Monday, May 29, 2006

UTAR: Too Fast, Too Soon?

I've written quite a few times on University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) – here and here, and I've been rebuked quite a few times for some of my opinions as well :) So obviously, I'm risking more rebukes with a few comments here on the growth and development of UTAR, this time, on the back of an article published in the New Straits Times on the 17th May - “New college ponders old tests of survival”.

Chow Kum Hor, who was taking stock of the progress of the University after some 4 years after enrolling is first set of students.
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar), the MCA-run university, is now coming to terms with trying to realise an ambitious project in the cutthroat sector of private education. It is now operating from campuses in Petaling Jaya, Setapak and Bandar Sungai Long pending the completion of its main campus in Kampar, Perak.

From its modest beginnings with only eight Bachelor’s programmes and an initial intake of just over 400 students, it now boasts an enrolment of over 12,000 with more than 30 courses.

But just how sustainable is Utar in the face of increasingly stiff competition?
It appears that UTAR is facing quite a few difficult challenges – some of which are related to earlier criticisms which I've made.

1. The Politics of Raising Funds

Apparently, many donors who were probably more interested in hobnobbing with the MCA politicians, after handing over "giant mock cheques in front of flashing Press camera bulbs, are taking their time to come up with the cash". Since the University is privately funded with the exception of an initial RM50 million grant from the Government, income from fees and donations are critical in ensuring continued viability of the university.

2. The Politics of Attracting Academics

It appears that being a “political university” creates discomfort among some academics, and correspondingly attracts academics of a certain profile.

Kampar-born historian Prof Datuk Dr Khoo Kay Kim says "some good scholars may also be put off by the idea of working for an institution linked to a political party."
The first two principals of TAR College, he says, were distinguished physics professors from Universiti Malaya. But their stints did not last long after falling out with their political masters.
3. Competition

With the New Era College and the Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC) competing for almost the same pool of students and public funds, plus the fact that the latter is 50% subsidised by the Government, UTAR faces the challenge of keeping its fees low and yet pay the bills.

At the same time, students today are almost spoilt for choice in pursuing private tertiary education in Malaysia. With the liberalisation of private tertiary education in the late 1980s and 1990s in the country, many students who were previously unable to pursue expensive tertiary education overseas after being denied places at the local public universities have countless options today.

My Humble Thoughts

Without the benefit of hindsight, the future of UTAR is obviously going to be difficult to predict. When I spoke to some lecturers of UTAR some time back, I detected a sense of pride and achievement from them, particularly in their believe that UTAR is setting new standards and that they are ensuring real quality in the recruitment of both academics and students.

However, with the exponential growth which UTAR has experienced from 400 to 12,000 students (and more in the near future) all within a short period of 4 years, my fear is that something has to give, and that's the qualitative aspects of the university. This is not surprising given the experiences of other private educational institutions in the country.

For comparative purposes, there was a time whereby, UTAR's sister college, TARC produced graduates who were in high demand and were highly regarded by employers. However, with the liberalisation and commercialisation of the tertiary education sector as well as possible politicisation of the college, student enrollment was increased exponentially with the opening of quite a few branch campuses around the country in the late 1990s. Today, given all things equal, I'll hire a computer science graduate from Universiti Malaya over TARC with the same CGPA of say, 3.3 any time. As mentioned in some of my earlier posts, barring exceptions (and there are exceptions), I'll rarely shortlist TARC candidates for interviews.

I've not received sufficient quantity of resumes from UTAR graduates to be able to give a more informed judgement on their quality and standards, especially since their pioneering batch of students have only graduated last year. However, from the few (less than 10) which I have received, I have not been particularly impressed, especially in terms of the entry criteria into the university.

All top universities anywhere in the world is defined by strict and high entry criteria for students based on their secondary education or pre-university academic achievements. The levels at which some of the students were accepted into UTAR indicates to me that standards have been set a tad too low, possibly due to commercial and political pressures to accept a greater number of students.

I think it might have been a better strategy for UTAR to have focus on being first and foremost, a top quality institution and a strict recruitment criteria for both academics and students, instead of attempting to meet MCA's political needs in growing into a sizeable institution within such a short period of time. Let TARC, its sister college bear the brunt of providing degree education for the masses (since it's subsidized by the Government) and UTAR focus on the top quality students - why should they compete in the same space? UTAR seems to have fallen into the perpetual trap faced by Malaysian institutions and politicians who have no patience plucking fruits only after they have properly ripen.


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Anonymous said...

mba prospect says..

funny why pre-requisites for U TAR
MBA programmes require first degree with Hons...Australian 3 year degrees & some other Degrees may not come with Hons.
What is more important for the MBA entry is Degree plus some years work experience i should think..

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with Tony. Politically-linked academic institutions are never good for intellectual development. Free speech will always be banned. Thus, academic freedom will be suppressed and quality of graduates will suffer as a result.

Anonymous said...

The UTAR managment is myopic but it's not surprising as well since UTAR is an extension of a potical party.

The UTAR managment seems to think that as long as UTAR is there to offer an avenue (maybe a less stringent avenue) for Chinese students to get their degrees, the Chinese community would be grateful and vote for MCA. The Chinese community would be proud of UTAR and contribute money to UTAR.

At this moment, UTAR seems to be concerned with numbers (quantity), not so much the quality of their students, courses, and graduates. It may soon produce lots of mediocre graduates who are not proficient in English and unemployable.

This approach is wrong and UTAR misses the opportunity to establish itself truly as a world-class university in this part of the world - far far better than the University of Malaya and other local public universities.

The UTAR management and its think tank, including its board of international advisers, should be bold in their vision and mission - to be a world-class university within 15 to 20 years. Go for quality, start small and on a firm path, and UTAR will have the support of both local and overseas Chinese, in terms of money and academic and research expertise.

People like to be associated with centres of excellence or eminence, with a university that produces quality graduates and that has staff members who have good track records in research and development, publications, and competitions at the international level.

Who wants to be associated with a mediocre university that sinks with the local public universities?

Right now, UTAR seems to have dug its own grave as it is stuck with its large number of undergraduates - it has expanded so quickly and to cater for its large number of students, it has hired staff indiscriminately. Staff with PhD (mainly from local public universities) but not of quality (forget about top quality)- no postdoc experience, poor international publication track record, poor English, and inferior training. How can we expect UTAR to be excellent in teaching and research when it is straddled with low-performing administrators and lecturers at this early phase of its development?

Every journey starts with the first few steps. UTAR unfortunately has not taken the bold and academically correct baby steps! What a wasted opportunity!

Wait and see the response of the Chinese community when large numbers of UTAR graduates, in the coming years, join the swelling rank of unemployable graduates in Malaysia.

YT Kuah said...

Funny why pre-requisites for U TAR
MBA programmes require first degree with Hons...Australian 3 year degrees & some other Degrees may not come with Hons.
What is more important for the MBA entry is Degree plus some years work experience i should think..

Just to clarify, a degree without Hons in Australia/NZ is considered equivalent to a pass degree in UK/Malaysia (meaning < 2nd class lower). Having an honours degree means that you have done at least one substantial research paper in your time at university.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your note..but doing an extra year to get the Hons. by doing a research paper at RM25k+
is not feasible as later on one can't do a PhD without a proper Masters Degree anyway..

Also, most Australian degrees undergrads are not accorded an Hons (like in UK or UM for that mattter ) even if you score High Distinctions in all your 24 papers during the 3 years of Degree..

Anonymous said...

I think the Chinese are really hard pushed in Malaysia. Considering the fact that there aren't enough places in public Universities for non-bumis and political parties more interested in their own pockets. Just riles me to see the pitiful sight of Chinese education in Malaysia right now. All because of a few gutless, myopic politicians. If one can't get into UM, USM, UTM, etc. due to racial bias even though one is more than qualified, UTAR is one of the few cheap, viable options left. Can't blame the students and the predicament they're in, with such a government.

Anonymous said...

Frankly I think UTAR grows too fast and its momentum is derailing it and made it difficult to control and regulate for quality.
At present UTAR is bent in offering cheap weekend courses and certificates. High time UTAR take stock and consolidate, and pause think for future direction...

