Monday, July 09, 2007

More foreign undergrads at UM?

Have been so busy with work that I failed to notice this Star report which appeared earlier this week entitled "UM out to woo foreign students". I only took notice of it as I was reading a post from fellow blogger, Whatalulu.

Just a couple of quick notes on this.

Firstly, I've said in earlier posts that I have no problems with the government trying to recruit more foreigners at the postgraduate level but I do have a problem with the recruitment of more foreign students at the undergraduate level, especially if these students are subsidized at the same rate as Malaysian students. Undergraduate spaces are already precious and cannot fulfill the demand of tax paying Malaysians. To bring in foreigners just for the purposes of increasing one's ranking (instead of taking other more substantive measures such as improving the quality of teaching and research) is pretty ludicrous. (Now, if it was for the purposes of increasing revenue for local universities so that they can improve the pay of lecturers and the universities' infrastructure, that would be another story)

Secondly, recruiting just 300 foreign students isn't exactly going to catapult UM into the category of LSE or UCal Berkeley or Melbourne in terms of the percentage of foreign students. You need a couple of thousand to make a decent dent in percentage terms. And if this is indeed the long term policy of UM and the MOHE, then see the first point above.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why are we surprised? We are in the Land of Quick Fixes. It is so abhorrent that the main purpose of having foreign undergrads was to up a particular score in the ranking structure. That statement of purpose clearly stems from the minds of those who are no longer able to distinguish between substance and appearance - to those, substance and appearance is one and the same. The fact that such an objective is presented as laudable is scary indeed, and bodes ill for our future. As we have heard ad nauseam, "gaya mesti ada, isi tak ada tak apa". Malaysia (mesti dianggap) Boleh!

Anonymous said...

I guess it all depends on the quality of foreign students and not wanting to be offensive here, but the malaysian education system (even UM) hardly has the attraction to draw the desired quality of foreign students, if you want to improve UM you could start by first of all making sure that only the best local students get into it. I mean for gods sake people with no A's get into it while people with 4As are left out, the entire system makes no logic. I mean whats the attraction in attending an institution where it is so easy to get into, no prestige mah (sorry for being so kiasu lah). If they recruit the best foreign students and get them to stay here I have no problem with that, but first make sure only the best local students get in, otherwise there really is no point and if they are doing this just to improve their rankings in some table, just shows immense insecurity. UM is both underfunded and wastes whatever money it has on 3rd rate so called academics, oh has jeffrey sachs joined yet? Could have been great, UM, but like usual wasted.

Anonymous said...

The foreign students entering UM are mostly from arab nations, africa, afghanistan, hindustan,kurzistan, pakistan and all the countries with endings with "stans'
Nothing to crow about!!

What we want those students from australia, canada britain, usa, german new zealand...advanced coubtries

Anonymous said...

it doesnt matter where the students are from as long as they have abilities, wanting only advanced countries is racism clear and simple

Anonymous said...

Well, we live in a realistic world aren't we? It is unfair to say that wanting only students from the North is racism. If we look in the ranking system, the North's students are better, which is only natural for us to prefer the students from them.

Personally, i am not against having students from the other hemisphere, as long as they have the quality, and not any cats or dogs, just for the sake of having more "foreign" students.

Khalis said...

Don't country/race profile please.

The quality will improve our Universities' standings. So let's concentrate on that for now.

What is the requirement for foreign student to enter UKM, UM, etc?

I heard this year NUS accepts only those with Almost all A and band 5 MUET, 4A in A levels, and above 95% for Indian Year 12 CBSE exams. Do UM, UKM have plans or structures working towards bettering NUS?

If not, I think it is time we should work on it, or replace whoever thinks Malaysia will forever lose to Singapore.

Hamid said...

I wanted to get into NUS this year, so I sent an enquiry.

If Malaysia thinks getting students from 10 countries is good. NUS is getting students from more than 36 countries.

Real competition is not Sabah vs Sarawak vs KL.

Anonymous said...

Khalis, you talk like a professional. But you think the guys you refer to even understand their work enough to know what you are talking about?