Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bogus PhDs No More?

I took the opportunity to ask the Minister of Higher Education as to the steps being taken to prevent academics with dubious qualifications from being hired by our local universities during the Budget debate 2 days ago. The following was the relevant exchange:

Tuan Pua Kiam Wee [Petaling Jaya Utara]: Yang Berhormat Menteri, penjelasan. Minta maaf, topik tadi berkenaan mengenai PhD yang diambil oleh universiti-universiti tempatan. Saya ingin tahu, kita memang perlu meningkatkan jumlah pemegang PhD dalam universiti kita, tetapi saya mendapati bahawa memang ada juga yang pemegang PhD itu tidak mempunyai PhD dari universiti yang dikatakan sebagai recognized iaitu ada pemegang PhD di dalam universiti kita dan saya ada nama di mana mereka mendapat PhD mereka melalui correspondence course.

Pihak yang mengambil PhD memang tidak ada PhD yang credible boleh didapat di
correspondence course. So, apakah langkah yang diambil oleh kementerian supaya pemegang PhD seperti ini tidak dilantik dalam universiti kita.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled bin Nordin: Pertamanya kementerian sedang dalam peringkat untuk memperketatkan lagi peruntukan yang ada dalam undang-undang khususnya
undang-undang Akta Institut Pengajian Tinggi Swasta (Akta 555) untuk tentukan kita berkuasa untuk mengambil tindakan terhadap kes-kes yang sedemikian. Keduanya seperti kata Yang Berhormat ada tenaga akademik yang mungkin mempunyai PhD yang sedemikian tetapi kehadiran mereka dalam IPT atau pun universiti mereka masing-masing mungkin berasaskan Ijazah yang lain sama ada masters dan sebagainya.

Oleh kerana sesuatu PhD itu tidak diiktiraf, ia tidak di ambil kira. Saya percaya kalau pun ada nama dan saya juga mengalu-alukan kalau nama itu dapat diberi, kita boleh menyiasat dengan lebih teliti mengenai kedudukan pensyarah yang sebegini. Akan tetapi daripada laporan yang saya dimaklumkan, kalau pun ada pensyarah yang memiliki ijazah dan juga sarjana dan sebagainya, mereka juga membuat dan mendapat PhD mungkin melalui correspondence sebahagian daripada khususnya universiti awam, kalau PhD itu tidak diiktiraf, memang ia tidak diiktiraf dan mereka tidak mendapat apa-apa tambahan atau kebaikan daripada kedudukan mereka sebagai anggota tenaga akademik.

Tuan Pua Kiam Wee [Petaling Jaya Utara]: Akan tetapi dalam resume mereka, dalam laman web, semua letak Doktor. So ini agak mengelirukan dan tidak baik untuk penuntut kita di universiti juga. Terima kasih.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled bin Nordin: Saya akan memberi nasihat dan makluman kepada semua dalam kes yang mana boleh guna profesor, boleh mengguna nama Doktor dan
sebagainya. Jika Yang Berhormat boleh bekerjasama dengan kementerian memberikan saya
nama-nama itu, kita akan follow up dengan pihak universiti dan kerana kita tidak kompromi dalam soal-soal yang boleh menyentuh kesan penjanaan tenaga akademik dalam universiti kita.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wirakarnain Sani and Koshy Philip, University of Malaya

Anonymous said...

spot on! Now let us see if the ministry has teeth indeed?

Fairplay said...

Anon 11/14/2009 08:02:00 AM
I've checked the two names on UM website. They graduated from accreditated universities. What's wrong with them or their universities? Please do not just smear people's name without proper justifications. Or they have failed you in the faculty exams. So you think it is justified for you smear their good names.

Anonymous said...

finally something this blog has been fighting for has come to life. get someone to scan thru all the lecturers in public universities and private colleges and expose them all. in one swoop, all will be wiped out. accredited degrees are black and white.

Anonymous said...

Everybody's kung fu fighting!

Kalambong said...

The head of the Dong Jiao Zhong has 3 fake PhD.

NoMalayApologist said...

Be careful you dont make this into a witch hunt...People will start listing names...some people will get wrongly accused...an apology would mean nothing afer that..as their reputation will already have been tarnished

Anonymous said...