This may be one of the main reasons why in Britain provate Univesities donot develop or succeed
res ipso liquitor

Anonymous said...

This is the same state for UITm...too many students until it becomes too big to control
Quality and Quantity is inversely related

Anonymous said...

One student at UTAR said to me that standards are low and not to her expectations with poor teaching methods as the norm. An institution born from political beginnings is often hampened by objectives of control and power rather than free speech, innovation and creativity. Then again the society in which we are in is inundated by this sort of environment. A reality not just a fact.

Anonymous said...

Do not critisize so much about UTAR. To some, that is the only place of furthering their studies, nothing is perfect and it takes time to improve.

Anonymous said...

Does UTAR have external examiners from reputable universities to help monitor and assess the quality of their graduates?

Anonymous said...

I think it is NOT CORRECT to associate HONOURS year with research experience.

I can give you two examples.

Firstly, look at the london external degree offered with direction from London School of Economics.

All 12 units are exam based (except a few computing related courses), yet the degree confered is divided into 1st class honours, Upper 2nd and Lower 2nd class honours.

Mind you. LSE is one of the world leading institutions in social sciences research.

Secondly, some undergraduate courses in local univesities
do allow students to choose to do a graduating exercise (i.e. thesis) or taking 2 courses in one's major to replace it. Still one will graduate with honours degree.

By the way, I would say for undergraduate, for any research done is merely considered a graduating exercise.

IMHO. Serious academic research would start at Master level onwards.

An academic

Anonymous said...

I would it is OK to run evening and weekend classes.

We should not condemn opportunity provided for people to upgrade themselves.

May be it is time UTAR should strictly impose the teacher to student ratio per se.

Another sugesstion is that UTAR could impose some sort of standards or conformity on those courses they offered.

In other words, irrespective who taught or where it is offered (in any of its campuses), it can be assured of its similar standards)

Let me explain further, for example, like Monash University, their syllabuses are fixed and published in the web, whether those courses are taught in Malaysia or Clayton campus in Australia.

Australian Uni tend to have a clear statement for quality control, and be perceived as such (because they annouce those information loud and clear).

IPTAs like UM and USM have made great efforts in the past few years to have the ISO standards implemented.

In other words, people in those institutions are very much aware of the importance to implement quality and ensure conformity of standards.

Again, I must say nothing is perfect. It is either we spend effort and time to do it (and be perceived by others as having quality) or not.

Suffice to say, it is up to the leadership of UTAR would define their roles and actions today that would determine their relevance in
academic standing tomorrow.

Again, standard of quality is a matter of realibility and perception.

An academic

Anonymous said...

"An academic" is right. Research experience should count only at the Masters level and above, or if one has been involved as an RA in a research group. Sometimes, even Master level taught programmes may not give a student enough exposure. So, I'd say only Masters by Research and PhDs should qualify as proper research training and experience. But this defers from field to field tho. For exp, engineering sciences usually does not focus on research since they are a more application sciences' based.

The Australian Honours is slightly different from the UK Honours. They take an additional year to complete. However, only some universities have their Honours year structured to dedicate a full year of research. Most universities count taught modules in their classifications, which greatly reduces the "quality" of the research year Honours. I think all these stems from the current shift in education. More and more institutions are now structuring their programmes (at the undergraduate level) to meet "industry" needs instead of cultivating academic research. There are just too many student enrollment these days to merit these universities to focus on research, and so, they'd rather give these undergrads proper "skills" to meet job prospects. Again, this defers from field to field. It is more common to see this trend in the applied sciences. However, all these only applies to UK and Australian institutions. The US system is very much different. They focus a lot more on "out-of-curricula" projects and have many research groups for undergrads to get involved in research projects.

Anonymous said...

I believe that UTAR's own first degree (with honours) progammes are similar to those oferred by other local universities. The Australian and NZ first degree programmes are in no way inferior to those of local programmes, judging by the syllabus of psychology and accounting. The Australian honours programmes are offered to student with good academic records and usually enable the holder of an honours degree to reduce the period required to complete a master's programmes.

Anonymous said...

I think MCA's UTAR is far better off than MIC's AISMT. So be happy!

Anonymous said...

That's the trouble with people here, benchmarking against local public and private universities, such as AIMST and be happy!

How sad and pitiful lah! Mentally defeated. Nothing to say when people prefer to be a turkey rather than an eagle that soars high.

Anonymous said...

You need construtive criticism in order to improve yourself. Good post.

Anonymous said...

..thank you all for some of your thoughts on the topic "Degree with and without Honours" ..


Anonymous said...

Well, let's make things clear. UTAR is a private entity. As a private entity, it is bound to make profit in order to survive. Unlike local public U, which depend on the government funds and taxpayers' money, UTAR survives on the tuition fees paid by its students as well as donors from all walks of life. Without their supports, UTAR wouldn't exist at all!

Similarly, can you tell other private institutions of higher learning to stop enrolling new students despite having the relevant qualifications? I concur that quality is essential but it's secondary if compared to the survival of that institution itself.

Besides, with the current situation whereby choices are aplenty in domestic and oversea education market, the private institutions have to compete with each other to attract more students. I believe otherwise for UiTM but for other institutions, it's "dog-eat-dog world".

Congrat for UTAR for attracting more new freshmen.

Anonymous said...

haiya! if u want to commit academic suicide then go to utar

Anonymous said...

i'd just like to rebut ken's comment above. i disagree that private universities are "bound to be fully profit oriented". i'm not supporting UTAR but in a more general context, your reasoning is totally wrong. simply because most of the best universities in the world are private institutions, and they don't aim to be fully for-profit. for them, reputation and prestige counts so much more. so it's wrong to assume that private institutions intentionally dumbdown their standards to increase profits. again, i'm not referring and/or supporting UTAR and other private universities (MMU, UNITEN, etc.), just commenting on ken's point that private institutions *must* be profit-oriented.

Anonymous said...

For the anon above, when I said 'bound to make profit', I'm refering to the Malaysian context. You cannot compare UTAR to the renowned universities such as Harvard or Yale. Even the Cambridge or Oxford rely on their government funding. Their histories date back hundreds of years and of course, they are already world class universities and there's no need for them to worry about the funding.

As for the newly established universities such as UTAR which is only 4 years old, the U admin needs funding to develop and grow. And they really need as much resources as they can to run the day to day operations and doing maintenance within its campuses. Therefore, the growing population in UTAR is inevitable, especially when new courses and the foundation programmes for post SPMers are being introduced.

What's more, the growing population in UTAR will certainly help to generate more incomes for their future uses and developments. For example, when a university tries to hire a prominent researcher to work in the U, will the researcher consider the offer when the pay doesn't not commensurate with his/her prestige?

The new campus in Kampar, Perak will be available in a few years with state-of-the-art facilities for a full blown university. Until then, the population will not be a problem as I reckon there will be enough places to accomodate all the students.

Anonymous said...

Haiya!!! Dont talk about quantity that the campus can abt QUALITY laaa

Anonymous said...

Ken, Ken - your logic is exactly the type of logic that will lead UTAR to nowhere. Just another university concerned with quantity. Quality - forget about it.

Anonymous said...

What's the point of UTAR churning out lots of low quality graduates of Chinese descent? What's the point of UTAR hiring mediocre academic staff members of Chinese descent who are not fluent in English?

Ken's argument that first take in lots of students so that they pay fees to increase the financial situation of UTAR, so that UTAR can hire good people and give them money to do research. By the time UTAR becomes a hypermarket type institution and staffed with low quality and mediocre academics, the good and excellent people will definitely not like to join UTAR to be with the quality and mediocre staff.

Myopic approach. You need good and bold vision to be a world class university.

You can never achieve excellence when you try to justify your existence based on factors other than excellence, just like our local public universities which exist for the national Malay agenda. Likewise, the Chinese agenda, without consideration of the excellence factor, will haunt UTAR forever! UTAR is no different from UITM or any of our Malay universities.

