Would we get the usual annual charade of candidates with super grades missing out on choice courses? I'm certain there will be - it'll just be a question of whether the qualms are deserving or underserving parties. We'll wait in anticipation as the media, I'm sure will pounce on any perceived injustice to make headline news, as well as the countless letter which will hit the mailroom. In addition, the unhealthy annual practice of political parties submitting appeals on behalf of students have already started (and Kian Ming wrote about SUPP submitting appeals on behalf of rejected Sarawak candidates for scholarships here).
In the meantime, here are some published statistics (figures in brackets are for 2005/6 intake):
Total Public University Intake: 40,016 (39,976)It appears that the slight increase in university places benefited the Indian community the most, with the slight increase in allocation from 5.6% to 6.1%.
- Bumiputeras - 62.36% (62.4%)
- Chinese - 31.53% (32.0%)
- Indians - 6.11% (5.6%)
The number of students accepted into the respective courses are:
- Medicine: 925 (910)
- Dentistry: 205
- Pharmacy: 285
- Electronic Engineering: 1,538
- Mechanical Engineering: 1,194
- Chemical Engineering: 943
- Accounting: 1,086
- Economics: 1,055
- Law: 277
The key subjective element in this year's entry has to be the fact that co-curricular activities contributing up to 10% of a candidates overall score. It will be interesting to see if this has created any potential controversies, which I blogged about earlier.
And beyond the "managed meritocracy" issue which is bound to arise, and which has been debated to death, one of the larger picture is the fact that are we accepting too many undergraduates? The 40,000 new undergraduates have yet to take into consideration and additional 20,000 or so students enrolling into the private institutions of higher learning.
As questioned by the first director of then Institut Teknologi Mara (now Universiti Teknologi Mara, or UiTM), Tan Sri Arshad Ayub, was frank at a public lecture recently:
"We are so concerned with expanding enrolment at our institutions of higher learning that we fail to ask whether some of these students are ready to pursue degrees.I can only concur wholeheartedly.
"Shouldn’t they be pursuing diplomas instead? I think a quarter or even half of the existing number of students pursuing degrees should be doing diplomas. Perhaps, this is why we now have a problem of unemployable graduates."