEM/BEM. final result - a new body, the EAC (correct me if i am wrong, EAC is no longer there). so, the story come to a happy ending ? ofcause NOT. didn't u want to work with the govourment? and as far as i know, MOE is not the one who can let u work with govourment. so JPA comes into play... haha........ not enough ? what about those dean of uni and college ? don't they want to joint in to the decition making process that affect them the most ? haha.......
anyway, at least now its clearer. so the final episod of all this is a body call LAN. it will "accept" the degree and let u register with BEM (IEM optional) so that u can legally practice engineering and become professional engineer, (Ir. title instead of Mr.) its good for all u lucky forks since its clearer now, but at the time i pursueing my course, the above things happen. and it ends after i graduate, haha......
at that tender age, how can i even know the existance of all this body ? ai..... so, does it means that its all over now? todays student no need to worried ? cross ur fingle, JPA may not agree with LAN, some "accept" degree of LAN may not means JPA also "accept" haha.... bolehland?

by the way, why do i use the term "recorgnise" and then change to "accept" ? well, read on.... (by the time i register to the twinning program, no body tell me, and i only found out after i graduate, ai.....) the reason being i try to confuse u just like they had confuse me!! i bet u that even today, most of the student don't even know the term "accredited", and the existance of "approved","recorgnised" and then "accredited".
for a college to open a course and intake student, the course ofcause needs to be "approved". no question ? i hope this is easy to understand. so after "approved" then what ? "approved" means a college can open up a course and teach student, that's all, nothing much, thing that u can register to BEM with an "approved" , hell no !!!!!!!!!!
so, after approval, it need to be "recorgnised" !!! the program i take with "p*i*e" college is already "recorgnised" as all the curiculum is from the university. so happy... haha..... so why i borther to write all this crap so long ? that is the nice part. my degree is "recorgnised BUT NOT ACCREDITED" !!! what is that ?/! well simply means they recorgnise ur degree, its good, nothing wrong with it, just that THEY DON'T ALLOW U TO REGISTER TO BEM that's all , haha..............
so, now clearer ? there is a thrid term namely "accredited". in order to register with BEM ur degree need to be "accredited". and i am stuck at this point. what a pity... RM70k for a degree that is "recorgnised BUT NOT ACCREDITED" !!! haha..........
so, is this problem over ? i bet you to bring your "ACCREDITED" degree and ask JPA. haha.....believe it or not, there is still some problem between JPA and LAN.
as for me, i am stuck forever with a "recorgnised BUT NOT ACCREDITED" !!! hope it never happen to any one of you again. do check your twinning program with LAN prior to enrol, as far as i know, the original university is accredited by LAN doesn't means their twinning program is accredited also, and the process of accreditation is forever, every few years they will review it. so cross your fingle that by the time u finish your degree, the accreditation status had not change. or else you will be like me "recorgnised BUT NOT ACCREDITED" !!! what a nice term......
gtg, continue later if got time, bye

Anonymous said...


I like the example you provided about "one of the founding member of a public listed company, WCT Engineering Bhd is view as a well managed company by a lot of analyst," eventhough he was not from one of the top schools. This goes to show that we should be careful when equating being at a high-ranking school to how success might be defined. Look at Enron, Worldcom...ect these were companies that were in the sportlight, darling of the investment community, until it was revealed that they were not honest with their bookeeping, and were "managing optimism." until they collasped one day and left lots of investors poor. These were companies that hire only from the best universities and worked with top Authur Andersen Consulting that went under in the debacle.

My advise is be careful, whether they are schools that are misleading in their advetisements, entities that may seem to have the perfect credentials (they may very well have those credentials, but lack other important qualities), or even the beautiful picture that the market is painting about a captain of the industry. Dig a little deeper, not only know the facts, but the relationships in between.

It takes more than a degree to be successful. However, those who has been to the top Universities has something extra that those who did not. The social capital (relationships with the people of the same kind) at the top university and its affliates.

But, bear in mind, a good university degree doesn't guarantee that you have a good reputation for life. That depends on your character.

--Old Man

Anonymous said...

For those who might be interested in comparing University ranking, just last year UK, Times Higher Education Supplement published the World University Ranking, (some quaters have claimed that it was the first of its kind in the world)

You will need to register to access the material, however it is free.

In another two days time, they will also have the 2005 UK university league tables.
Meanwhile, there are still lots of information in the website that could be use for analysis.

By the way, University of Malaya is rank 89 in the world. That means UM falls within the top 100 university range.

--Old Man

Anonymous said...

Dear Old Man.

You must look at the criteria thes used in their rankings. Things like government funding, no of foreign students etc etc criterias are of no use. It is the academic criteria that is all important. So what has University of Malaya got to shout about of their 89th ranking?

Every one knows how low their standards are and how incompetent their graduates are. You hear of marks being altered to make their graduates look good. (See recent higher education conference comments by an UM professor in Malaysiakini).

For a more comprehensive and authoritative ranking, see for example :

You will note that MU, Malaysia's premier university is not even ranked in the top 100 in Asia!!!!
MU is not even ranked in the top 500 universities in the world!!!

Jiao Tong U's ranking is quite authoritative and is frequently quoted internationally. See their criterias.

So what sort of universities do we have in our country??

MU professors are appointed not on merit but on... u know la. How many of them publish papers in international journals? Professors from Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia (not to mention Singapore) are much better than Malaysia's.

Incidentally, both NUS and MU celebrates 100 years this year. NUS is ranked 18 by thes, while MU is 89.

Jiao Tong ranks NUS joint 9-17 in Asia, but MU is not even listed, not even in the top 500.

So take the thes ranking with a bottle of salt. Let MU crow about their ranking, but the public know where they stand.

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous addressing old man,

You hit the nail on the dollar, it is pretty important to know the criteria use in any ranking excercise.
However, some don't even give you the criteria. Nothing to judge, if the criteria is not transparent.

Old Man

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

It's good that you decide to review the university ranking but frankly speaking, how important is the ranking when you are looking for a potential employee? Whether students graduates from top universitis or not, their work experience and attitude and etc would be making a bigger difference.

I would have to agree very much with "dzof" about the criterions that is used to rank the university. Just a simple example, the university I'm studying at is only about 3 years old. When the university ranking was done in the country 4 years ago and the result was released 2-3 years after that, my university ranked at the bottom because the main focus was for researching. This would affect the university's enrolment especially for post graduate students but the fact is, when they begun their research for ranking, my university wasn't even a university yet as it was only an institute. So, how can u justify that it's good or not.

There's something I'm amazed as well. How irresponsible can a student be by not doing any homework about the twinning programmes offered. They can't turn around and them blame it on the colleges as that's only part of their marketing gimicks. It's your own fault that you do not do your homework. So, grow up and take the responsibility for your own decision and choices.

Peter said...

Hi Old Man,

Thank you for your comment.

You can read an interesting articles published on The Star last Sunday below:

My comment is here

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous addressing old man and readers,

I am quite perplexed that you would consider:

(1) (government) funding

(2) number of Foreign Students

(3) etc........

are of no use [criteria’s] in evaluating university ranking.

Here is my take on why THES would consider the above important factors (and if you read the full report... Thes also took into consider things like the number of Nobel Prize winners, peer reviews, publications, etc…):

(1) Universities do not live on air alone. It must be able to pay for the resources to teach, do research, (acquire the best brains, have a marvelous library collection, run an experimental nuclear reactor to conduct nuclei isotopes experiments, etc...). Without money how do you pay for scholarships & fellowships to attract the best students & faculty?

(2) From a global perspective, foreign students are important, not only because they pay full tuition, but because they bring their culture and ideas to share among themselves and the local students. In other words, they are agents that can contribute knowledge differently to the campus knowledge system. This is one of the reason why American universities are so powerful, they are a melting pot of ideas from all over the world. For example, many top US universities have been complaining that since 9/11, foreign students enrollment has dropped drastically due to visa application encumbrances and is hurting their research competitiveness.

Money can do many things, the best thing it can do is help to pay for an outstanding faculty, provide superb research facilities, create attractive scholarships & fellowships, and when they are combined with the right mixed of policies can create the conditions that produce high level of learning & research, knowledge production, and value creation. We don’t have to look very far to notice that this is Singapore’s strategy to remain competitive, For example, they have spent a lot of money (as investment) on developing an enterprise eco-system that is supportive of their Bio-tech ICT, Education, Advance Manufacturing, Financial sectors. In addition, they have University of Chicago, Insead, John Hopkins, etc… those are all reputable higher institutions of learning (with highly qualified people teaching in them). On top of that, they are also creating a “city of the arts.”

Singapore realizes (after their woke up call during the last few years of recession, that they must reinvent themselves, the world has changed), and the kind of people they not only want to attract, but develop, are “people of culture,” intellectuals, multidisciplinary entrepreneurs, creative sorts, the venture capitalist, etc... In other words, people that must have passion, ideas, whose actions can change the world. And not surprisingly, these kind of people are attracted to one another, hence the whole environment (society-culture) must also change to provide the space and freedom (policy) for them to do “their thing.” We are talking about a society change that would create an environment that would nourish thinkers, artists, scientists, erudite entrepreneurs, etc..

Finally, on a different but related note: For reputable foreign learning institutions to sustain the “same or higher level of quality” operating outside their home country, they would have to transpose the “culture of the mothership” to the new place, and the new place in the long run must have an environment to support and sustain them, both heart & mind. Here, I am not talking about the physical resources, but the intangible ones (i.e., a unique combination of the artifacts, rules, processes, people, values), their “tradition of doing things.” In other words, the social relationships embedded in a practice.

