Friday, September 23, 2005

Local University Rankings... Soon!

A few days ago, the Star reported that the Quality Assurance Division (QAD) of the Ministry of Higher Education will have it's first rating of public and private institutions of higher learning to be completed by the end of 2006.

According to the department head Datuk Dr Sharifah Hapsah Shahabudin, the criteria for the ratings will include academic staff, educational programmes, student selectivity, educational resources and governance. She also added that as part of the rating scheme, peer reviews would be carried out online.

I'd very much look forward to analysing the results of the rating scheme to see how good the methodology will be. As per all rating and ranking schemes, it is bound to create controversy, with the top ranked universities proclaiming excellence, while the lower ranked ones proclaiming flawed methodology. :)

It will also be interesting to see how certain universities such as Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) fare, as these universities are restricted to local bumiputeras. In addition, there will definitely be controversy when one compares between the likes of UiTM and other say, non-Malay dominated institutions such as Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman - irrespective of the outcome (i.e. it doesn't matter who come up on top - the hornet's nest will be stirred).

More importantly, to avoid as much unnecessary controversy as possible, it is critical that the rankings and ratings study be conducted by professional independent individuals or firms, instead of officers within the Ministry itself. This will ensure that the study will not be tainted, whether perceived or otherwise, by allegations of impropriety, bias and vested interest. Such allegations will often discredit the rankings system and will ultimately defeat the purpose of the whole ratings scheme.


clk said...

Political undertones will likely taint the results of this ranking. I do hope I'm wrong.

It's also interesting to note (correct me if I'm wrong) that none of the business schools (or MBA courses) in the M'sian public universities have not been accredited by any of the European or American accreditation bodies like EQUIS, AACSB or AMBA.

Golf Afflicted said...

Strictly for my personal recruitment process, candidates possessing a M Sc. or an MBA from most universities (local and overseas) makes absolutely zero difference to my recruitment process. Yes, I totally ignore it.

I will shortlist purely from review the degree level education - university attended, results as well as other leadership and co-curricular activities (where relevant).

The quality of postgraduate education at all local, and most overseas universities are largely extremely poor. Many candidates take up the local postgraduate programs often to "mask" their poorer results from their degree qualifications. My scepticism with the postgrad programs are due to candidates often scoring very very high marks, despite having done poorly for their degree programs.

What about postgrad programs from renown universities (somewhere like Duke Uni, where Kian Ming is!)? Those are excellent programmes/universities, but they are unlikely to be very relevant for my selection process because, they would probably have done really well for their degree program at a premier university anyway. :)

Tony P

Anonymous said...

Excellent. :-) More deconstruction fun ahead, I see. Should be interesting also to see in the long run if individual public universities will try to improve their rankings and how, and how this will affect the centralisation of university administration at the ministry. I wonder if they are also going to rank departments/courses?