Thursday, January 12, 2006

MIC-MARA University in India

It was announced on Monday that the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) headed by its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, in collaboration with Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) will be looking to set up a university in India.

Datuk Seri Samy Vellu announced this during his visit to Hyderabad, after receiving the idea from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who suggested that overseas Indians could set up universities in the sub-continent.

Datuk Seri Samy Vellu argued that it is "cost effective to construct the university in India where teaching expertise and materials were easily available". In addition, the new university will cater to Malaysians to seeking to pursue studies overseas, particularly in medicine, as the existing institution set up by MIC, the Asian Institute of Medical, Science and Technology (AIMST) in Kedah is unable to cope with growing demand.

But this is where I cannot fully comprehend the logic or economics of the proposed exercise. How is it more cost-effective to build a university from scratch in Hyderabad instead spending the money in improving the facilities of existing universities in Malaysia? How is it that we must actually build a physical university in Hyderabad to employ the "teaching expertise and materials" available in India, instead of just paying a premium for their services to teach in Malaysia, which I'm certain will still be infinitely cheaper?

Could it then be a commercial exercise? I have no problems if commercial private educational institutions, such as Sunway and Inti, decide to set up operations and branch campuses overseas for it is their prime objective to maximise profits in a world without borders. However, for organisations such as MIC and MARA whose objectives is socio-political, why should they be involved in a commercial project out of the country with little trickle down benefit for Malaysians?

For all you know, the only parties who will benefit commercially from the project will be the party who will be selling or renting the piece of land to MIC, and the contractors who will be given the task of building the new university. If the venture doesn't become commercially viable, the it will be MIC's and MARA's folly, and ultimately putting to waste the monetary contributions from Malaysian citizens and government in a country that is not even ours.

Let's hope that the team at MARA is a little more enlightened than the MIC counterparts and dismiss the idea as non-beneficial to Malaysians (in general).


LYL said...

MAYBE in the long run it would be cost effective.Wages for the teaching profession and labour, especially, in India isnt that high.

Put it this way - the cost of building the university and get it running MAY be cheaper / equivalent to the cost of upgrading/improving the facilities of existing higher education institutes, which will only prolly only increase the student capacity by , say, 100 ?

In this case, they obviously prefer to spend x amount of money to train more doctors/pharmacists (I read the proposed university is a medical one, no?) than the possible 100 who will benefit from the upgrading of facilities. Since we are in short of such professionals, they would opt for quantity... im not saying that the quality would be compromised, as that is yet to be seen.

That is just the logic i see in this situation. Correct me if im wrong.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why MIC still want to go and build a medical Uni in India even though AMIST is on the pipeline ?

As any course Economics 101 will tell you, wouldnt be smarter to concentrate the time, energy and monies to make AMIST a sucsess first?

Any rationale behind the move to expand their wings in India ?

Puzzling ??!!!

Dan said...

As far as cost-effectiveness is concerned, I personally don't feel that it will do any good at all if tthe quality is being compromised. Like what anon said earlier, AIMST is already there, so why not spend those funds more wisely and upgrade its standard and quality? I don't see a point in planting another university while the existing ones are left in the sorry states that most of them are. The aim of a whole, all rounded education is to produce people who are capable of competing in the world, not churning out huge numbers of graduates with little or no practical skills and further aggravate the unemplyed graduates dilemma.

Anonymous said...

don't you guys get it? our education policy aims to create as many graduates as possible. we don't give a shit about quality and academic excellence. we want to show the world that our population/education ratio is amongst the highest in the world. who cares about quality? we focus on QUANTITY!

vote for me! together we'll be in the records again! Malaysia Boleh!

[excuse my alter ego politician wannabe]