It is the unique creation, perpetuation, and generation of social capital that differentiate the “real thing” (learning in these reputable learning institution) from most twinning programs (satellite learning centers) in Malaysia. Since, most of the twinning programs in Malaysia have overlooked the tacit social aspect of the “knowledge transfer.” (And I don’t like the word transfer here, but I use it in this instance anyway) Nor do they invest in paying the top people to come and SPEND TIME “living & sharing” among the wider learning community. Furthermore, why would the top people spend time here any longer than they have to, when the environment lack the properties that can nourish their long term growth activities. Indeed, it is a vicious cycle…

xaverri said...

Hello.. I read on with great interest. A few years ago, I undertook ONE semester in what was then LICT, taking a architectural science degree. Although it wasn't really recommended, it was the only option as it was the only institution offering this degree.

It was a huge disappointment (an understatement actually). The syllabus was Curtin's (Australian uni) and the only time the "fly-in" lecturer showed up was twice - beginning and end of semester. The quality of the local "lecturers" and the way they handled the course was..wayy below expectations. Considering the fact that I was paying them HEAPS of money and obtaining sub-standard education, I did the sensible thing and left the college.

I then went to a local campus of an Australian university (the one in Sunway =P) and last year transferred over to the Australian campus. I feel that "Anonymous" shouldn't generalise about affairs in local campuses of foreign universities. It is the student's responsibility to check out issues such as enrolment standards etc.

FYI, one has to decide pretty quickly whether to transfer to the uni's home (overseas) campus at any point of the degree. Deciding last minute limits where and which course you can transfer into. It is the same when one wants to transfer inter-campus between any of the Australian campuses of the uni (So this problem is not exclusive to the Malaysian campus). Many people I know did not check out the criteria for inter-campus transfer until it was too late.

Not all programmes are formed for evil-money-sucking purposes. In the Malaysian campus, we were offered the same syllabus, get equal access to the uni's web-learning system, same exam timetable and same exam paper (time differences between campuses taken into account), same enrolment requirements.. Facilities-wise the Malaysian campus definitely lost out, but then how many colleges truly offer campus-style facilities? As for lecturers, I find the ones I had back home and the ones in Melbourne are of similar standard.

I've had bad (awful, really) experiences in the local twinning programs, and had good experiences in a local campus of a foreign uni, so that was my 2 cents..

multidimid said...

For ALL the commentators & learned educators, go to this website

& state your VIEWS on HIGHER EDUCATION in MALAYSIA - deadline 17th JULY 2005

see the APPEAL in the....

Letter from the Chairman

On behalf of the committee tasked with the responsibility to study, review, and make recommendations concerning the development and future direction of higher education in Malaysia (the committee), I would like to invite Malaysians from all walks of life to write and present their opinions, observations and suggestions with regard to higher education in Malaysia.

The terms of reference of the committee are as stated under the title : Terms of reference.
The goals of the government are twofold, namely :

1. To make Malaysia the centre of regional excellence in the field of higher education

2. To make higher education the instrument of national integration

On 3rd February 2005, the committee conducted a one–day smart partnership dialogue with the stakeholders of higher education. Some 180 education entrepreneurs participated in the dialogue. A similar dialogue will be held sometime in mid march to cater to those who could not be accommodated in the February dialogue. In conducting the dialogue the committee had adopted “a SWOT analysis approach”.

The following questions were posed to the participants to elicit their responses:

1. What are the strengths of higher education in Malaysia?
2. What are the weaknesses of higher education in Malaysia?
3. What are the opportunities for higher education in Malaysia?
4. What are the threats to higher education in Malaysia?

Beside the above we also asked participants to share their thoughts and views with regard to the concept of world class education. For that purpose we posed the following questions:

“What in your opinion is a world class higher education system? What are the characteristics of a world class higher education system? What do we have to do to achieve world class status? ”

You may want to state whether our higher education system is world class. You may want to present the basis of your evaluation. If we are not world class what must be done to become world class.

This web site is set up to enable Malaysians to write in and share their thoughts on higher education.

We would appreciate very much if you could share your thoughts on the SWOT questions and also the matter of world class education.

Your opinions will be very useful to us.

We would like to state here that we have to complete our work by July 17, 2005. The report shall be presented to the Minister of Higher Education. As you can see we are on a very tight time schedule.

We would appreciate it if you could submit your thoughts, observations and suggestions early to enable us to study them in greater depth.

Thank you


Anonymous said...

Whatever higher level educational planning must take into consideration the curriculum in the primary & secondary. Now that we have two education minister, are they coordinated to produced a coherent master plan? or each department will do their own thing?

Old Man

E-Ling said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I would like to bring the attention that the degree obtained from twinning program is not only recognised but not accredited" by JPA, it is also "not recognised and not accredited" by all recognised public and private universities as the pre-requisite first degree for pursuing master/Phd programs in Malaysia. In the event these people would like to continue their studies, the only way is to spend alot more money studying oversea. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Old Man says: So it is official, Najib given UM challenge to improve its world university ranking from position 89 to 50 by year 2020.

June 16, 2005 16:15 PM
Najib Proposes Varsities Appoint Retired Intellectuals

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Thursday proposed that institutions of higher learning appoint retired intellectuals, who are still productive.

Their wealth of expertise would augur well for the nation's growth.

"Among the think-tank, there should be a high level of professionalism and commitment, which makes it difficult for the institution to see them go even though they have reached their retirement age," he said at the launch of the University Malaya's 100-year anniversary celebration.

The ceremony was officiated by Sultan of Perak Azlan Shah who is also Universiti Malaya Chancellor. Also present was Regent of Perak Raja Nazrin, who is also the university's Pro-Chancellor.

Najib also said that the time had come for intellectuals' status be elevated as 'National Heritage' in appreciation of their contributions toward the knowledge and innovative society.

"I believe they are the nation's real heritage as they are always productive in terms of generating knowledge," he said.

Najib also stressed on the need for local universities to produce quality graduates who not only could meet the demands of the competitive job market, but also those would could perform their duties with excellence.

The brand of graduates produced by a university, he said, would be the benchmark of its quality, especially in terms of its teaching standards and research conducted.

"A university's level of excellence is its high teaching standards. The high teaching standards are attributed to the teaching faculty and students who are capable and committed," he said.

Najib said the two groups complemented each other, noting that having a pool of dedicated and calibre lecturers would not be meaningful without students who were committed and capable, and these students were their by-product.

In his speech, Najib also reminded Universiti Malaya of its achievements for the past 100 years since its inception, did not mean that its mission of becoming the nation's leading education provider, had come to nought. "To maintain a high level excellence, the university has to retain its leadership role with vigour and spirit as its achievement for the past 100 years, marks the beginning of a long journey," he said.

Najib also threw a challenge at the university to raise its current 89th position among the world's top 100 universities to 50 by the year 2020.

At the function, Universiti Malaya Vice Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Hashim Yaacob was seen giving a slight nod, indicating that he agreed to accept the deputy premier's challenge.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh, in his speech earlier gave his assurance that he would help fresh graduates get employment.

"We are come up with a suitable mechanism to help the graduates. The ministry is always studying the needs of the job industry to ensure graduates produced by these institutions could match the current requirements," he said.

Universiti Malaysia had its roots in Singapore in 1905 when it was then known as the King Edward VII Medical College. In October 1949, it merged with Raffles College which was established in 1929.

It was later divided into two autonomous powers; one in Singapore, known as National University of Singapore and the other, in Kuala Lumpur, which retained the original name of Universiti Malaya.

It is the first university in the country to have nearly 30,000 students. The university has thus far produced about 100,000 graduates.


malaysian is no future country said...


First of all, are we (the non-bumis, that is) really to believe that the government will abolish or tone down the New Economic Policy in the near future? We must be realistic, if you have the right to buy a property at a discount and have scholarships for your children, would you let go of these rights?

With Chinese population dwindling in Malaysia, what needs to be done depends on the Chinese themselves.

There is nothing wrong with the brain drain. In fact, we should encourage our children to move to Singapore, Taiwan, China etc. if we disagree with Malaysian government policies that are based on race and religion.

When it comes to the matter of the dwindling number of Chinese Malaysians, we should talk about quality, not quantity.

We should resolve why the Chinese-Malaysian population is reducing. Official figures have more than one million Chinese Malaysians emigrating over the past 25 years. Why did they emigrate? I am sure the government knows.

Straight A students can't get scholarships or university places. Nothing new, it is been that way for the past 35 years. Nowadays, even enlightened malay Malaysians are speaking up on this injustice. The MCA and Gerakan? Busy making money from private colleges.

What is so great about having TAR College or Utar which took more than 35 years of begging? Why should it be so difficult to set up an independent university when we have scores of public ones?

While we push young talented people away, other countries notably Singapore, the US and Australia welcome them with open arms.

Is it logical that we drive away our young talented ones and then invite retired Mat Sallehs to live here and exploit our low-cost of living?

Singapore's success in particular owes much to these ex-Malaysians or their descendants including Hon Sui Sen, Goh Keng Swee, Goh Chok Tong, just to name a few.

About 30 percent of top management in both Singapore's government and corporate sector are ex-Malaysians. We export them so that Singapore can compete with, and then whack us.

Korea and Taiwan, both way behind us in the 70s and 80s are now way ahead. Thailand is breathing down our necks.

Sadly, there is just no integrity in the nation's leadership.


paradoxical said...

in reply to:

" Anonymous said...

I would like to bring the attention that the degree obtained from twinning program is not only recognised but not accredited" by JPA, it is also "not recognised and not accredited" by all recognised public and private universities as the pre-requisite first degree for pursuing master/Phd programs in Malaysia. In the event these people would like to continue their studies, the only way is to spend alot more money studying oversea. Thanks."

i'm not quite sure what you mean by that. as far as i know, and based on the information from the LAN website, it reads:

"Accreditation means a formal recognition of the fact that the certificates, diplomas and degrees awarded by Private Higher Educational Institutions (PHEIs) are in accordance with the standard set by the Lembaga.

Only PHEIs whose courses of study have obtained Accreditation have the right to use the statement Recognized by LAN in their advertisements and in their courses of study. Students pursuing accredited courses are qualified for consideration to serve in the public service sector.