It's a pity when UTAR can count on the support of Chinese everywhere if it embarks on the path of excellence.

Anonymous said...

Wat is the worry? UTAR is not bad considering nowadays the govt has given charter to private universities offering university degrees from first floor shop lots! They are worst!
The day will come be it private or government universities, if the academic standards are not maintained, the degrees they give will not worth more than the 'toilet rolls' you get in the toilet.

Anonymous said...

okaydokey. The education system should be blamed. Btw, FYI, my company is currently hiring lotsa accounting and finance graduates from TARC. A lot of students join TARC annually.. BUT, how many of them managed to graduate with a good Advanced Diploma? Analyse the statistics before making any judgement about TARC! It's good if you think about the value of our ringgit before talking about British and American tertiary education! Regards.

Anonymous said...

To anon Fri Jun 02, 09:55:03 pm

I agree with you 101%. Didn't you notice majority of readers in this blog come from rich families. They only know about British and American education. They thought everyone can afford. They do not know how important UTAR and TARC is to majority of chinese here. Without them where can majority of chinese here is going to get their tertiary education.

Anonymous said...

Come on....lots of chinese go to:

Anonymous said...

Just compare an A-levels programme. Taylors about 15K, TARC is only 5.5K.

Anonymous said...

Of course....Taylor college taught by expatriates, TARC is taught by locals

Anonymous said...

It's true that an 'A' Level Programme costs us about 5.5k, but do remember that the Government/MCA (i'm not sure whether it's the former or latter) is subsidising 1 ringgit for every ringgit you pay in TARC. Yes, they pay less in TARC due to the subsidy. But that doesn't mean Tarcians are getting inferior tertiary education. Studying in Taylor's doesn't mean that you are getting superior education as well. They are the same!

Anonymous said...

Let's wait for another 5 more years and see the real academic impact of UTAR - by that time, it's either sink or float for UTAR.

Anonymous said...

No need to wait that depends on the presence or existence of Lim Liong Sik. If Dr Lim not there, it will kaput immediately!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous up there,
Dr. Lim Liong Sik? Are you sure? LOL!! It's Dr LING! not Lim. Poor guy. Btw, UTAR has nothing much to do with him. If UTAR is going to sink, then most of our public universities already sinked!

Anonymous said...

Ling and Lim sound the same ! :))
Chinese names always sound so rhythmic!

Anonymous said...

Most of our public universities have sank and capsized right in David Jones Locker! Not only have they sank but have scraped the bottom of decency!

Anonymous said...

If the public says the universities have fallen in its standards, its ok...but if their academics say so too? Then its KAPUT!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Let's not get emotional. Let's keep 'world class' out for the time being, for both UTAR and UiTM.

Anonymous said...

I am very surprised to learn that the "professor' Goh Sing Yau is in UTAR...and his change of specializations from Mechanical Engineering to Biomedical Engineering and now to some thing new in UTAr
Wow! UTAR must be lucky to have such gifted professor....hehehe!

Anonymous said...

I am an academic staff of UTAR. Looking from the inside, I see that many of the comments and criticisms voiced in this community are relevant and useful. To see such discussions on the future of UTAR is very encouraging because it shows that this community is interested and wants UTAR to develop into a reputable university. Believe it or not, many of us do have the same visions. Of course, it is easier to have a Top-Down approach. Perhaps, discussions in this community will get the attention of the people in the right positions. I do know that the UTAR management is aware of this website.

Just for Tony’s information, TARC does not run degrees courses. So UTAR has the responsibility to offer the opportunity of a university education at a reasonable cost to those who failed to get into public universities. Besides the many that enter with not so good entry qualifications, there are quite a number of students who do enter with very good qualifications. I recently reviewed a postgraduate applicant who is a UTAR graduate with 10 A’s at SPM level.

I understand that we had several hundred students who are scholarship holders (9 or 10 A’s) this year in our Science Foundation year.

Like what Daniel had said, it is not just the number of A’s that you have. The way that they are being taught (and not “spoon fed”) is equally important. It is the responsibility of the senior staff to mentor the younger ones to do it right.

So don’t just give us up. Give us whatever support you can either through, providing internships, employing our graduates or by giving constructive suggestions in this blog.

Anonymous said...

 Cheating ppls money by putting due on student bills few weeks before the loan comes in/out although they know when the loan is coming out just to earn few ringgit for each student(5 ringgit per week).
 Attire of students is horrible not like a university student. Dressing code of the university is published but there is not enforcement towards it. Even those lecturers fail to follow the dressing code. Students actually wear slippers, singlets, cap and etc to classes.
 Their English level is atrocious and not making any effort to improve it. They speak Chinese all the time, as if it’s a kopitiam.
 The university is conquered by Chinese. Resulting from that they become very very very bias towards the non-chinese who are studying there. Harsh treatment towards non Chinese.

as the minority i really hope that utar student mainly will accecpt their non-chinese mates without any discrimination..

Anonymous said...

i agree with anon. above. the communism mentality is very strong in those chinese citizen's heart. they refuse to get along with other races. perhaps they feel they could excel in life without the help of other races.they still have in this setting in their minds : malays- in village-farmers n fisherman, chinese-in city-businessman, indians-in estate-rubber tapping. so they feel among other races they are the best n still is true but they shouldnt be so arrogant over it..its time to change or 13 mei will repeat in future to come

Anonymous said...

jom antar mereka gi tong san!

Anonymous said...

chinese student in UTAR should learn how to work with others so that they wont face a big communication problem in their working life

Anonymous said...

chinese student in UTAR should learn how to work with others so that they wont face a big communication problem in their working life

Anonymous said...

UITM students should learn to work hard! dont play play every day near Shah Alam lakes.....

Anonymous said...

I was totally astounded by the number of comments posted here as I took a long time to read and pondered over every of them. Concerns raised to anticipate changes ahead. refering to anon(s), "don't compare to Harvard or Yale",... that's totally bullshit,how much they know about them. please do compare UTAR to Harvard and Yale, that will probably make a different for our society today, at least to UTAR. thanks to those who pointed out that they are private institutions, has anyone drilled down to how Harvard's structure works? do you know what keeps them advanced from time to time is not the collection of tuition fees from students but their effort in engaging themselves actively as a private institution to get research grant from public, namely federal funds, or other private sectors. Sounds capitalist and competitive, that's real. they get in terms of millions of dollars for research like stem cell and nanotech research. Here I suggest if no local public fund is much available, then go for regional fund or engaged with world body's fund. Do you think they just stopped there? Funny that the Harvard Business Review you read quarterly does ring a bell to you, that's how they make money, remember everything in this world sells only if people acknowledge it, not only the quality. That's how every school in Harvard earned their bread and butter and alot more. Besides they also have philanthropists donated their money back to, most of the case,their alma mater.

Some anon(s) stated that utar is for those who are not affordable, then just continue with ktar twinning or double degree programme or advanced diploma for those lower income group, I am a not villian for the lower income group but rather we want a quality university for the community. Can we just leave ktar as an community college serves those lower income group and move forward with a world class university, hopefully utar. Someone states that some chinese are going to other institutions to study, it sent a vividly clear sign that those chinese students are not only going for opportunities but qualities as well. Do you just want all affordable students in utar but let go all scholars. I cannot disagree less with anon(s) stating the the entry requirements is low, what's the filtering cgpa score for those transfered from ktar diploma? even barely 2.2 cgpa in diploma? or resit for several times to maintain the score? creating an influx of students to utar in not a bad idea after all if the quality is assured. Actually setting a higher entry level, like diploma's cgpa more than 2.8 (at least) and no resit at all, will boost the quality of utar's students. besides, it will defintely increase the competitiveness and scores of ktar diploma students in order to maintain their standing. What more important is the quality of the students reflects the quality of the lecturers. Some might start to think is the opposite way around. Let me put it this way. Earlier on some aforementioned it;s impressive that renowned profs are there but dubious about it, the reasons are they want to come back to Malaysia to teach..because they believe they can make it happen, some coming back because they want to settle down, some want to help the community even given the offers they got in US, UK and Singappore are much more lucrative, notice most of them are Malaysia-born. then again what make them choose utar over other institutions are they believe that utar is enable to attract talented students and scholars throughout the community to its shore and secondly 'free' from alleged politically race-influenced saga in public u. That's why they can compromise with the opportunity costs they are losing in return of serving community and getting good students. Then please get them the good students they want in order to keep them in utar.

