Friday, August 04, 2006

Ohio University Beckons

Experiences KL 2006 might be over but I received news that Karla Schneider, Assistant Director of the Southeast Asian Studies Program at Ohio University will be making a marketing trip to Malaysia on Saturday, August 19th, 2006.

Ohio University is located in Athens, Ohio, a small university town of about 20,000 people (excluding students), about an hour and a half south of Columbus, Ohio. It's not to be mistaken with Ohio State University, which is located in Columbus Ohio.

I've heard that it's a pretty popular place to go among Malaysians. You can read about this history here. I'll just paste a paragraph from that link:

"Ohio University's relationship with Malaysia began in the early 1960s. It was initiated by the then Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria, who is now the tenth hereditary ruler (Yang di-Pertuan Besar) of the State of Negeri Sembilan and the ninth King (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) of Malaysia. His Royal Highness, Tuanku Ja'afar Ibni Al-marhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman, holds an honorary doctorate from Ohio University granted in 1990"

I've also heard that they have arguably the best collection of materials on Malaysia in the US (and perhaps better than some Malaysian universities as well). I'm sure I'll be visiting that library sometime during the course of my PhD program here in the US. They offer a Southeast Asian Studies Program and a corporate MBA program with Tenaga Nasional.

While not a household name in Malaysia, the fact that they've had such a long history with Malaysia, Malaysian institutions and Malaysians definitely counts as a plus. They also offer special teaching assistant scholarships to Malaysians. I'm sure Karla will be able to fill you in on the details during the expo, the details of which are below:

Ohio University Education Expo!
Saturday, August 19
Renaissance Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang

Whether you are seeing a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, Ohio University has the program for you! Talk to Ohio University representatives and Malaysian alumni about:

* Graduate and undergraduate academic programs
* Application and transfer procedures
* Campus life and student organizations
* Intensive English courses
* Scholarships

Come see for yourself what being an Ohio University Bobcat is all about!


Anonymous said...

A lot of uitm graduates go to Ohio university....

Anonymous said...

How lecturers are treated in the country from a clip of a comment on the Net:

Lecturers in private colleges constantly spied on
Apr 10, 06 4:11pm

With regards to senior academic staff and their contributions, what is the situation and scenario in private colleges and universities? In some of private colleges, they are trying very hard to ‘ease out’ senior and experienced staff that are already under tremendous pressure to perform. They are overloading them to the maximum hours permitted and strict deadlines are set and closely monitored for breach of discipline, for example in the submission of examination questions, marks and reports.

Staff members are constantly spied upon for any minor misdemeanors and frequent meetings are held with students to obtain feedback on any of their negative aspects of their (the lecturers) conduct in classes. Most lecturers are in a stage of siege as employers are now in control with the upper hand.

And what is the reason for this state of affairs that the managements have to adopt such harsh measures? The bottom line is that educational institutions are set up solely to make profits and satisfy their shareholders. With a dwindling enrolment due to the many restrictions imposed by the Education Ministry, experienced senior staff who leave are good news as the institution can then employ another two fresh graduates at tremendous cost savings.

In addition, so-called ‘research’ is just a big farce in most of private colleges and universities. With contact hours running up to 24 hours a week and sometimes with six hours in a day, there is hardly any time for rest and recovery, let alone research. In one institution, they actually published an annual journal of research papers consisting mainly summarised MSc or PhD theses of existing academic staff and newly recruited ones. As usual, Education Ministry officials were impressed!

Yes, the private sector educational institutions are retaining the PhD holders (mostly retired) with a ‘Dr’ in front of the names to impress the ministry and the foreign partner universities. Most of them are placed as directors and administrators with no teaching functions at all. The few in the academic line are appointed as deans and some are really square pegs in round holes. Have you heard of the dean in Engineering with a PhD qualification in Polymer Technology who could not tell the difference between a bolt and nut?

So all the talk of quality, holistic and excellence in private education is mainly for publicity’s sake as they are prepared to chase away matured senior staff who after many years of service are on the high end of the salary scale. This is proving to be a big burden for them.

Staff about to retire on reaching the mandatory age are invariably shown the quick exit without even a handshake or a goodbye. For now, experience, knowledge and the wisdom of senior staff could well be sacrificed all in the name of a better profit.

And who would suffer the most but the students?