In addition to this, students who pursue accredited courses of study will also have the chance of obtaining scholarships or loans from sponsors and / or further their studies in any Public Higher Education Institution. PHEIs whose courses have been accredited may also franchise their accredited courses to other PHEIs with conditions attached."

so my conclusion is that so long the programme a student is undertaking is accredited by LAN, then there shouldn't be any problems in attaining entry to any public or private universities locally.

however, what i do know is that engineering degrees are usually not recognised and accredited. hence, this is the reason why IEM/BEM do not recognised them as well. again, IIANM, engineering degrees require minimum of 4 years at undergraduate level. most engineering degrees offered in the late 90s were fully 3+0.

as for other degrees (including computing, business, etc.), i do not see why there should be any reason such degrees do not qualify as an entry requirement to further studies both internationally and locally. not recognizing these degrees as academic qualfications is a serious matter as there are thousands of student in private colleges. and i'm sure there are quite a percentage that will want to continue they're education.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tony,

I think the real world is not just matter so much on the words "recognize" or "accreditation" when ones pursue a tertiary education. The bottle line is, whether the work outcomes of a graduate in handling his/ her asigned job well or not. Not necessary that the graduates from any so called better "ranked" university equal to the success of gradute in contributing to the scociety as a whole. Many famous leaders, being in business or other professions, they do not have world class degree, and some even don't have a degree. In my opinion, employers' recognition on a person's performance do not depend much on the person's background coming from a particular "good" university or the national assessment criteria on "accreditation" or "recognition". The bottom line is the "teachability" and "learnability". As a summary, what I would like to say here is: a person's competency and success lies not only on good degree, but on other factors (especially political powers and leadership) at different countries. I don't see much problems of having growing degree programmes offered in PHEIs or public universities. I think a growing nation like ours required to undergoes "revolution" process to become an excellent education center. Of corse, the major concern is, do we want and readily provide effective macro strategies or not. Just my humble views, no offensive intention to anyone. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

I spent many years in the UK for my education starting from primary school up until Bachelors, and also find it frightening how quite frankly some of the worst and most joked about universites get promoted as the usual "world class" bullshit here when they get signed up with a twinning programme. From those that I have met who undertook these course they would probably have been better off going to UM. They learnt nothing about UK/AUS life during their short stint there and missed on any opportunity to mix with anyone outside their shallow Malaysian social group while complaining about the British/Australian weather/food/prices. Either do it properly or dont bother at all, and look at the fucking league tables for the uni where you're going before you start flying on that fucking plane

Rajan R said...

LSE doesn't have any twinning programmes. LSE via the University of London offers External Programs and there is a distinction between degrees conferred via the External Program and campus-based programs (though the University of London can't discriminate between them...). For example, if you took Law and Accountancy from LSE nad want to migrate and take the bar at NY, they won't accept external degrees.

The key difference is that an External degree doesn't care which college you go to or whether you go college or not; all grades is based on an annual examination usually with 4 papers marked in UK. Entry is more lax than entering campus programs, but admission is decided by the U of London.

vesewe said...

Many many years ago, my brothers, cousins and friends, all top students applied to local university to be computer and electrical engineers.

None of us got in. We all went abroad, many of us made a killing but all of us had a good career and was in the centre of the IT revolution.

Recently some of us were approached to return to Malaysia but even at million-ringgit salary, we unanimously said no.

Cheated once, it's a pity, cheated twice is your fault.

Drug abuse, hate, incest, liberal extremism (culture of miniskirts and gay marriages), murder, racism, rape, religious fanaticism, parochialism, snatch theft, spoilt-bratty behavior, tribalism, wife abuse, child abuse, all that is associated with the malay race.

To them, malay is the biggest impediment towards building a truly Malaysian nation, and should be chucked into the dustbins of history.

Sad. Sad. Sad.

The question asked by many of my fellow Chinese is this - Why can't you just tell the malay peoples to adopt Chinese culture which is superior?

History always repeats itself. And nature is cruel. Any race of lower intelligence gets wiped out eventually.

See what is happening to indigenous tribes and their lands, always taken over by smarter people from elsewhere.

Look at Singapore, who owned it in the first place and who came and took it over?

America was taken by Europeans from the Red Indians. Even British convicts and unwanted low life managed to grab Australia from the aborigines and reduced them to what they are today. They may become extinct one day.

However, Malaysians still have hope as they are learning fast. Just hope it is fast enough. Problem is that some of them are still crying for bumis policy as a crutch. The smarter ones know that it is just prolonging the agony. Anyway, the smarter ones actually are not from Malaysia originally.

You can only survive if you are able to stand on your own two legs. Shouting "Malaysia boleh" is no use - if you can, you can.

"Only a quarter of Malaysian is Chinese while more than half of the population is malays. Yet Chinese control half of the economy while malays only about 20%."

Whether there is NEP or not, don't make much difference in the long run. When you walk with crutches for too long, you lose the ability to stand on your own legs.

Friend, you have a place there. Find your own niche in the food chain. (If you leave for greener pastures, you are repeating what your forefathers did when they left China and ended up in oversea.)

People with brains can overcome all sorts of man-made obstacles or unfairness. Those with brains but do not use them will cry for help.

You can decide which type you want to be.

malaysia too bad said...

Time and again, our leaders refuse to take unpopular measures to solve problems.

Umno president Badawi's speech is commendable in being frank and acknowledging the problems at hand, but we have to wait and see whether it is going to be implemented or whether it will remain just rhetoric like the others.

The so-called meritocracy for university entrance seems farcical when there is a dual system in place at the entry level.

Yet, after so many years, we seem to be still grappling with meritocracy. Any lower percentage of acceptances of malay students will be taken as discriminatory. Of course, it is discriminatory, but not based on race, only on merit, which should be the case.

In spite of the political power and resources at their disposal, Umno leaders have failed in their educational policies. The correct approach should be to raise the standards in schools, in particular, malay students performance and not take the easy way out of manipulating entry requirements to please the masses.

This short-term solution will only postpone the problems and not solve them. Lowering entry requirements only lowers the standard, and the graduates will find difficulties in getting jobs later.

We had been experimenting with educational policies. We now discover there is a generation of students and graduates not proficient in English and as a result, lack skills in information communication technology (ICT) and international communications, and generally unemployable without further re-training.

The significant drop in standard of English was also due to the relegation of English to an optional subject, when formerly it was a compulsory subject for obtaining a full certificate.

If we have politicians that cannot differentiate between national and party objectives, we have people who do not know what is right or wrong, then we have a problem.

run away from malaysia said...

Well it just appeared on the google page when I searched for racism subject this afternoon.

I have been in New Zealand for 15 years and I have no intention to go back to Malaysia simply because there is an equal opportunity here for everyone, and I don't feel less ranked in the society.

I am not sure if I am part of the cream but I do have both bachelor and master degrees, and I am currently serving the New Zealand community.

I love the place I was brought up in (Sungai Petani) and the memory I had when I was attending primary and secondary schools, but the way the Chinese and Indian people are treated by the Malaysia government is just flawed.

I have no intention to go back, until I see a non-malay PM.

Way to go!

Let's celebrate the human spirit that strives against the odds!

Persistence definitely bears fruits! And certainly they are sustainable and cherish-able!

Universal truths!

One got to be prepared to look for challenges, in any areas of your interest, beyond the shores of Malaysia.

Malaysia's economy is very small and unsophisticated.

Australia's economy is bigger than all of the South East Asia countries combined. Imagine USA and Europe!

malaysia is very low class said...

In Malaysia we have the crony group. They continuously recommend new rules and regulations to be implemented and legalised by their front liners, a.k.a. the government, to squeeze the normal folk of their pennies.

Surprised? I'm not.

The Public Services Department (PSD) and their scholarship awarding criteria is a yearly event. It's an annual drama during which the non-bumi students protest after which the government will intervene and award them PSD scholarships.

Why couldn't these deserving students been given scholarships in the first place? That's a question never answered. The drama will be played out again next year. Same play, different players.

And imagine the horror when it was revealed that of the 12000 Approved Permits (APs) that were awarded in 2003, one single deserving human being in our beloved country was given 6000.

He must be an immensely blessed human being to be granted such a privilege. But hey, the government is not answerable to you or to anyone. Our Barisan Nasional government is not concerned enough to come out and explain why such a privilege was granted to this one person in Malaysia. Never has, never needed to.

And why do we now need to pay extra for a hologram label on our medicine? Who gets to make the contract to supply the hologram?

Why do we keep paying a higher toll for the use of our highways? Where does all the money go?

Why was the Penang Outer Ring Road project given to a company without a background in constructing highways? Along with the privilege to develop prime locations on Penang island?

Why do we have to work harder for a smaller share of the pie?

Why are the privileged ones getting away with criminal acts?

Why are the ministers' children attending international schools instead of national schools?

Why? Because we live in Malaysia, and Malaysia boleh.

yes malaysia is no future said...

Read it all.

In Mahathir’s Malaysia, over 40% of the population lives under Constitutionally mandated and perpetual state sanctioned racism. It is verging on illegality to even bring up the subject - even in parliament.

Non-bumis live under widespread and considerable electoral, educational, economic and even religious restrictions and also have to live with the risk of racially motivated stirring from malay politicians who could put one nation to shame. And don’t ask about illegal aliens, they’re safely locked up in detention centres.

Unsurprisingly, some malay policies have played upon resultant fears of racial tensions and the difficulties non-bumis face in creating their own political voice to shore up a captive vote in the ethnic electorate.

Starting up a company or even purchasing land and property is harder and more expensive for non-bumis. The only way to alleviate their permanent designation as a second-class citizen is to convert to Islam and thus enjoy partial legal acceptance as a bumis.

This Malaysia, a land where racism is used to justify racism, is Mahathir’s creation and if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, then I need a new palette.