As for global approach, please do a case study for LimKwokWing university college, not intended to mention their fees but their approach to gain international standing, i always thumbs up to their efforts luring international students from developed western countries to their campus-step unlike those other institutions trying to admit students from ASEAN or Asia to make it seems more internationalised. I am not against Asia students/ capabilities but rather the stretch they are in.

I do agree with anon(s) that utar is still young to go independent, meaning free from any politicos, not until their setup their Kampar campus. but don;t let it be too far out of stretch of their quality because part of the criteria enabling it to be independent is the quality of the student itself. Be reminded that the quality of student is not resilient due to deterioration over time. Utar still has a chance if act swiftly to gain back its reputation as a strict entry institution. Ostensibly number of students is decreasing, stopping making plans how to admit more ktar students or regional students as it will make thing worse, please study the cause of it which student is going to higher quality schools, not the competitions and lot of other university colleges, but the reputation. Running a reputable university is not like running a community college. it's all about reputation. Students want to goto 'Ivies' or top 100 schools and don't mind paying a little premium (since almost every student can get PTPTN in utar) to stay in those schools. Evidence: Harvard is so expensive but tell me why all walks of life want to attend it and always full of applications, because it's a good school with renowned profs that ppl want to approach, and etc, indirectly creating an inelastic demand. Make the students come to utar by providing top notch quality education, be out of the league from the universities/colleges around, achieving higher standard not only can attract more grants and funds but high quality student from different races in the country and nationalities all over too, like NUS. Please don;t waste your time in luring other races or other nationalities now, because thing will come to you if utar's top notch and you have a bigger problem is the quality. Be reminded the community is quality conscious. Res ipsa loquitor.

Kindly anticipating your rebuttal(s).

P.S. it's my personal opinion may or maynot reflect other people's and utar's quality is still considerably good now per se. I will perpetually write more regardless of how many favorable comments i would get.


Anonymous said...

I meant I will perpetually write more regardless of how many UNFAVORABLE comments i would get. haha... not thinking i would be favorable after a long essay-like comment.


Anonymous said...

'free' from alleged politically race-influenced saga???? oh pls..utar is juz a normal chinco's place who has no where to go i mean to is politically stronger than any other uni even publish u..MCA conquer the whole senario in tht wonder we can find ppl wif very low standard but workholic (nerds) they barely juz memorize their notes..worse of all the rate of photostating others intellectual master god..if those publishers were to sue utar they will be billionaire..those who are reading this pls come n do visit any faculy of UTAR n check whether those comment above are true or not..dont blindly digest ppls comments..the cover might look nice but inside is horrible thats utar..

Anonymous said...

I told you so long ago, UTAR got no standard. It same level with AISTM and UITM and APITT.

Look at its biotechnology degree...very shallow in content, not comprehensive. Lack real applied industrial inputs.
Now it want to do biodiversity just becos whole country cheated into believing biodiversity is biotechnology.

Its faculty all ad hoc. No proper systematic development of a true faculty...

All same...NO STD! I think I better apply to do degree at SEGI college more fun...near summit can see cinemas and play bowling within breaks

Anonymous said...

hmmmm..... anon(s) who retorted me on the politically race-influenced saga, haha it's so obvious you are not keeping up with progress or news happening in public universities a few years ago, perhaps a few weeks ago or the 'real' scenario in Malaysian education. A little research on the issues about what i meant will do you some good in comprehending the meaning addressed. Utar is not involved in an alleged politically race-influenced saga, mostly public universities do, please make thing clear here. No doubt, utar has a strong political association present there and much as a politically race-dominant school and ain't much race saga. Politically stronger than any other public uni.... definitely i doubt the statement, unless the ministry gives full authority for the universities to govern by itself, evenso i still doubt they act fairly and neutrally towards race prejudice as I see this in the past happened, Prof Wang Gung Wu left UM over the promotion of Prof Ungku Aziz as VC.

Photostating issues!! Make me wonder did you know anyone from UM or other public U too? how sure are you they didn't photostate the books? fyi, I do know a few. if those publisher would have sue, all universities in Malaysia or their students will be darn broke.
This phenomenon happens due to several reasons, books are not frequently refered to as source of reference especially from one single book, students are cost sensitive due to the level of student's allowance and high living standard in that area, leniency on lecturer's emphasis on original, and limited borrowing materials from the library to cater a vast population.
But there's only thing i absolutely concur with anon is "don't blindly digest ppls comments, do some readings and research".

Quality or standard is what I was trying to emphasize to everyone in half of my previous comment. I did mention the solutions for the low standard, if not thoroughly enough. Why are you all blaming MCA, by admitting almost anyone, and they are trying to fulfill the demand of Chinese community? WRONG, i guess that's the word most of you would utter. they are doing their bit to attract the community attention for their efforts, and they think they are exercising the opportunity well as they think is what you guys wanted in the first place. Unfortunately no, does anyone raise the public opinion about the depleting standard at the MCA exco level? it's the mould the MCA set for the institution, if you guys want contribute your part, please do it from top to bottom. Here again the influx of ktar students bring their college culture to utar which is obnoxious, especially those low cgpa students.

Don't be mistaken about my arguments as portrayed defending utar's reputation, but to put up with constructive and awakening points for all to view and read in shaping and realising to be a reputable university, it still has its chance. It's still 'shaping' and much in need of all the people's hand to beautify the mould. Here I strongly urge all the people here, all are good in raising concerns, please attach together the solutions and suggestions for changes ahead.

For those who simply want to attend school who can watch movie at cinema or bowling within breaks<----- no comment since doubt the reasonings behind.

Kindly anticipating your rebuttal(s).

P.S. it's my personal opinion may or maynot reflect other people's and utar's quality is still considerably good now per se.


Anonymous said...

I refer to Tony's comments, especially where he commented that he received as few as 10 entries from UTAR graduates interested in working for him. I believe anyone with a little wisdom knows that everything on earth has two faces, even a single piece of paper. From a neutral point of view, if a well-known company with a stable background offering jobs, I am sure that a lot of people would go for it. And no doubt you would see a lot of candidates with good qualities and you will have a hand-full of "genius" to pick from. In the other hand, if your company is not as popular or not as stable, people will have no interest in you too. Then this becomes a matter of people-pick-you and not you-pick-people.

Besides, what i remember is UTAR has 2000+ graduates in the first year ( Next time when you want to post or comment on something, please do your homework before doing so. Like what our Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Kun said, "Please provide steel fact before you make an accusation..".

Next, I think it's not easy to form a University with no backing at all. You need to have some recognition from the society, a strong educational background and most importantly, the support of the public and the government. It has nothing to do with politics. They did not demand you to vote for their party during your study in the University.

You cannot condemn an institution that has only been established a few years ago. At the threshold of an era, you need to attract a lot of students of all qualities to study in your university and help to build the reputation slowly after they enrol themselves in the society.

It is very unwise to make such a misjudged accusation. I might agree with you if the qualities of UTAR graduates remain the same after 10 or 20 years or so. But it is still too early to say now. Rome is not built in 1 day!

I strongly feel that wisdom has to be instilled in our society so that people will not give unjust comments before analysing the whole picture.

Anonymous said...

The university is conquered by Chinese. Resulting from that they become very very very bias towards the non-chinese who are studying there. Harsh treatment towards non Chinese.

as the minority i really hope that utar student mainly will accecpt their non-chinese mates without any discrimination..
== end quote ==

What are u talking about? Please, don't create racial issues... it's creating disunity among all malaysians.

and FYI, my ex-course representative is an Indian, named Viknesh. And we loved him and gave him full support during him term. Please go and check before doing something stupid.