Not only should steps be taken to prevent academics with dubious qualifications from being hired by our local universities, I believe check should also be performed on those who have graduated from certain accreditated universities. After all, should our local universities hire a DBA graduate from a university which is ranked (for example) #1397 in the world? E.g.:

MBA Graduates can proceed to the prestigious DBA Program with Southern Cross University, with corresponding reductions in their fees. Designed to meet the needs of senior executives, who have to contend with the challenges of the 21st Century, the DBA is recognised worldwide.

The normal DBA requires 24 Units of study over a duration of three to five years. The Southern Cross MBA Graduates will earn exemptions up to six Units and can complete the Program in only two years.
25 senior executives from Malaysia and the region are currently enrolled in the DBA Program. One third of them have transferred from other universities.

See: http://www.angelfire.com/linux/scmc/dba.htm
http://www.4icu.org/reviews/117.htm

Anonymous said...

Education standards in Malaysia are too "well-known"...the standards of local Graduates, Masters, phDs...taught by bogus /sub-standards phDs......you don't need to be a genius to make the judgment. What is the latest MU's ranking again ????

Most degrees from Malaysia are no well recognized or totally unrecognized. In our neighboring countries, they get paid at diploma levels.

Buck-up !!! bolehLand.
That's the price to pay for discriminatory policies.

Anonymous said...

Tony, your BM damn bad man!

Anonymous said...

aiyah,Tony Phua..this is common happenings...
insurance papers,shares, stocks, financial derivatives, certificates, etc.. and now phd degrees, all can be bought....in this world's economy based on capitalism.

Anonymous said...

Smart parents tell their cunning children to study business,economics,accountancy,etc....and become bosses-capitalists-bankers-businessmen.

Stupid parents tell their dumb children to study medicine and engineering and become workers-slaves.

Most stupid parents tell their moronic children to do science degree.

For true strength and sheer power comes from great number- the majority number.

Majority businessmen-capitalists alway outnumber workers-slaves....

PhD??even worse..the more minority you are..the bottommost at human food chain ladder you will be...

Kalambong said...

This country we live in is very funny.

They told us they have no corruption.

Hmm ...

Now they are telling us that there is no more bogus PhD.

Hmm ...

What else will they tell us in the future?

Hmm ...

Anonymous said...

The trouble with this particular post is neither Tony nor the esteemed minister is tackling the real issue on hand. However, this is understandable, given that both parties do not hold doctorates.

Tony has long challenged the credibility of distance learning programs even though this format is well-established and there is increasing demand. This smacks of academic snobbery and it is unfortunte that our honourable MP has chosen to focus his energies in this area, despite his own person not having enough actual qualifications to do so.

The PhD is a research program and may be obtained CREDIBLY in a variety of formats, distance included. The KEY point of focus should be whether the institution is a legal, recognized and accredited school or not. The way the program is delivered (on-campus, distance ..) is secondary.

To be sure, on-campus scholars have some advantages that distance format students do not have - distance learners often have to work MUCH HARDER than their on-campus counterparts. However, the eventual qualifications they receive are the same.

The truth is that not everybody has the luxury of giving up their day jobs while they improve themselves from an educational perspective. It is not fair to disparage these hard-working people who work in the day and study after hours especially when they are learning from legitimate, accredited universities.

The primary focus of the PhD scholar is to learn how to conduct research and to also produce a quality thesis demonstrating research ability and originality in thinking. It is less important for the scholar to be "on-campus" rather than to be able to keep in close contact with their supervisor and dissertation commitee. Of course, the exception is for those disciplines where one has to has access to lab or technical facilities.

I wish Tony would devote his energies to areas within his expertise OR to get more input from PhD graduates across multiple disciplines before making any more comments so that he can actually speak with credibility and authority.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Tan

Anonymous said...

How about this very important point, Dr.Tan?

If you are a Malaysian, physically in Malaysia, taking a distance-learning PhD program awarded from an education institute in a foreign nation X through a local education institution.

Can you, with this newly-acquired PhD seek job or employment in that nation X?

Perhaps the answer is YES!, hold on a second..but their Immigration laws forbid it.....cunning..very cunning move....

Nation X could be USA, UK, Australia, NZ,etc...

Businessmen,Dr.Tan!,Businessmen..

We are all businessmen, when there is a demand, then there must be supply.
Capitalism at its best!!

When they are people wanting to buy educational paper qualifications, then there must be sellers, right, Dr.Tan?

confused said...