Perhaps you may have heard of the axiom making its rounds among the Malaysian bloggers:

“If it is a malay issue, it is a national issue. If it is an Indian issue, it is not an issue. If it is a Chinese issue, it is a racial issue.”

That is the problem with Malaysia. The Chinese and Indians are made to feel as if Malaysia is for the malays, and not for the citizens of Malaysia. Even the textbooks are often written as if addressing the malays instead of Malaysians, with references to Islam and other malay cultural aspects.

Just look at Singapore. In spite of their being a multiracial society completely lacking in national resources, they are now a developed country. Why?

Because the people there are united. There is no presumption that the average citizen is a Chinese or any serious programme giving a particular race special rights.

The presumption that greed, dishonesty, and betrayal are innate qualities of a Chinese is simply as abhorrent as the presumption by some Chinese that malays smell bad, are lazy, and are extremely religious to the point of martyrdom. Such stereotyping accomplishes nothing.

If Chinese kids won’t die for Malaysia, we should not jump to the conclusion that Chinese cannot be trusted. Instead, we should consider it equally among other possibilities, such as the government’s policies creating a feeling of unfair treatment despite the premise that we are all equal as citizens of Malaysia.

We know what the original intentions of the malay special privileges provision in the Merdeka Constitution were, but to maintain that it is a carte blanche for all manner of discrimination based on the bumi/non-bumi divide is certainly straining credibility.

Now that the commanding heights of the Malaysian economy have fallen into the hands of malay capitalists 48 years after independence, is it wrong to appeal for a new consensus based on social sector and need instead of race?

From the above, it is clear that the question of the constitutionality of the quota system as it has been practised since 1971 especially in totally bumi institutions has never been tested.

Because the government imposes racial quota in education and government departments, therefore Singapore and other countries take fortune at the tide. For years, there has been brain drain to our neighbour.

I called my newfound friend earlier who works in Singapore. Somehow, the conversation ended up on Malaysians holding top positions in Singapore.

Well, I have a good friend who is currently working with a top-notch investment company in Singapore. When my new friend found out, immediately said, “No wonder that Pak Lah person was mentioning about the brain drain in Malaysia!”

Well, I know a lot of doctors and scientists are working overseas. A number of my school alumni are actually working overseas and not in Malaysia. Some are doing well in Boston, London, to name a few. It’s even funnier to hear stories of some of my school alumni to accidentally meet each other when they are overseas. Yes, my school is guilty for contributing to the brain drain……….

Closer to home, I wonder if Pak Lah knows about our own Malaysian companies that are also contributing to the brain drain. No name mentioned, but I know of one company, due to the change in business process has forced a number of the disgruntled staff to leave the company.

The worse thing, these staff left and joined the competitors that are not Malaysian owned. And even worse, some staff actually decided to leave Malaysia and work at greener pastures.

They could have stayed in Malaysia, but no company in Malaysia could afford to pay the expected salary due to the staff being former scholars and studied overseas during the economic crisis.

Sad really. Now wonder why Pak Lah has an uphill task.

Clearly, there has always been movement of highly skilled people in and out of a country. If there is brain drain from a particular country, it can scarcely develop.

On the other hand, if it can keep its talents and successfully attract its skilled citizens to return as well as foreign talents to come, it will prosper.

Anonymous said...

Becareful of any institution dealing with Charles Sturt University or with that university itself, experienced being swindled and is only after money.

Anonymous said...

Refering to "If you have the funds, or is able to obtain the necessary scholarships, take the academic route which will lead you to the top 20 university in the UK (top 5 in Australia and top 20 in USA)."

Top 20 Uni in Uk is like top 10% Uni in UK.
Top 5 Uni is again top 10% in Australia.
Top 20 Uni in USA is more like top 1% if there are only 2000 colleges in USA. However there are more like 3500 colleges. It is more like top 0.5%. Looking as various reports like, Businessweek etc. If U have the money going for a top 100 Uni in USA is just as good as those ranked top 20 in UK. Looking at Oxford, the admission requirement for graduate program is far easier than applying to any of the top 20 University in USA. VISA is easy to obtain, with the lack of fundings in many programs in UK and Australia. Certain graduate programs are there entirely for international student to pay thru their teeth!

I understand that Southeast Asia care alot about UK system. However open up your eyes. Look at the top 100 companies and how many are USA based and how many are English based. This would highlight going where for education make sense.

Anonymous said...

USA "ivy league" Uni are what Universities? "The Ivy League athletic conference, founded in 1954, consists of eight private institutions of higher education located in the eastern United States. The term, with its connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and a certain amount of academic elitism, dates back to at least 1935[1]." quote from Wikipedia.

I bet most Malaysians of anyone from Southeast Asia will br surprise that ivy league Universities do not include Stanford, MIT or even UCLA! I also believe that they don't even know about Brown University is a Ivy League University.

UK used to be strong before world war 2. Used to be a super power however look at the world today 2006. Who is the current super power? USA. Upcoming China. Many people who has the ablilty go to BeiDa, QingDa etc. Top 20 University don't need the money. They don't have to setup overseas campus. Students will flock to their home country for education. Do U think Universities left their home country to set up campus is main aim is education? If so why do they make students pay high tuition fees. In the name of education have the students pay local University rates.

If overseas campus and mother University have good relationship you can play smart, study for 2yrs and in your final yr transfer to their home country. U get the save 2 yrs of living expenses and the paper you get will seem that U are in UK or Australia for the entire time.

deliriouslybored said...

2 cents worth on Oxford Uni and Oxford Brookes Uni:

At times, it's really difficult to determine whether a Uni is good or bad, as some departments are good, while others a bad.

A very good example would be the University of Reading, which is pretty well known for its Law Faculty, but not for anything else. [and awesome pond + mandarin ducks..but that's besides the point]

OxBrookes for example, it's pretty well known in the UK as an up and coming uni, and very well known for a few of its faculties, the top being its Hotel Management programme, which is ranked as one of the top places to go to. Certain faculties, receive a much higher ranking than its neighbour, Oxford University.

Quite a number of lecturers from OxBrookes Law Faculty lectures at the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice - which is jointly owned by Oxford Uni and Oxford Brookes University - and which is where Oxford, Oxford Brookes and Cambridge Law Students who intend to do the LPC course [postgrad law course to be a solicitor in UK] are guaranteed places.

Although being in the same town, both unis are distinct in its own ways, and would be unfair to compare it.

Oxford Uni, is completely steeped in tradition - with exams after the end of your 3 years programme. [Not too sure about Oxford, but in Cambridge, those doing a Maths Degree would have their results shouted out from the top of a tower, with the annoucer taking off his hat to bow to the top first class scorer]

Oxford Brookes on the other hand, is the pioneer of the modular system programme, where exams runs on a semester basis. Instead of one big bang written exam at the end of 3 years, students are assessed on many different practical skills in addition to written exams. Everything in the uni is completely computerized and efficient. Too bad if you don't own a computer and don't check your emails often enough and miss classes because you didn't receive those class change emails.

You were comparing the business school. Being in Oxford, I rarely hear of Brookes business school. Only know it's somewhere out in the suburbs, not at the main teaching campuses...segregated villagy end of town.

Sometimes, being from a top uni does not really guarantee anything. A better indicator would be to look at the employability rates.

Anonymous said...

Would like to reply the student who said INTI conducts classes in Chinese. Since when did INTI conduct classes in Chinese? Stop bullshitting.

Secondly, although you have listed the ranking of universities here, please remember that these ranking can be biased towards research oriented universities. It is also not an "OFFICIAL" ranking. If you are studying in COventry UNiversity UK as I did, you will know that the learning experience is great. Although the "ranking" of IT is low if you believe the variables they used for the study, those of you giving comments here do not have actual experience of studying at Coventry University. E.g. Coventry University has many linkages with lots of Car companies such as Jaguar and Ford. As such, we are able to conduct IT projects which are relevant to the automobile industry. I don't care if you are from cambridge or oxford, but I am sure you won't have such strong partnership with these automobile companies as they are located in Coventry. My point is, each university will have their strenghs and weaknesses, although I do not think they should be judged based on ranking. If ranking is accurate, we will have consistency from various rankings from Guardian to the Times. The problem is, some universities which ranked low in Times might end up quite high in the Guardian.

Don't be so ignorant and just look at education from the point of view of ranking. Each university will have their strength and focus.

Most students encounter problem at Private colleges are not entirely due to the colleges' fault. A lot of these students have bad results. They will go through certificate courses, diploma courses before joining the degree course. This means we have students who have only 2 passes in SPM joining a degree at the end. The only difference is that they took a longer path as they have to go through all these pre- degree courses. I am a firm believer that if you take in crap, you cannot turn them into good students unless some miracle happen to them. So when they leave these colleges with 3rd class honours or general degree, they tend to blame the colleges, rather than their intelligence.

When I completed my degree at Coventry University, I went for job interviews at big companies such as IBM, PA Consulting, Ernst and Young etc. The point is, in UK, these big companies look at results and activities we did at University. A first class student from Coventry university is better than a 3rd class student from Oxford. That is what I believe in. Today, I am working in a MNC as one of their head of IT although some of you especially Tony might have dismissed me when he take a look at my CV as I have a degree from Coventry University. However, thank god companies like IBM, Microsoft etc did not. One of my close friend and classmate from Coventry Uni is currently one of the head of finance at P&G in China.

In UK, many of us who ended up with 2nd upper or 1st class honours do proceed with our postgraduate studies with other universities such as Imperial.