== Quote: ==
i agree with anon. above. the communism mentality is very strong in those chinese citizen's heart. they refuse to get along with other races. perhaps they feel they could excel in life without the help of other races.they still have in this setting in their minds : malays- in village-farmers n fisherman, chinese-in city-businessman, indians-in estate-rubber tapping. so they feel among other races they are the best n still is true but they shouldnt be so arrogant over it..its time to change or 13 mei will repeat in future to come
== end quote==

This is even worse. Please tell me who let the dog out? We are a democratic nation. We live united in diversity. Do not blame any race or religion for what-so-ever reason. Please treat every individual fairly. I see the richest man in Malaysia is an Indian, a lot of PLC's CEO are Malays. The only reason that makes them successful is they work for it! And they did not pray for the gold to drop from the sky... You racist little fella!

Anonymous said...

He he he...for a short while you managed to convince me that you are different and rational...but after reading your answers to some other bloggers comments...YOU ARE NO DIFFERENT. Except that you are very sensitive UTAR has been questioned in terms of its quality, authority and political links.
I guess you never did read properly the rest of the blogs written by UTAR students and staff in cognito...

By the way,,,all PLC's failed....
That rich Indian Man got powerful connections ( politically) He doesnt rise through hard work and merit

Anonymous said...

ProUtar oo. ProUtar. When has a human rationale become justifiable within the course of action. What is the rationale behind when typing 'you are no different' in caps. The minor out-of-topic rebuttals are just common human reflex of what ain't right in other people's opinion. Personally I am not here to convince you, and do not think to, or anyone reading this that utar is something different. or race or nationalities. The utmost concern is utar the school itself. In my previous comment, utar has bound to-be serious problem to face on top of everything else, quality if utar want to become a reputable and top notch university.

Let me remind you the story learned from the movie 'March of the Penguins'. "The parents listen for the unique calls of their chicks, rather than feeding the nearest or neediest one - is left unexplored... organisms are adapted to promote the replication of their genes, rather then the greater good of the species." quoted from Steven Pinker Harvard Psycology Professor. With the story which is downplaying in our local public universities now, utar is ostensibly providing a better platform for all. Tell me why the whole community is so concern about utar. worried it will be better off UM? worried it will be a chinese-dominant university? worried it will become MCA part of strategy? Let me tell you what i have in mind, community and the academicians are looking at a whole newborn NUS of Malaysia in utar, i think you will grasp the meaning behind if you know the history of NUS and UM formation. A sign of hope and relief for the community especially the academicians to have a more welcoming place for them to contribute their bits to their motherland. The community hopes that utar can take the lead like NUS to act as a branch out of "old UM" to soar to a greater height with the brain power we have. Our community academicians around the globe are eyeing this to become a reality. But again... utar really has to watch out for their student's quality, it's their entry requirements. let say... if you apply to a U, by getting a considered good result also hard to get in..... what would you think of the U.... for me it's definitely a good one,coz everyone with good grades wanna get it. but let say if you apply to a U, just pass all subjects and meet or not meet the requirements.. so much less competition, will yo still think the U is a good U? it does a good filter for who are the scholars and merely good students. utar made a wrong move, it makes the university to goto them , not they come to the university by setting a entry level standard low for ktar students and having a high lecturer-student ratio, to help them instead but a wrong move. and another so wrong, they are running utar the way they are running ktar. what i was tryng to say is not an issue of ktar against utar, but building utar as a place to attract scholaars... I apologize for reiterating the same problem because i think that's the core of it. Ktar should be running as it was before utar was established or formed like offering advanved diplomas, double degree with Campbell U and creating Utar should not be bridging the diplomas in ktar to degree there with an open-arms standard in mind. To utar management, your intention is to create a mass graduate(as ktar can do it) or high reputation university? If thing goes as it is now, the current advantages like having a number of good scholars and high achiever students and giving-up-great-opportunity-cost renowned professors will sooner or later be withered away.

Kindly anticipating your rebuttal(s) or rectify me if I am wrong .

P.S. it's my personal opinion may or maynot reflect other people's and utar's quality is still considerably good now per se.


Anonymous said...

I agree with JA Anon, We need time, the only way to maintain standards is to work with industry. The working world has to feedback to the academic world thus perpetuating itself.

As for research....catch22...some institutions actually compete with private labs...but when a uni secures a patent...$cha-chink$..thats where some funding comes...competition for we have the guts yet?
Business & education have to mix to doubt it is messy & tricky.

Some anons made a valid point why our currency is devalued due to the outflow of funding for education..but that's only partial...have to consider the economic policies & politics of stirring the foreign investor. This is...aferall a global market...just have to look at our neighbours to see how we fair.

When we get over these prejudicial issues..we have heaps of oppotunity & potential to succeed. All of "us" indeginous & non-indeginous citizens have to lobby the govt to equalise opportunity in order to achieve some sustainability. Are you ready to do a martin-luther-king or Ghandi perhaps?

Even so-called developed nations have had thier apartheid, we have to learn from them & pull out of this dive before we hit rock bottom. It may be unfortunate that humanity will respond when tragedy typical.

Anonymous said...

Makes me wonder after so many IRPAs and hundreds and hundreds of millions invested in research by the many of the products have been succesfully marketted and making returns to the research investments?


Anonymous said...

The outputs of research have something to do with:
1. The quality of the researcher
2. The resources available (incl. labs etc)
3. The area of research (not all research areas have the potential to commercialise the outputs)
4. The business mind of the researcher

Furthermore, not all of the research conducted in universities are profit oriented. If one has seen a proposal for the application of research fund before, the rationale for conducting a research is often something like "making improvements to existing methods" and the like. The research fund may also be spent to support PhD students in the form of scholarships etc.

Anonymous said...

Why the blogger has started with a new topic UTAR: Qualitative Insights, I am just warming up for this topic :) and why again no one support this blog but still can keep up with the recent popular posts ranking, I presuppose this is because this blog still provide some relevence to all. Thanks to those who reiterate my postings, even not in this blog, because it supported my statements. The latter shows there are much revelations and concerns are surfacing with much evidence projected from the student's experience to support my statements. I apologize for this late posting from me and I hope this blog and my statement still make some sound insight.

Interestingly enough, last month has been a good experience for me. Let me share with you all what happened, :). I accompanied my sibling to a scholarship interview given by Help University College ( please don't be mistaken I am not promoting HELP, or decerating UTAR ). I went into the briefing hall and was still thinking all but meaningful briefing and was expecting to jotted down some valuable information about the course. I can still remember the speaker vividly, he's none other than Dr Paul Chan, the co-founder of HELP. I was anticipating something mundane encouragement for the student to excel in their grades or some torpid congratulatory notes to the students. Astounded I am to the speech delivered by the Dr Chan who lambasted all the students in the hall I would say.. ( they are simply the creme de la creme from premier secondary schools )citing that the students who getting straight As or being that top is merely nothing but a beautiful shell which left out the inculcation of the value and extraordinary interest in oneself. I would not have agreed less than that. I smiled throughout the speech, not because of anyone appeared hilarious but what Dr. Paul said was what I was and am trying to emphasize to my brother, even the example I used is exactly the same such as Mozart, the Nobel laureates, Thomas Edison and we were back home we had a great laugh saying that some bugs might have been installed in our house, fortunately after the incident my words no longer turned down by my brother's deaf ears.

He got an bull's eye when addressing that getting A grades and scoring good grades doesnot mean anything, I have to censure the mindset of the blogger Tony being so shallow and exasperating. Perhaps I would like to thank Tony's stereotypical mindset because it enables once again Nobel awards this year are clean-swept by Americans. Is there any relationship between Nobel and Tony's mindset of "excellent grades mean smart or genius"? Since when getting all excellent grades become a barometer to be a magnificient leader or an awe-respected laureate? Didn't you know Mahatma Ghandi and Einstein did not score well during their youth, if that's the case I don;t even think they will make up to your interview list neither. The point I am trying to point out here is getting a right person is not merely about grades. Getting a reasonable cut-off is good but putting it too high is irrelevent and comparing schools is such a typical conservative way which to me is totally absurd. Maybe you failed to see some qualities that some brilliant people can such as creativity, dynamism, visionary and confidence. Luckily Microsoft doesnot think the way you did otherwise one of my friend graduated from a not-that-well-known local college would not have the career there, to my understanding he stands as high even compared to other overseas graduates, sadly enough not even an UM candidate selected for his batch. Sorry I shouldnt be so obsessed with UM, for which I don't really care, but those stereotypical conservative mindset. Oo yeah I have almost forgotten about grade inflation crisis, but i think that's enough.

