Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Anugerah Academic 2006

I was told to check out this award by a friend. The details are below.

From the website:

AAN bertujuan memberi pengiktirafan kerajaan yang tertinggi bagi pensyarah Universiti/Kolej Universiti. AAN akan menjadi satu pelantar bagi mengiktiraf serta menyanjung para akademik negara yang telah menaikkan serta mengharumkan nama negara di persada kebangsaan dan antarabangsa.

There are 6 categories in these awards:

Anugerah Tokoh Akademik Negara
Anugerah Penerbitan Makalah Jurnal
Anugerah Penerbitan Buku
Anugerah Inovasi dan Pengkomersilan Produk
Anugerah Seni dan Kreativiti
Anugerah Pengajaran

I think it's a good move by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) to recognize the accomplishments of local academics who have done work that has gained national and especially international recognition. But it's not so encouraging to see the Ministry list among international accompolishments, winning 'prizes' at international exhibitions (such as I-TEX) which Tony has rightly critized, alongside more legit prizes such as the Carlos J. Finlay Price for Microbiology (UNESCO), the Young Scientist UNESCO and the King Faisal Award.

It is also encouraging to see that lecturers from private colleges in Malaysia are also eligible for these awards with the exception of the "Anugerah Tokoh Akademik Negara" award. Private colleges and university colleges can be / will be, in my opinion, as important as public universities in pushing the research agenda in Malaysia in certain fields and the accomplishments of their lecturers also need to be given due recognition.

One of the things that I don't quite like about the conditions of application is the need to obtain the approval of the VC / Rector / President of your college / university (atau wakil yang diperturunkan kuasa). While I can see that the intention was so that the highest authority in the university knows about the work of potential nominees and can back them, this also can create unnecessary bottlenecks as well as discouraging those academics who might not have such good relations with the VC / Rector / President and might not want to jump through this loop. Why not make the head of the faculty or of a department eligible to be one of the 'recommenders' as well since these people are more likely to know the impact and importance of the work of one of their peers / fellow lecturers?

While one should be careful not to turn this into a self-glorification exercise, I think awards such as these, if vetted carefully, can highlight important work to the larger public who otherwise might not have heard of such accomplishments.

I'll keep a close eye on this when the results are released. The applications closes today (Feb 28, 2007).


Anonymous said...

It not clear as to whether one applies for this award (which would be a pretty odd way to grant awards), or one nominates others (and to do this would need the VC approval too?) Would appreciate if someone could clarify. Thanks.

insider said...

One can apply for the award or be nominated. Applying for the award does not guarantee the applicant the award. Every application will be vetted.

I think this is pretty much the same as the Anugerah Sanggar Sanjung that USM has but the MOHE would be a national level award. In USM anugerah sanggar sanjung, one has to apply for it and if the committee feels that the applicant fulfill the requirements, the award will be granted.

Anonymous said...

Kosy pilip of UM ISB should win the best lecturer award....hands down!