In fact, I believe that students from cambridge or oxford who do not get 1st class or 2nd upper as crap students. Come on, you guys claimed to have the best facilities, best learning environment, best professors, and you cannot obtain a first class? It is like saying if I go to shao lin to learn kung fu and I cannot even do a flying kick. That means I am crap as I have went to the best place to learn kung fu and still cannot learn it (OK, it is a bad example)

My main point is that for those of you who are studying in private colleges with twinning programmes, stop saying how bad the universities are. Coventry University in UK is definately different from 3+0 programme at INTI. Don't take your experience at the private college and downgrade the universities in UK.
However, most people who complain about private colleges are usually students who do not perform well in schools anyway. Yes, you went to APITT or INTI to take a degree in IT. BUT, how many hours did you spend OUTSIDE of class practising programming? When I was in Coventry, I had the chance to meet students from malaysian private colleges. They were shocked to learn that we spend 2-3 hours after lecture to practise the programming. They were shocked that the lecturers gave us programming questions that they did not teach in the class. They end up complaning about the professors or lecturers. I think the problem is that most Malaysian students do not know how to "learn" in a university. Most of us who went through our degree programme at the university from year 1 knows that we are meant to spend hours outside of class practising and applying the concepts that we learned. I bet most Malaysian students in Malaysia spent time after class in Mamak rather than in the computer labs or library. This is what I noticed when I gave a talk in a private college to find that most students rarely go to the library. I visited their library and was very surprised as the college has hell lots of good journals and books compared to other colleges.

This comment might not flow quite well as I just type whatever I have in mind.

Daniel S.H. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


FYI, Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) was ranked 67 in The Times Good University Guide 2006. It's still among the leading new universities in the UK and I reckon it's better than our local universities.

TAR College Advanced Diploma graduates have to attend SHU's summer top-up programme at Sheffield in order to obtain their Honours Degree from SHU, however it's optional.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading the different posts in the blog for some time and I cannot help feeling that the blog is only meant for elites in Malaysia. Tony's Oxford education has turned him into a person who believes that only the best is good enough. The problem is what actually constitutes the "best". We all know that there is a price to pay for everything you get. A number of excellent Malaysian students have failed to attend world-class institutions and Tony seems to have blamed this partly on the "not-so-good" education provided by the private colleges. At one point, Tony even suggested that if a Malaysian student could not find his or her way to universities like Oxford, Harvard and the likes, he or she should pick one of the top five local universities. This is entirely wrong from my point of view (and I agree to disagree). Private colleges came about because there were simply not enough local government-funded universities around and non-bumiputra students found entry to local universities difficult and even if a local non-bumiputra student could find a place in a local university, he or she might still not be able to pursue a course of his or her choice. As a result, many of the non-bumiputra families prepared their children for education abroad. Many of the students, whose parents saved enough for them to take this course of action ended up in universities in the UK, Australia, NZ and Canada. But many more had to seek places in TAR college. Back to the seventies, I personally knew that a number of students with excellent HSC results joined accounting firms like PriceWaterhouse and KPMG under articles of apprenticeship with the purpose of qualifying for MACPA membership. Others who could have been worthy university students took professional examinations such as the ACCA through correspondence courses. Believe me, many of them did not want to be accountants. With the launch of twinning programs at private colleges, children from less than well-off families managed to enjoy tertiary education. Today, many of the twinning programs have been replaced by programs requiring credit transfers and degree programs of private colleges accorded university status. Much as we know that universities in the elite group such as Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge are not likely to partner with our private colleges, the local system of private colleges must go on if tertiary education is to be made popular among the people. Even in advanced countries such as the USA and UK, their governments do not insist that universities must all meet the best of standards. A professor from mainland China once gave an advice to his people, saying that if all the mainland Chinese aspire to live in American-style houses, the Chinese government must locate seven earth-size planets. I am not a shareholder, manager or teacher at any of the private colleges, but I have always been grateful that we do have private colleges to cater for Malaysian education needs. What percentage of the Malaysian people had a bachelor's degree twenty years ago? I do fully agree with Tony though such colleges must be well managed and be of acceptable academic standards. The private colleges should stricly enforce the admission requirements of the partner universities. The government should exercise strict supervision over their activities, if Malaysia were to achieve the objective of being a major education provider in the region. Singapore is only interested in elite education as it always is. I was advised than Singapore government does not recognize UK medical degrees acquired from outside the London area. (This is subject to further verification.) Based on feedback from many students including my niece who now holds a PhD in electrical engineering from a high-ranking UK university, the admission requirements of these universities may not be high, but it is certainly not easy to get a degree with good honours. I see nothing wrong if the private colleges partner with universities that are not in the world ranking. The potential of graduates from the not-so-famous universities can be realized if no discrimination is practiced against their interest.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tony,

I found out about your blog through my sister.
This is my last year in my secondary education (meaning SPM in a few months!) and
I would just like to thank you for puting so much effort in ensuring students to opt for the better institutions of higher learning :)

I had no idea we could be fooled in such a way!
I am extremely grateful that you posted this entry. Your blog is definitely helpful and I will be reading more soon.



Anonymous said...

dear tony,

I having my master in SHU now. About your post, i'm agree with some of your points, but not all. SHU is ranked at bottom 15, but do you guys really understand why it ranked at the bottom? Most of the top listed Uni are 'Government Uni', just as UM or UKM in M'sia. The problem here is the education system of UK. When their secondary school students graduated, the best one will allocated to the top 10 Uni by government, and the better one will allocated to second level Uni, and the others will go into private Uni, like SHU. There is the reason why Oxford and Cambridge can continue having their top ranking, bcos they have the best students always!

For advise, students who planning to study oversea, especially UK, the ranking of Uni is just a 'business guide' for employers. And the cert, is just a key for you to get interview.

Do you guys watch the Oscar winning animate movie 'Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Wererabbit'? The creator of Wallace and Gromit is Nick Park, former SHU's fine art graduater.

Students from low ranked Uni are not losers. The abilities that your learn yourself are always the key to your success.


Anonymous said...

I personally recruited a master's degree holder from the Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of my company quite a while ago. This gentleman completed his first degree from another UK university. I must admit that he has impressed me to the extent that he is on our company's fast-track program. It is my understanding that the SHU is a government-funded university.

Anonymous said...

Great research and analysis. I want to say to those in the twinning programs, something is always better than nothing. It is more important to understand that, if you come from a university whose name appears to be a random accumulation of alphabets, then you have to be reasonable in your demand and expectations, and expect a harder journey towards proving yourself. Do not be resigned to the thought that you will remain second best for the rest of your life. The tragedy is when those students are misinformed as to how good they are or what they can expect, by lecturers who are mostly not at the top of their professions (and some of them may not even have industry experience), which ridiculous assessments will only serve to discourage those students from taking the first humble, and humbling, lowly step up the workforce ladder. In those cases, they ended up as they were at the beginning, that is, nowhere. From my observations, although there will always be those taken in by advertisements (and against which your article has done an admirable job), the majority of students who chose twinning made their choice out of necessity and because of their circumstances, for example, not enough funds to go overseas, not good enough high school grades, etc. So, again, something is always better than nothing, and view anything that comes along at all as a good start.

Anonymous said...

yeah.. i stumbled upon ur blog, hrmm.. is Murdoch Uni, (Western Australia) okay? Im takin MassComm at KDU.twinning programme.. 2 years diploma in masscomm @ KDU + 1st year @ KDU & 2nd year of degree @ MURDOCH U, Australia..

hrmm.. after reading your post.. it really makes me wonder..

email me?



Anonymous said...

Seem that we are like our neighbor Singapore. Only know UK and Australia.

Did we ignore the fact there are better Universities in Canada too? if cost is concern, it much cheaper than most Good Australian universities.

If we dislike private colleges so much, maybe should look out of the little circle.

something interesting I saw awhile back.
In another education forum someone laughed at John Harvard saying the Uni he "founded" is not as good as Cambridge. Might as well go to Cambridge since John graduate Cambridge as a nobody.

With the world changing and the Economy changing. a few decades ago world best Uni is in UK, now maybe America, in a few decades later maybe China/India. In Computer Science, Indian and unknow European Countries already did better than Uni like MIT or Stanford.

If a company hire someone by the type of degree we had. We are all screwed! haha

Anonymous said...

Further since you are interested in education, you might want to check this website as well [just in case, you are not aware]

Just an update. Based on the website above, HELP no longers offeres the Dip. In Econs you stated earlier.

BTW - Tony, errr..I did send an e-mail to your blog address. Did you receive it? Afraid you might no longer be using it due to spam...



Brit looking in said...

From A Brit looking in.

In order to acquire an overseas education (especially UG) you either have to have a scholarship or have access to a serious amount of cash.
If funds are not an issue, I think selection should be made by carefully assessing the quality of the course, the department, the university and also the location because the living environment is a valuable part of the experience. The rankings (Times/THES/Guardian) are useful as a point de depart. More interesting are the QAA Quality Assurance Exercise, the RAE, details of publishing of academics and employability stats.
There are only a couple of private universities in the UK, but this does not guarantee the quality of the public institutions, what it does do however, is ensure that they are externally assessed. The information is out there potential students, so like other bloggers, I have to say take responsibility for yourself and do your research thouroughly.
I would like to correct Anonymous (posted Fri Apr 28). There are no allocations dished out. At UG every student can apply to up to 6 universities through UCAS, the universities make their offers and the students select their choice institution. Many of the top universities today operate widening participation schemes to help students from weaker socio-economic backgrounds gain entry. So, these days going to a top private school as a home student can count against you in your uni application.
Unfortunately, some UK universities have come to depend on international student fees. In my oppinion, it is far more beneficial to go to a uni who earns more in research funding than from international fee revenue. Many of these unis are now moving towards internationalising their institutions rather.
The marketing of universities around the world is becoming slicker, but for the UK at least, you can compare unis and courses pretty easily.
Funding will exclude many deserving students from a UK education as scholarships are scarce, especuially at UG level. A Post Grad Taught course is only 1 year - so much cheaper in comparison to 3 or 4 years at UG - that is what I would focus on.
With regards to the UoL external programme, it is not the same as studying at UCL/King's/LSE. Are you aware that the external programme is basically the only revenue generator the the archaic UoL operates, otherwise these days its just a sport's union more or less. Nonetheless, the students who get good degrees from UoL EP, should be highly regarded as they do not benefit from the contact with outstanding academics and resources that students in London take for granted.
As for twinning programmes, you cannot tar them all with the same brush. It will suit some, it is definitely a cheaper option than a wholly overseas education. What needs to be determined is if it will be valuable for you and make you employable.
As for those unscrupulous marketeers, challenge them with the stats and see how they react...