Let's go back to UTAR issue, I read some concerned reader suggesting to get overseas lecturer to join utar, that's such as good move but personally dont think utar is not is any positive position to practice that because Utar is not really a very wealthy university yet (especially in building the campus phase) to offer higher price to compete for quality lecturers and besides it depends on the willingness of the professor to move due to university reputation and future, but why so if the lecturers are willing to return voluntarily as previously commented whereas word of mouth is the best advertising tool. Please don't repeat the same mistake alot of local universities did, letting good profs go and at the end putting higher price to recruit overseas profs, just cannot imagine how much more they are going to pay in order to really hire a reputable prof ( personally I dont think good money can really get a good prof), but do you think those academicians are so monetary oriented, if so they would have been in private sector then. Let me give you a good example to research on... Tel Aviv University. We are in totally different paradigm than other local universities in terms of the objective and the academician supports we get. By the way, I have to demarcate that when I was refering to staff.. i don't really mean the academicians but mainly management staff. Their management staff (those lower position) is another issue.... from my last visit there, found even have some staff who are extremely poor in english and some are preposterously audacious,hopefully it's just the only fews i met.

Kindly anticipating your rebuttal(s).

P.S. it's my personal opinion may or maynot reflect other people's and utar's quality is still considerably good now per se.


Anonymous said...

"I think it might have been a better strategy for UTAR to have focus on being first and foremost, a top quality institution and a strict recruitment criteria for both academics and students, instead of attempting to meet MCA's political needs in growing into a sizeable institution within such a short period of time."

Unless the sole reason for UTAR is to fulfil the latter....

Anonymous said...

Dear JA,
Please give some times to UTAR. It is just a very young higher learning institution in Malaysia. It takes long time build up the image and reputation. I believe the academic staffs in UTAR have the heart to contribute, although they are from local universities. Please remember that there are many good graduates from local U too.

More importantly, UTAR is a place of hope for those who are financially uncapable. They are not in the position to be very particular in getting the 1st degree.

Let us gather the resources to build up the UTAR in order to save the helpless Chinese.


Anonymous said...

JA is UMNO spy!

Anonymous said...

hahaha..... I have no choice but to begin this comment with a boisterous laughter, perhaps a ridiculous one. The least I would expect people to label me but definitely not UMNO spy. On what ground my previous comments implied till being labelled as UMNO spy? I am just asking out of curiosity.

And from the poignant comment from MK, I think you have misunderstood my interest in posting my comments. Definitely I concur that building up a university needs alot of effort and time as my previous comments, but not with a foreseen future with the impact of the issues i raised. Helping those are financially uncapable is totally out of the question because student can easily get a loan support to study and I would be in all my strength to save helpless Chinese to get educated, so let KTAR does the job, but absolutely no compromise to UTAR quality as it can have a promising future, otherwise it will be recruiting masses and end up like Mara. Here I would like to reiterate "don't run utar the way ktar does". Yes.. utar is a hope, not for feeding the masses, but triumph for a reputable NUS-type university.

Here I want to raise a point made by LKY about how systematically marginalised are some ethnics here, he did apologise for his disparaging remarks on Malaysian Chinese but not annul the statement as he's still meant what he said. but why should he, “As for the international audience, with so many foreign embassy staff and foreign correspondents reporting on Singapore and Malaysia, plus tens of thousands of expatriate businessmen working in our two countries, these people will come to their own judgement of the true position regardless of what I say,” he added. The behind the scene so-called supporting facts can be easily attained just by little effort. Systematically marginalised, not only to the students but the academics too as I was trying to emphasis in my previous comments. Wondering any of LKY's audience is reading this. Please don't try to convince me the way how right and good utar is doing (about the entry and standard), as I would also say people will come to their own judgement regardless of what I say and time will tell. Here I strongly urge those ultimate concerns be seriously taken into account. Brighter day ahead needs to be led by an acute vision of tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Append to the previous comment.........

Kindly anticipating your rebuttal(s).

P.S. it's my personal opinion may or maynot reflect other people's and utar's quality is still considerably good now per se.


Nick LJF said...

I am an undergraduate from UTAR who have just completed my first semester.

Initially, I had a choice between UTAR or Taylor's. At the end I chose UTAR, with its status as a University and the cheaper fees.

From day 1, UTAR has been making false promises. Being in the campus itself and hearing the rumours of relocation and all, i cant help but feel UTAR is paying all its attention to the Kampar campus and neglecting the welfare of its students here(faulty(and filthy) toilets take days for repair, even thought there are only 3 toilets catering to a few hundred students in UTAR PJ campus).

It is said that student who has registered in PJ, Sg Long and Setapak will remain at tehir respective locations until they graduate, wont this group of students then be deemed as excess baggage by the university? The future lies in Kampar, not KL.

Besides, the campus in Kampar is so huge, why not relocate all the students there?

One semester of studies is all it needs to see and understand the standard in UTAR. Most, if not all, the lecturers are spoon feeding their students. All students have to do is just memorize and recall it during the exams. Before the exams, tips are given to students.

However, this tips are more like, a different way of revealing the question. Students know which subtopic a question will touch on, and somestimes, what each question is all about BEFORE the examination. In view of this, even SPM is tougher than UTAR's exams.

Of course there is coursework, but coursework in UTAR are meant to help students score good grades. You will hardly see students getting below 80% for courseworks.

A lecturer once mentioned that the cgpa required for first class honours (3.5 in UTAR) is lower than other Universities due to the strict marking and higher level of studies. You can imagine my horror and my jaws dropped seeing the number of people scoring first good grades.

Only a handful of lecturers can speak proper and good English. We had class cancelations as the class clashes with our lecturer's PhD studies. So where does the priority lies?

Utar promised its students a good public transport system is provided to ease the problem of lack of carparks. In my opinion, One hour interval between buses is not efficient, even RapidKL can better it.

Overall, I felt that I made the wron decision and weighing my options. I might just take it as an expensive lesson. I am seriously considering quitting and revert back to my previous option, Taylor's.


Anonymous said...

I am student of UTAR, just finished my first year in UTAR. I found that UTAR's staff and education system are not good at all, most of the lecturer don't know how to teach. They just follow instruction, but there is one lecturer who are very good at teaching calculus. I really enjoy the class. Unluckly I think teacher lecturer are stuck with UTAR education system.

UTAR give to many pressure to the staffs and students. No improvement I can found during my study in UTAR. And I found that my English grammar drop since I study with those lecturer who are teaching English, then I have to study myself. During the lecture, I really don't know what the lecturer trying to say, after one year I discover that what you have to do is just memorize and follow instruction. You will get 'A'.

What they teach are outdated method, because they don't know the latest method.

One of my friend is top student in other course, he also in the Dean list, I try to learned from him, but I can't. why? He everyday just sit on the chair watching movie and play computer games or nintendo games. He only study when it is necessary. From here I can see this education system will lead a person to memorize but not to think. Follow instruction.

Truly say, if can, i really don't want to continue my study at UTAR. What to do? I hope UTAR will be good in future.

Anonymous said...

Hi “student of UTAR”

You said: “One of my friend is top student …………He everyday just sit on the chair watching movie and play computer games or nintendo games.”

It just shows that there are students in UTAR who are very good and there are others not so good.

Just imagine how difficult it is for a lecturer to teach such a class. If he makes it too simple, the good students will think he is stupid. If he tries to explain the finer points of the subject, the not so good students will complain that they do not understand!

Give the lecturers a chance lah!

Richard G.

Nick LJF said...

Dear Richard G

I agree with your opinion that lecturers ought to be given a chance.

