I thought it would be interesting to highlight the contradiction between the statement issued by the Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Mustapa Mohamed yesterday, versus a set of statistics released by the Deputy Minister of Human Resources, Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar (blogged here) back in July this year.
According to Datuk Mustapa, UiTM graduates are "more employable than other local graduates due to their strong command of English."
He said the curriculum in UiTM stressed on the importance of English to produce students proficient in the language.However, based on statistics released by Datuk Abdul Rahman earlier on the unemployed graduates in Malaysia, the breakdown showed UiTM as having the highest number of unemployed graduates, as shown in the table below.
“The employment rate of UiTM graduates is generally higher than that of other local graduates because they are good in English"... Besides, Mustapa added, the university offered hands-on courses that were relevant to the job market. He said the students were taught entrepreneurial skills.
In fact, UiTM has more than double the number of unemployed graduates (16.2%) relative to the next highest university Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) (7.6%). Even after taking into account the significantly larger campus in UiTM, the statistics by Datuk Mustapa's fellow colleague doesn't provide any justification at all to his claim that UiTM graduates are more employable than those of other local universities.
There has been a spate of Ministers contradicting and correcting each other in and out of the Parliament recently - Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and his deputy, Datuk Noh Omar on new Chinese primary schools, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek and Minister in Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Effendi Norwawi and others which I can't recall off-hand. Are they just displaying their incompetency as well as the unreliability of government data and statistics, or are they misleading the Parliament and the public?
On a separate note, it is worth noting that UiTM appears to have quietly removed its proclaimation that it's a "world class university" from its website, as blogged earlier, but have since termed itself as a "world class socio-economic achievement", which is probably less controversial. I've also been informed that UiTM has changed its vision to "become World Class University by 2020", according to reader and student, Khairul Idzwan, although I can't seem to find that reference on the website. At the very least, it appears that the UiTM administration is now a fair bit more grounded in its proclaimations, irrespective of whether my earlier blog post has played a part in the change. ;)