Anonymous said...

We need a paradigm shift in our thinking; the need for independant, critical & analyical thinking is crucial towards any progress & development of any sort. If we are unable to challenge the thought processes of the day & reconsider it in a new way, then the progress of a nation is nullified.
This means the country would have already lost, not just having a brain drain, but also a loss in economy & culture unable to develope & retain valuable human resources. True Democracy needs to be implemented, not the top-down prejudicial policies of the past, people are crying out for innovation, & that means unrestricted bounds for experimentation & discourse.
Case in point to anon from Coventry Uni. Why bother with challenging assignments when we can lepak?..does that speak of our true culture?

Anonymous said...

i obtained unconditional offers to further my studies at Uni of Nottingham and Monash U. Tapi terpaksa tolak cuz tadak wang!!!!!!!!


tapi its oklah, i got scholarship to study at local U. kira win-win situation la...i think.

publicma said...

r u ok?

Nithya said...

Hi Tony,

I have been a straight a student all my life from some very good schools and universities. However, I decided to join INTI College's Coventry University degree programme and thought I'd made a good decision.

During my time there, I had to work hard to earn my grades, and I did read alot of books, journals etc and learned an innumerable number of things, about life, learning and responsibility. I recently graduated with First Class Honours, a feat that sometimes no one gets, years on end. In fact, sometimes, no one even graduates with 2nd Upper Class Honours. I managed to get 2 job offers from two very big companies in Singapore even before my convocation ceremony.

My question to you is this: do you think that my degree is a dime a dozen? Do you think that it is easy come? Do you think that it is worth nothing and that I will not be able to get a good job with it? If so, I shall be very disappointed, because I believe, I have gained alot from the degree and am a very intelligent and marketable graduate. Don't you think that sometimes it is the individual that makes a degree worth it, and not the university? I think that anyone who studies hard, works hard at life and does well no matter the location is what matters. This is what will make someone from say, a local university in Malaysia, appealing to a company that also hires from Ivy League universities. If you've got it, they want it: it's not the degree that maketh the man, it's the man himself.

What you should be blaming in your post is not the local colleges "deceiving" students leading to poor resumes and candidates, but rather the students of Malaysia themselves, the majority of whom do not bother about their grades. This is why some students stand out more from others. If more Malaysian students were English educated and hard working and thought out of the box from time to time on their own part, it wouldn't be so difficult to find the perfect candidate.

Don't blame INTI and Coventry for the poor quality of graduates. They can offer courses and facilities, but they can't force kids to study.

Anonymous said...

7. Oxford Brookes University (Ranked 51/122 Overall; 41/111 for Computer Science; 45/118 for Business Studies)

Of the various UK twinning universities, I would have to regard Oxford Brookes as one of the better ones, although its rankings are still no better than average....

Oxford Brookes University has degree awarding power, granted by Royal Charter, as with every other UK university. These powers are granted on the basis of Oxford Brookes University having appropriate procedures for assuring the quality and standards of its awards in both design and operation, and being subject to the scrutiny of the QAA, the body responsible to the UK Government's Department for Education and Skills for assuring the quality of UK Higher Education in the public interest.

In November 2000, QAA conducted a subject review of the quality of education in business and management provided by Oxford Brookes University. The quality of the education provided was "approved" and the University scored a maximum 24/24 for its provision (an outcome matched only by one other Business School in the UK). QAA conducted an audit of Oxford Brookes University as recently as April 2005, and concluded that it has 'broad confidence' (the highest category available) in the quality and standards of its awards.

Anonymous said...

The Times Good University Guide
Top Universities 2007 League Table

Institution Satis Res Entry Stud:staff Lib Facil Good hons Prosp Complet Total
1 Oxford - 6.5 511.7 13 1656 364 88.4 74.8 97.7 1000
2 Cambridge - 6.6 525.1 11.9 1129 425 84.6 86.9 98.9 973
3 Imperial College 14.4 6.4 468.2 9.4 1230 481 75 83.8 96 878
4 London School of Economics 15.1 6.4 466.9 13.4* 1106* 186* 74.4 81.5 95.5 855
5 University College London 15.3 6 410.8 8.4 1152 172 73.6 78.1 93.4 819
6 Loughborough 16.1 5.1 362.5 18.5 667 355 64.7 70.7 92.5 795
7 Bristol 15.2 5.7 405.9 14.4 768 272 80.8 79.8 95.5 792
8 Warwick - 6 447.6* 16.4 853 203 78.2 70.2* 94.9 791
9 Bath 15 5.7 403.4 17.3 597 417 75.2 79.8 96.1 786
10 Durham 15.4 5.7 454.9 21.2 747 326 74.6 72.4 95.1 778
11 Edinburgh - 5.6 414.8 14.2 890 233 77.7 70.7 91.9 774
12 Royal Holloway 15.5 5.7 345.3 14.1 549 311 66.5 67.3 93.8 761
13 Aston 14.9 5 328.3 15 921 356 69.4 76 90.9 758
14 Nottingham 14.9 5.3 429.1 16.2 799 332 75.3 71 95.2 754
15 York 15.5 5.8 435.9 15.8 653 199 69.9 66 95.1 750
16 Cardiff 15.2 5.4 371.1 13 758 238 68.6 73.5 94.8 740
17 King's College London 15.1 5.5 393.7 12 954 156 70.7 81.1 92.9 733
18 Leicester 15.7 5 351.9 17.1 570 395 64.3 66.2 95.6 732
18 SOAS 14.6 5.5 328.6 9.8 1143 175 75.9 74.5 87.4 732
18 St Andrews - 5.7 430.5 14.3 587 200 75.1 65.7 97.6 732
21 Lancaster 15.6 5.8 359.2 15.8* 637 254 64.9 54.4 94.6 716
22 Southampton 14.9 5.8 386.5 16 729 252 69.2 70.3 92.3 712
23 East Anglia 15.6 5.4 365.3* 17 604 353 66.9 58.8 86.7 708
24 Sheffield 15.2 5.5 405.3 15.7 613 231 72.4 68.6 90.4 703
25 Newcastle 14.9 5.2 384.6 16.9 774 312 65.8 68 93 699
26 Manchester 14.6 5.7 396.3 14.2 819 263 70 66.8 92.3 694
27 Sussex 14.7 5.5 365.7 12.1 650 296 71.5 59 89.4 689
28 Exeter 15.3 5.2 369.1 17 608 182* 69.6 61.8 93.8 678
28 Glasgow - 5.2 392.6 13.6 688 219 69.6 66.3 85.8 678
30 Essex 15.2 5.6 308.7 14.6 643 307 55.4 62.8 85.7 677
31 Reading 15.4 5.3 341.5 15.9 587 223 64.8 58.9 90.2 671
32 Queen's, Belfast 15.2 4.9 350.4 17.3 473 358 62.9 72.3 87.3 670
33 Birmingham 14.8 5.3 380.3 17.1 701 220 68.9* 68.1 92.8 666
34 Kent 15.3 4.8 316.4 15.4 648 189 60.3 66.6 86.8 661
34 Leeds 14.8 5.3 374.7 17.9 635 196 71.5 70.2 91.7 661
36 Aberdeen - 4.7 348.5 14.1 759 211 65.5 70.1 81.8 653
37 Stirling - 4.8 341.8 15.3 634 238 67.3 55.8 85.5 647
38 Surrey 14.3 5.4 325.5 16.8 550 275 59.1 79.5 88.5 639
39 Liverpool 14.9 5.2 351.2 16 491 154 63.7 72.7 92.7 627
40 Strathclyde - 4.7 381.9 18 572 167 68.9 69.3 83 619
41 Queen Mary 14.9 5 314.1 12.1 643 173 57.6 71.6 90 615
42 Bangor 15.4 4.7 285.6* 16.6 748 205 54.0* 64.4* 82.9 611
43 Swansea 15.3 4.6 288.1 16.9 520 225 56.8 60.5 89.6 600
44 Dundee - 5.1 340 15.7* 503 179 61.7 71.9 83.1 596
45 Goldsmiths College 15.3 5.3 295.5 20.1 530 173 60.9 57.8 82.4 595
46 Aberystwyth 15.5 4.5 299.4 20.8 540 277 59 50.3 89.4 594
47 Bradford 15 4.4 268.2 16.1 542 291 59.9 72.7 81.2 593
48 Heriot-Watt - 4.7 362.7** 17.3 525 268 60.5 57.9 80.9 588
49 Hull 15.3 4.3 283.7* 18.6 434 177 59.2 64.3 86.7 579
50 Brunel 14 4.3 303.2 18 608 305 66 63.9 86.4 565
51 Ulster 14.9 3.8 262.9 19.5 584 227 61.5 63.4 82.6 550
52 Keele 14.9 4.6 309.3 17.3 431 100 53.2 64.8 90 548
53 City - 4.4 314.7 22.3 439 154 59.9 74.7 84.5 544
54 Oxford Brookes 14.8 2.8 282.6 16.2 393 306 55.1 67.6 79.8 531
55 Plymouth 14.9 3.2 262.7 17.6 493 235 56 56.4 83.9 520
56 Robert Gordon - 1.9 305.9 18.6 510* 143* 54.4* 75.9 80.6 513
57 Abertay Dundee - 2 226.2 20.6 1318 108 52.6 74.3 66.9** 512
58 Northumbria 14.7 2.3 272.1* 20.4 673 250 53.3 63.3 82 507
59 Brighton 14.6 2.9 266.1* 18.1 512 193 57.9 65.2* 79.8 504
60 Nottingham Trent 14.6 2.8 275.9 20.5* 611 145* 55.8 63.4 84.1 497
61 UWIC, Cardiff 14.5 2.7 243 20.6 439 395 50.7 57 82.5 490
62 Winchester 15.4 2.5 264.4 21.9 476 164 59.2 48.3 86.7 486
63 Central England 14.2 2.2 242.2 16.6 536 327 60.4* 62.1 81.6 483
64 Chichester 15.6 2.1 238.9 21.6 452 126 46.3 65 86.2 482
65 Salford 14.5 4.3 249.3 17.9 454 235 52.9 56.4 78.9 479
66 Lampeter 15.8 4.7 245.5 24.6 383 142 59.1 52.1 76.4 478
67 West of England 14.5 2.8 266.5 19.8 503 223 55.2 60.1 84 473
68 Chester 15.6 1.6 251.5 20 441 210 44.9 49.3 84.6 469
69 Bournemouth 14.3 1.9 277 18.3 340 87 61.7 57.2 85.1 465
70 Roehampton 14.6 3.2 229.2 21.2 610 362 50.1 49.7 82.3 463
71 Glasgow Caledonian - 2.5 306.1 17.6 473 91 58.3 57.9 81.6** 460
72 Central Lancashire 14.9 2.2 252 22.8 406 266 50.8 59.6 80.2 459
73 Bath Spa 15.5 2.5 249.2 24.2 337 104 60 47 87 454
74 Glamorgan 15.1 2.4 215.1 19.2 496 245 49.7 57.6 73.7** 451
74 Staffordshire 14.8 2.2 235.8 18.1 671 183 47.7 54.3 77.2 451
76 Coventry 14.7 2.1 228.8 20.6 527 239 55.2 61.4 79.4 447
76 Portsmouth 14.6 3.2 247.8 19.3 438 147 45.5 65.2 80.1 447
78 Gloucestershire 14.7 3 229.4 18.2 419 247 43.9 54.5 81.3 446
78 Napier - 2.3 263.8 17.4 512 147 59.2 57.9 70.2 446
80 UWCN, Newport 14.7 3 216.8 19.7 449 255 54.2 55 76.1 444
80 Sheffield Hallam 14.3 3 264.3 24.9 451 232 53 61.4 86.4 444
82 Worcester 15.3 1.4 233.1 20.9 355 216 41.8 59.4 81.6 432
83 Liverpool John Moores 14.9 2.6 207.4 17.8 473 154 47.9 60.6 76.2 430
84 Univ of the Arts, London 13.7 4.7 345.1 26.6 421 123 54.6 47.5 86.9 427
85 Hertfordshire 14.3 2.5 225.4 18.1 522 161 49.9 64.8 80.7 425
86 Canterbury Christ Church 15.4 1.9 239.2 20.7 394 83 46.5 62.8 83.7 420
87 Anglia Ruskin 14.6 1.5 233.4 19.6 444 161 56.1 61.8 78 418
87 Bolton 15 1.5 170 18.3 466 345 50.9 63.9 66.6 418
89 Kingston 14.3 2.7 207.2 20.4 547 154 50.4 66.1 81 417
90 Huddersfield 15 2.4 232.3 20.2 401 126 47.6 57.1 77.9 413
90 Leeds Metropolitan 14.3 2.2 251.4 23.5 478 134 49.4 62.5 84.6 413
92 Sunderland 14.3 2.8 233.5 17.5 378 203 51.7 61.5 68.3 410
93 East London - 2.5 191.7 21 614 487 39.6 55.8 67 409
94 Westminster 14.3 2.8 217.8 17.6 457 179 55.8 50.9 74.4 395
95 Teesside 15 1.9 224.3 20.8* 366 125 45.7 61.9 75.2 390
96 Liverpool Hope 15.2 1.3 208 26 407* 97 48.8* 69.5 76 389
96 Manchester Metropolitan 14.4 2.9 261.5 22.5 467 131 47.2 57.1 78.8 389
96 Middlesex 13.8 2.7 200 22.6 726 322 50.5 55.8 73.3 389
99 De Montfort 14.4 3.1 237.7 20.7 489 123 38.5 61 80 382
99 Wolverhampton 14.7 2 199.5 22.5 499 362 50 50.9 73.3** 382
101 London South Bank - 2.9 192.3 19.7 478 96 52.9 65.8 72 370
102 Paisley - 1.6 265.3 20.2 729 210 45.8 52.1 69.1 367
103 Northampton 14.7 1.7 219 22.2 371 135 53.7 51.8 80.5 359
104 Lincoln 14.5 1.7 249.2 26.4 538 159 49.3 45 81.4 347
105 Derby 14.4 1.5 218.3 22.5 585 137 47 55.6 72.5 336
106 Greenwich 14.2 2.5 200.6 25.8 482 149 47.4 62.7 71.9 325
107 Southampton Solent - 0.9 224.6 30.2 605 283 41.6 47.9 78.6 321
108 Luton 14.1 1.8 185.7 23.2 606 229 48.4 41.7 74.8 302
109 Thames Valley - 0.5 202.5 23.7 398 57 48.8 60.1 68.6 281