However, most of the lecturers are by no means reached the capability to become a University Lecturer. Even my cousin in primary school can speak more fluent english than most of them.

Isn't life in University supposed to be independant and the-end-of-all-spoon-feeding-which-begun-in-primary-school?

A student who can laze around watching movies and playing computer games throughout the semester is a good example, but not of a good student.

I have seen my friends, who can be considered as top students, struggling to meet expectations in other Universities. This point shows just how relaxing life in Utar can be, memorize the tips and you will be blessed with an A.

For students who do not prefer to study, this will be the best and easiest way out. Enjoy life for four months, and eventually study for two weeks to score an A. Life's tough? Surely not in UTAR.

I have came across good lectueres, and so far I could only recall two who treated their students like University students.

It is getting more pathetic to see that the University is moving backwards in terms of education quality. There were also plenty of opinions from my fellow mates in UTAR, it was their last resort to get a degree as pursuing one in private colleges with affiliations to foreigh universities is beyond their budget.

A University which labels itself as being premier and aims to achieve world-class excellence, but the last choice of students when theyhave no where else to turn to?

Something is terribly wrong here.


-p.s- I except a barrage of attacks from pro-UTAR people

Anonymous said...

Yes! The students know best! They are the one attending the lectures and know the environment. Others can o nly talk from outside...

If the students think UTAR is lousy, then it is true.

UTAR is definitely low class. It is just another political show.
I really pity all those UTAR students
Why dont we scrapped UTAr and go back to TARC! Got standard there

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick,

You said: “I have came across good lecturers, and so far I could only recall two who treated their students like University students.” Lucky you!

Similarly Emily in a corresponding blog said: “But there are several who really shine and if you're lucky enough to get them, make the most of it.”

I agree with you that there are good as well as not so good lecturers in any university including UTAR.

If you ask Tony, he will tell you that it is also not perfect even in Oxford University.

Like what Emily said, you “make the most out of it”. A university is a place where you can have an opportunity to discover yourself and develop your own talents. If you are lucky you will meet someone who will inspire you.

I agree with you that many lecturers take the easy way out by spoon-feeding students. As I explained in my earlier posting, it is not easy to be a good lecturer when there are students who expect you to spoon-feed them while at the same time there are others like you who want a greater challenge to discover things for themselves.

You only need ONE lecturer to inspire you. I think there are quite a number of such lecturers distributed over the various faculties in UTAR.

If you decide to stay on in UTAR, I wish you good luck!

Richard G.

Nick LJF said...

Dear Richard G,

Firstly, I must say that my previous comments might have been too critical and even harsh.

I am having my current opinion and mindset due to a few factors.

1) I have been brought up in such a way to think that life in Uni would be very different from those in primary and secondary school. Yet after moving to UTAR I felt like it was a step backwards.

2) After consulting my friends from other Uni(local & foreign), they were surprised at the methods used in UTAR. Most agreed that a Uni should not be operating in such a way. Of course,there were some who also commented that UTAR-ians are lucky as they do not have to work hard to secure a first-class degree.

3) Studying in University is 'supposed' to be your stepping stone towards the working world and make you prepared for it. No offence but, I do not think that's how UTAR thinks. It seems that for them, getting a degree(distinction or not) is THE WAY to secure a job. And yet, lecturers emphasised on the importance of soft skills durin lectures but did nothing to help their cause.

4) I seek a challenge in my studies. The only one I got so far in UTAR is the challenge against my patience.

Some people likened my decision to leave to a man leaving a good paying job to pursue his interest. I am leaving a Uni where it is easy to score a distinction to somewhere else where I have to work hard to even pass?

The passion for studying? Sounds a little silly though!

Just crossing my fingers that I will come across TWO( please let is be at least one!) good lecturers in my new study place!

Thanks for your good luck wishes Richard G. Any comments on my points above?

I totally agree with your point which says students know best as they are the ones studying within the University.

Come to think of it, there has to be at least some truth behind all the criticisms of UTAR from within and also from people not affliated and asspciated to UTAR.

Students knows best, totally.

Nick, Life's Just Fun

-p.s- Could you please post the link to Emily's blog?. Thanks -

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick,

Your previous post: “Of course, there were some who also commented that UTAR-ians are lucky as they do not have to work hard to secure a first-class degree.”

I do not know how your friends can come to this conclusion. I checked the UTAR August 2006 Convocation booklet. I just took the first & 3rd batches of graduates because the classes are big enough to give a good statistical average and counted the First Class graduates. For Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons), there were 29 first class out of 193 who graduated (15%). For Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) Accounting, there were 9 first class out of 235 graduates (3.8%). For the other degrees, they are also not very different. I do not see how your friends can say: “ do not have to work hard to secure a first-class degree.”

I assume from your previous posts that you are now in “Science Foundation” class. I am told that most of the lecturers in foundation are freshly recruited and are either first degree or fresh Masters degree holders. When you get to your first year proper, you will have a chance to meet the more experienced lecturers. If you have any doubts and clarifications, you should go and talk to your dean.

The grass on the other side always looks greener. Do not give up so easily.

Richard G.

Anonymous said...

Dear Richard G,
I am not sure if you have been a academic staff in one of the local universities now or before.

Lots of "engineering" and computer overides are often carried out during the examination board meetings, so as to give the more than ideal statistical distribution curve. This practise was not ranpant in 70s, but after 80s, there is tendency to produce the so called ideal shaped distribution curve. It gives the university the feeling that it is perfect in the eyes of the public

In UIAM if I am not mistaken over engineering of exam results resulted in the reverse pyramid shaped...more first class than second or third...
I think Nick is very right in his observations. He and many others are students and they are the right people to assess their lecturers teaching.
Funny it may seem, but most students during first year look to their lecturers with PhD and Professors like gods!. However, as they go up into second, third year they realize most of the lecturers are idiots or dont know how to teach.hehehe

University must evolve in order to achieve its reputation in teaching. It is important the admin must have feed backs and response to the students complaints. The universities too must try to obtain those lecturers that can teach....

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick,

Since we seem to be monopolizing this thread recently, I took the trouble to look up your blog. I see that you already got your STPM. I am so sorry that I have mistaken you to be still in foundation. Please ignore the second last para of my previous posting.

I have engaged you in this public discussion because I want you to see both sides of the coin. I hope others can also benefit. What I wanted to suggest is that the students should interact & communicate directly with the lecturers in the class rather than complain about it later to a third party. Tell the lecturer what you are not happy about during the lecture and I am sure the lecturer will appreciate it more. It will also give the lecturer a chance to explain his point of view. I think it is the lack of communication that is the main problem.

Richard G.

Nick LJF said...

Dear Richard G

Need not apologise for anything, and thanks for taking the time to read my blog :)

I did talk to some of my lecturers. Even once, my dean called me up and we had a discussion. I am not a person to hide my feelings and insecurities, that is why I brought the matter up. One promise of improvement lead to another and eventually nothing.

I have complained of problems, talked to counsellors, student reps and lecturers in UTAR. Everything seems to fall on deaf ears. One interesting comment from an administrative officer of UTAR:

"We are caught in such a situation(lack of rooms, inadequate facilities etc) as we have too many students for now."

I believe that being a University, UTAR would have calculated the maximum number of students which they can enrol and handle in the Uni. I guess the RM figures proved to be more important.

The more I think, I realised that MAYBE UTAR is not as bad as I perceived it to be, but it just not up to my expectations :(

By the way, another possible reason why the lecturers does not seem to be efficient is perhaps regarding the relocation.

It is rather illogical, at least to me, that the students enrolled in KL would not relocate to Kampar. Students eventually graduate and leave.
What about the lecturers then? Fire them?

A possible senario would be as follows:

UTAR recruits plenty of students for Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FAS). Surely lecturers are needed in Kampar, but those in PJ campus would not be able to relocate yet as there are still students in PJ campus. UTAR would need new lecturers.

3 years later, the last batch of students graduate from PJ campus. The lecturers would no longer be needed in PJ. But lecturers are already employed in Kampar.

So what would happen? Double the number of lecturers in Kampar for the same number of students? Pretty impratical, isn't so?