To Anonymous 12/29/2009 11:08:00 PM

" When there are people wanting to buy educational paper qualifications, there must be sellers " ==> true statement, grandiose application of the theory of supply and demand, but what is the relevance with what Dr Tan is saying?

azahar said...

Not all PhD holders are better than MSc holders. There are some of those with even a basic degree but has published many papers and even books compared to PhD holder who sit on their laurels producing nothing!

So please IPTA administrators, do not be too rigid on your intake of lecturers to only those with PhD!

Anonymous said...

Ada sorang artis tu, pergi UK.. Tiba-tiba balik dah dapat phd. Baru-baru ni keluar berita university beliau adalah bogus univ. Tapi beliau masih juga digelar Doctor F... Mungkin sebab dia anak datuk.......

Anonymous said...

As long as there is a demand for paper qualifications, there will be degree mills churning them out. However we need to be careful when we categorise what is a bogus uni and what is not. There are good if not great Business Schools out there that are not part of a uni, so how do we categorise them?

I know of some people who are 'graduates' of so called bogus uni, yet they can speak and articulate better as compared to some PHD holders I know who graduate from non-bogus uni.

pnnz said...

I'm aware that some people need to obtain their masters or phD through distance learning for a variety of reasons.

however, i am much more concerned about what academic staff at universities are doing. they're respected by the community and their job is a cushy one. I am not sure whether they are generating new knowledge and contributing to the 'knowledge pool' in this world.

If we look at the criteria for world university rankings, we lose out a lot at the research criteria. seems that our academics are only sitting and spouting their knowledge at their students.

Recently, my little sister who is about to finish her degree got an offer to be a lecturer at her university. I asked her, how are you going to be a lecturer when you have no experience whatsoever working in the industry apart from being an intern for 4 months or so?

my other sister who's doing law foundation at a local university also told me that her lecturers are fresh graduates from another local university.

i think this happens because our society still think of knowledge as something static and something to be imparted. clearly, most of our academics are still thinking the same way.

apparently, our academics the maxim 'publish or perish' has no significance to our academics.

my friends sometimes ask me, if im ever going to get my masters or phd. i always say i don't know because i am not sure of the areas of knowledge that i am passionate about. i think pursuing masters and phDs are not only about 'pursuing' it and 'learning'. it is also about passion and also committing yourself to a bigger cause. it is a huge commitment, and im not talking about during the process of obtaining it. but im talking about the responsibilities and commitment you have to fulfill to academia (and the world) AFTER you have obtained the masters/phD.

i may sound a bit idealistic when talking about academia and also academics, but i think this is how it's supposed to be. afterall, there's a reason why universities are called 'ivory towers'.

and this is not academic snobbery. if you look at it another way, academics actually serve the world by doing boring stuff other people wouldn't do. of course they get some perks, but it is a difficult job and even more difficult to make people understand the value of what academics do (research and stuff).

that's my 2 cents worth. i hope our academics can also help generate new knowledge instead of just imparting knowledge to students. i think that would tremendously improve our universties and also promote a culture of inquiry and learning among our people.

Azhar said...

I'm aware that some people need to obtain their masters or phD through distance learning for a variety of reasons.

however, i am much more concerned about what academic staff at universities are doing. they're respected by the community and their job is a cushy one. I am not sure whether they are generating new knowledge and contributing to the 'knowledge pool' in this world.

If we look at the criteria for world university rankings, we lose out a lot at the research criteria. seems that our academics are only sitting and spouting their knowledge at their students.

Recently, my little sister who is about to finish her degree got an offer to be a lecturer at her university. I asked her, how are you going to be a lecturer when you have no experience whatsoever working in the industry apart from being an intern for 4 months or so?

my other sister who's doing law foundation at a local university also told me that her lecturers are fresh graduates from another local university.

i think this happens because our society still think of knowledge as something static and something to be imparted. clearly, most of our academics are still thinking the same way.

apparently, our academics the maxim 'publish or perish' has no significance to our academics.

my friends sometimes ask me, if im ever going to get my masters or phd. i always say i don't know because i am not sure of the areas of knowledge that i am passionate about. i think pursuing masters and phDs are not only about 'pursuing' it and 'learning'. it is also about passion and also committing yourself to a bigger cause. it is a huge commitment, and im not talking about during the process of obtaining it. but im talking about the responsibilities and commitment you have to fulfill to academia (and the world) AFTER you have obtained the masters/phD.

i may sound a bit idealistic when talking about acedemics