* Institution provided own data
** Data used from previous year For the third year running, London Metropolitan refused to allow the release of data, and so it does not appear in this table

Satis=student satisfaction
Res=research assessment
Entry=entry standards
Stud:staff=student-staff ratio
Lib=library/computing spend
Facil=facilities spend
Good hons=good honours
Prosp=graduate prospects

zewt said...

University Malaya is always a safe bet in terms of academic quality.

disagree.... i come from one of the 'poor' university mentioned in this post. My family couldn't afford to send me to more prestigious ones despite me having the necessary results and I refuse to join the local dump.

I have seen many graduates from those 'poor' universities (including myself) perform much better in our working life as compared to top notch UM / UKM grads.

sandra said...

hello there
im pleased to have stumbled across your blog being an international student in malaysia in a twinning programe to coventry uni-computer science!
i think your insight was quite useful and would like to add most of the malaysian private colleges and "low ranking uk unis" are out to advertise and make money.thus calling themselves "world ranking unis"
moreover you can hardly get a twinning programme to a well ranked uk university from a private college in it that the better ranked unis do not want to asscociate with learning institutions that are only out to make money and not necessarily provide "good education"?

fong said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ponderer [jc] said...

Hi I just got my STPM results it wasnt very good however now i'm looking for a good degree programme for accounting and finance..which college or university would you recommend? I think this blog is great at lest alot more people willbe educated in their choices of tertiary education.

Aki said...

the exposure that you get is the main diffrence between a top uni and an average uni. at a top uni, you are more likely(or almost certain) to meet people who possess the same academic ability as you do. this is also where top firms constantly scout for new recruits. i'm not saying a person who graduates with a first from an average uni is any less capable than a top uni graduate, or that it's impossible to land a promising and well paid job with a degree from a less prestigious university, because it's your personality (apart from paper qualifications) which distinguishes you from other candidates. but a degree from a top uni will give you better networking opprtunities and career prospects. at least it helps you get the interviews that you want before you even have the chance to 'shine' in front of your future emploeyr.
i do not think the author is condemning any partner unis listed above or attacking anyone. this is merely his opinion on whether twinning with these unis is worth your $ or not.

Aki said...

besides, a lot of colleges(namely kdu and kemayan) list cambridge as one of their partner universities when all they do is conduct a-level classes which follow the the syllabus set by the cambridge exam board. like how our 1119 certs are granted by another cambridge board (ucles). please point out if this is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

I just want to rectify that you said an external degree accredited from the University of London is not the same degree from LSE. That is incorrect. First of all there is no such thing as an LSE degree. All colleges in the University of London system are awarded UofL diplomas with the exception of Imperial College in 2007.
The only difference from an external degree is the diploma says "associated with LSE" whereas if you studied as an internal student, it will just say "LSE". Both diplomas are the SAME.

Anonymous said...

To tell you the truth universities like Herts and Coventry don't give a dam if the lecturers here in Malaysia don't perform up to par so long as the students are happy. Secondly, private colleges are more concerned about customer satisfaction rather than how the lecturers can contribute towards adding value. Heck might as well sell the degrees straigt to the customers. Finally, LSE has a back door with a local college in Damansara so don't believe what is said in terms of ranking it is just marketing gimmicks at work to generate cash strapped UK institutions. Aussie ones are even worse, they will charge you continously and not pass you. So beware guys you might just get bitten. Don't say you have not been warned.

The Malaysian Life said...

Most of the so called UK "Universities" mentioned above were called Polytechnics in 1991 (as I can remember) then they complain that the cant get foreign students - they are low in status compared to universities. So the UK Government let them change their names to be called "universities". Most UK people know that if you graduate from these "Universities", you cant get a proper job in the UK. Only Asians and Africans attend these "Universities". These "universities" do not have Royal Charter which all the good universities like oxford, cambridge, manchester, liverpool, london have. These Polytechnic turned "universities" are only universities in name only. They do not share the same standing as the universities with royal charter. These "universities" also try to confuse foreign students - for instance, University of Manchester is a top class university with Royal Charter, but Manchester Metropolitan University is a polytechnic-university (a low status university) - be very careful. Generally, the Russell Group is a collaboration of twenty of the top British universities - known as the British Ivy League.

TCY said...

Can somebody sponsor/help me to work in Australia?

I am University of Lincoln EEE graduate (2000).

Single, male, above 30 years of age.

Nationality is Malaysia.

I fulfilled all the criteria for the Australia PR application except that I am lack of job experience as I have been unemployed for few years.

The best option is for someone in Australia (citizen) to sponsor me to work in Australia.

I am willing to do any kind of job as long as I can work and stay legally in Australia.


Anonymous said...

"Most of the so called UK "Universities" mentioned above were called Polytechnics in 1991 (as I can remember) then they complain that the cant get foreign students - they are low in status compared to universities. So the UK Government let them change their names to be called "universities". Most UK people know that if you graduate from these "Universities", you cant get a proper job in the UK. Only Asians and Africans attend these "Universities". These "universities" do not have Royal Charter which all the good universities like oxford, cambridge, manchester, liverpool, london have. These Polytechnic turned "universities" are only universities in name only. They do not share the same standing as the universities with royal charter. These "universities" also try to confuse foreign students - for instance, University of Manchester is a top class university with Royal Charter, but Manchester Metropolitan University is a polytechnic-university (a low status university) - be very careful. Generally, the Russell Group is a collaboration of twenty of the top British universities - known as the British Ivy League."

I obtained two Masters degrees from British Universities. I hold an MSc from University of Nottingham and an MBA from Warwick. Both universities are ranked in top 20 - depending on which leagues you are referring to. Should I feel proud and discredit those graduates from new universities? I was in UK before the polytechnics were converted into new universities. From my experience and my encounters, I understood that British education was categorized into three streams:

a) Academic oriented - such as Oxford, Cambridge, etc. These universities have obtained their Royal Chartered statuses before the reform of the education system. I remember in the earlier days, Oxford and Cambridge refused to have any MBA courses because they don’t think MBA is academic. While many polytechnics have many decades of experience in offering business courses, the top 2 British universities only offered MBA in late 80’s or early 90’s.

b) Practical oriented, tailored more to the industrial needs. New universities (polytechnics) fall into this. Graduates from polytechnics usually are given exemptions in professional institutions such as ACCA, CIMA, ICSA, etc because these education institutions offered courses with syllabus aligned to the professional bodies. The new universities also offered industrial-oriented courses such as fashion design, textile, automotive engineering, and various courses to prepare students for the industrial needs.

c) Professional bodies such as ACCA, CIMA, ICSA, LCCI, etc. In the earlier days, British Computer Society (BCS) and Engineering Council also offered their own examinations for working and experience adults to obtain the necessary qualifications. I have friends who obtained the Professional Engineer status without going into any university. He has his seals and he is qualified to practice in Malaysia.

In my business, I hired some Accounting graduates from the twinning programs or the new universities. I am pretty happy with their performance. From my personal views, we have to segregate the needs from industries. It is disasters to have a whole team of Oxford graduates in your companies. Long story to tell. As an employer, I welcomed the graduates from the new universities who could deliver and complete the jobs as I assigned.

As for Tony, I know that you graduated from Oxford. However, I am wondering whether it is your area of specialty to evaluate the programs, syllabus, standards, and etc of the new universities in UK. Before you criticize, have you studied the needs from the nation and industries? There are many Indian universities – which you and I have never heard about. These institutions produce more than 300,000 English-speaking IT graduates and India now is number 1 in the world for IT and Business Process Outsourcing. Nation’s wealth has been improved, people get the jobs, living standards improved,.. so, what’s wrong with the unknown universities in India? Similarly, the private institutions in Malaysia have produced the workers and skills required in Cyberjaya and our commercial requirements. Many of them speak and work better than the local graduates from UM, UKM, UPM, UUM..

Anonymous said...

In the ongoing struggle between Capitalism vs Socialism, one must know which side you are on.

Manusia negatif or "Yin" people or faction will support Capitalism wholeheartedly.
Who are these "Yin" people or consumer society?
They are bankers, business-owners, insurance agents, merchants, traders, finance executives, stock brokers, importers-distributors, sales&marketing executives, economists, accountants, media executives, advertising executives, journalists, lawyers, etc..

They produce nothing concrete but only papers with words and number figures on it.

Education institutions must be strategically positioned to sell education qualifications to ignorant,gullible and naive Asian students. This is called Capitalism at its best.

Anonymous said...

Hi dere! Sorry but kind of accidentaly landed on your blog while searching for universities in malaysia. I've found the article and comments written quite useful. I recently finished a-levels and i am interested in continuing my education in malaysia, preferably engineering. I've thought about the twinning thing a lot but now after reading this i am not so sure about it. From what i can see, so far every1 has talked about what NOT TO DO.
However, although that helps a great deal it leaves me three steps back on finding a good university in malaysia. So could anyone...if possible...please help and tell us young folks what we SHOUL DO? and which uni's are preferable.

Peo said...

Hi, r u tony ? anyway ,
TO the writer of ths blog.
What u means by " Help is not offer the same degree as from LSE " ?
Becoz I planning to study LSE programme in HELP soon. After search your blog,now i worry.
So, can u give me more details ? and why u say so ? Pls reply me by email , ok? coz this forum too many comment, its blur to me.
This is my email address -
" "
Anyone who know can email me also . Thanks a lot.

Derek said...

Peo, there is a very big difference between graduating from the actual University of London ("UOL") in the UK and the UOL(external) degree.

The former is the actual University with more stringent entry requirements and taught by the University faculty staff while the later is a self-taught programme where the course materials / study guide is provided. Occasionally, local providers will teach the programme for a fee.

A good example is the UOL (external) degree for Law which is offered by all the local colleges.

In a nutshell, the UOL (external) is to allow many people an alternative path to obtain a degree but that said, the standards are definately not the same as the actual UOL.

As for HELP, you will have to ask them what degree are they offering.

Adrian Hoe said...

I totally agree with you on this one.

If anyone or you know anyone is interested getting a scholarship to the US, please contact me. You can contact me via my website.

Bessima said...

Thanks so much for all the info.
I have just one more thing to say:



Anonymous said...

Most of our private college or universities are 'mushroom university'

jimbbq said...

allow me to add that, from a student's point of view, this "good university guide" provides a useful overview of choosing the right university in Britain. As an academic though, I would refer to RAE (research assessment exercise) for my prospective employer! In my opinion, the quality of a lecturer (academic) should be assessed based on his/her research activity.

ps: there is definitely a strong correlation between "good university guide" ranking and RAE results!

Michael Sim said...

I have the same sentiment here. I was one of those who obtained good grades in SPM but quite reluctant to go STPM. Ignorantly, I chose to go college to do twinning program. Thankfully, my guardian angel came to my rescue and I obtained a scholarship to study in Singapore. I must admit coming from a traditional Chinese family, I know nuts about the outside world till I am here, interacted with the students and teachers, and I must say sadly, I have moved on to like the life here like many Malaysians who have no confidence in their own education system, security or equal rights to opportunities. Thanks Tony for such wonderful article to open up many eyes of our young generation! Two thumbs up!

Anonymous said...

No matter what you all said or comment about some college in malaysia, especially TAR college. 1 thing I can be sure is TAR college standard is much more higher than any government University in Malaysia! This is the fact! For those who are not graduated from TAR college will never understand. And they keep on thinking local University is the best since it have the name "University". In fact, you are destroying your future if you enroll in any one of the local university! For those who are criticism Tar college, especially from local University, PLEASE DON'T THINK YOU ARE VERY STRONG AND PROUD WITH YOUR OWN SINCE YOU ONLY HOLDING A "CERT WITHOUT A STANDARD"!

Education Watch said...

I have being teaching is local Malaysian "colleges of higher education" for the last 12 years, with the exception of Informatics, I will raise issues on 2 colleges I have served, one of which like FTMS leak ACCA exam questions with prepared answers for students to memorise(can you imagine what will happen when these students get out to work as chartered accountants?), then there is Segi which get us all head of department and lecturers alike(unless you are prepared to lose your job) to falsify students exam transcripts(all of them so that the hand writing on each student's set of transcript appears the clever) and to re-mark them so that the student passed all papers instead of failing in a number of papers. Both gave the same excuse that there is a need to have a certain passing percentage(FTMS to secure its "Premier" status and Segi to satisfy the Ministry)Then there is the vanishing library where books are borrowed from various places and booksellers to fillup libraries, the vanishing student's activities room, the playscript paid-for-the-day fake actor/students who sat in class and went for a well rehearsed interview purely for the benefit of the LAN officers(Now MQA). I quit on each ocassion. Then the cream of it all is OUM for which I registered for the PhD in Education programmes in 2006. First, they lost my assignment, then they switched me from "classes" to "online" mode without notificationor my agrrement which has ABSOLUTE ZERO support(the facilitators themselves wrote that they did not even know they were supposed to communicate with us online!!!)and utter confusion from all the postings by all other students in similar situation. When I made enquiries to switch back, they conveniently omitted to inform me of pending classes that I need to attend and when I complain, they then say that I should not even have being accepted for enrolment as I am not qualified...after collecting fees from me for the past 3 years. You be the judge of what kind of university operates like this and the type of education We have here in Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently an afetr SPM student. I plan to enrol into KYUEM. What do you think about this college?

Memoirs of a Boy said...


Just want to say great blog with some useful information about Education in general for Malaysians particularly those interested in pursuing their education abroad.

However I have a comment to make about University Ranking. I can't comment on US/Australia or other countries as I work and live in UK I can only write about this country.

University ranking done by newspapers should be taken with a pinch of salt. They are not necessarily done by those who has access to Universities as such. The findings are based on their previous secondary data collected years ago, tweaked a bit and republish again the following year.

If you look at the ranking for the last 5 years the Top 10/20 Universities ranking are almost identical.

I also would like to point out a more reliable source of how well a particular subject/department of a University, which is the QAA. This is the government Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education which actually involved researching all Universities in the UK and then published the results based on rating of 24.

Not many people know that for example the School of Business Management in London Metropolitan University scored a maximum score of 24/24 and some courses in LSE (London School of Economics) does not even score that high!!

So be aware of University ranking and don't trust it too much, especially if published by the media unrelated to education.

Anonymous said...

yea you did try.... but can u compare the top 120 universities in the UK with any local university in Malaysia. Even Malaya ranks 256 in the world