If I am the lecturer, I would feel insecure=less productivity. I have came across few lecturers who has applied to leave UTAR, and sadly, one of them is among the good lecturers I mentioned.

Anyone has and comments, or know better about this situation?

I had the chance to see how things operate another college(where I intend to continue). Facilities, ammenities wise, it beats UTAR hands down. Lecturer-wise, I yet to discover besides chatting with a few of the lecturers and the programme director.

Even if the standard of lecturers is the same, a FOREIGN DEGREE vs a LOCAL DEGREE. Which one sounds better? Maybe I am naive to say this, but I believe a foreign degree is better. Employers seems to be more interested with it, especially if I intend to pursue my career overseas.



-I would like to clarify that what I commented on is based on my personal views and opinions. I do not think UTAR is THAT bad, but it is just not up to my expectations (empty promises and all)-

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick,

Now that you have explained everything that you have done, I understand why you have made your decision. I wish you well in your new educational adventure locally and abroad! I hope that you will continue to contribute to discussions on this or your own blog which I enjoyed reading very much.

All the Best!
Richard G.

cDi said...

I'm not sure if I'm qualified to discuss about this topic, as I am just an 18 year old student currently studying Foundation In Arts at UTAR (just started my second semester) and had not fully understand everything about UTAR. Regardless, I would like to voice out my opinions after months of exploring the comments. (yep, browsing through this since May =) )

Firstly, I came into UTAR with the expectations that they are going to be imperfect, with separate Faculties locating with different areas and such, and with the high hopes of being relocated to Kampar(which it will not happen. Sigh).
Still, I believe that UTAR is constantly improving. And really, I think that they DO listen to us students, espcially if the students' forces are big enough to make them rethink of their own ideas. I had never hesitate to be harsh in my own comments. For Nick, I guess you just had to find the right channel to say it out aloud. But I'm not sure how true my words are. Some lecturers and tutors tried really hard to teach us and understand, but some are just plain snobbish and belittle us. Maybe that's because we are kind of passive, but I'll touch on that later. The tutors I had during semester 1 are ridiculous, some being not able to conduct the class properly, whilst others resort to answering "please check the website more often, don't ask me" or "go find the textbook, you are not here to be spoonfed". If that's the case, what are they there for? If I had checked the website or find the textbook and I STILL do not understand, who should I ask? And sometimes the website is not exactly complete, so we had to bug the course rep often. Poor guy, never exactly had a good night's sleep =)

Secondly, the students. Urgh, the horror I had with my lecture group. I'm lucky that I had known a bunch of friends who had the urge to study and really wanted to gain the knowledge from our respective lecturers. But some are really annoying. Talking inside the class, disrupting the atmosphere, and our lecturers had again and again repeat that they should be quiet. And because of that our process had slowed down. Countless times my lecture group had been branded as the noisiest group. And I am very ashamed of that. If I actually suggest to the lecturers of strict measures in lecture times, I might become the evil in that group. What can I do? Bear with the whole thing and keep quiet. But I am impress with what this semester's lecturer did. One even took away a girl's handphone (Well, he's the Head of the Foundation Studies Department). Nice, but I can't help but thinking that why are we like small children who needs to be disciplined to shut up. Plus, whenever the lecturer asks us question, we just kept quiet. Not that we are shy. I'm most definitely not shy, but those who dare to voice out, will be labelled as a "show off". Sigh...labels and brands, how we fear them.

I'm not exactly exposed to those problems that my seniors are facing now. I might, soon. But still I had high hopes that my journey with UTAR is going to be a happy one. Bad environment, okay lecturers, good courses and very good friends. The students have to bear the effects of their administration. But there is this chinese proverb "chu yu ni er bu ran" (translation : born from dirt yet not polluted). I guess students themselves know what is best for them, and not getting any political influences or any effects. At the very least, UTAR does not made me side with MCA. (but for the administrative office, it might be a different case)

P/S: Emily, I'm looking up to you as a role model =). I will be pursuing Journalism after I had complete my Foundation Studies.

Cheers. *prepares flame shield*

Anonymous said...

Till UTAR has the ability to offer highly critical professional courses like Medicine and Laws, UTAR will be at it is today at least for the next few years. UTAR's reputation will surge up inevitably among the local community and professional wannabes and its popularity will gain tremendously when these courses are offered, hopefully in the not so distant future. As these courses are highly competitive, entry requirements will surely be lifted up and hence will make UTAR a quality institution among other private HEIs.

Anonymous said...

Maybe UTAR should give degrees in:
Bachelor of Sinseh
Bachelor of Acupuncture
Bachelor of Chinese Medicine
Bachelor of Chinese Herbalogy

Anonymous said...

Hi CiNDi,

I think yours is one of the more sensible postings in this thread. It reveals the world of an 18 year old in an imperfect UTAR with its many problems from the administration, the lecturers and your peers. In the end, you are still optimistic – “ born from dirt yet not polluted).” Like Emily, you are a perfect role model for your peers as well as others that will come after you.

I am equally optimistic that UTAR can only improve. I am sure others in a position to influence UTAR positively will take note of all your comments. Keep posting your ideas in this blog!

Richard G.

chongwah said...

It's a matter of trade off between quality and quantity. Simply, UTAR needs fund to make up a stronger balance sheet, thus more student intake.

It's true that ONCE, production from TARC is highly regarded by the local company (as to enter local university was too great of course). Part of the reasons is the higher requirement of entry criteria. But no more. Come on, to accept even a bad 2nd class or 3rd class in SPM student can’t make UTAR a world class.

If UTAR still intend to strive for a tag of 'renowned world-class’ university, they have been heading to a wrong approach. No way but just another degree moulder. But, I do see the positive side of such 'below par' requirement. It provides an opportunity to mediocre graduates a degree with a cheaper rate! A degree that can be obtained by other mediocre graduates in private colleges which I do think had brought down the value of degree overall.

With no disrespect to those high flyers in UTAR, do keep your heads high up. Back to the bottom line, I believe the employment will still base on your effort. To pick between a UM student with CGPA 2.5 and a UTAR student with CGPA 3.6 won’t cause the employer much headache as it’s a clear cut choice. Same apply to those study in private colleges.

At the end, personal effort counts.

To reposition UTAR on the world-class track? As picked from the author
”… UTAR to have focus on being first and foremost, a top quality institution and a strict recruitment criteria for both academics and students, instead of attempting to meet MCA's political needs in growing into a sizeable institution within such a short period of time. Let TARC, its sister college bear the brunt of providing degree education for the masses (since it's subsidized by the Government) and UTAR focus on the top quality students - why should they compete in the same space?”

Such segregation of duty and objective does making sense and achievable. So UTAR, to be or not to be? The ball is always in your hands. Throw a turning point and set the standard right away!

Anonymous said...

Chong Wah,
Congrats! You are the only blogger here who encapsulated the whole argument concisely!

Kahani said...

Had no idea I was being discussed here - thank goodness someone pointed it out to me. =)

Cindi and Richard G, thanks for your kind comments. I hope I deserve them.

Nick: While it is admittedly easy to pass and get a UTAR degree, it isn't easy to get a first-class one. I can honestly tell you that I pulled many 4am nights, worked my ass off with 27-hour class weeks, a thesis, and numerous assignments to attain A's. UTAR is demanding in terms of quantity. Quality is limited by the lecturer's abilities to evaluate and to set the standards. Looking from the perspective of the Masters course I'm in now I'd say that UTAR's greatest flaw is that it fails to encourage further reading. For many of my classes, you read the lecturer's notes and the text, memorise and embrace them - they are your bible, your religion, contradict and you're a heretic who will burn.

Also, bear in mind that insecure and unintelligent lecturers are MORE likely to grade a student lower in order to enhance the appearance of superiority. It takes a secure and intelligent individual to acknowledge the brilliance of another in the sure knowledge that another's talent takes nothing from your own.

- Emily

Anonymous said...


You sound exactly like your father in giving your comment :))

Anonymous said...

I am a lecturer from another faculty. I understand Emily is the top student in Utar’s FAS (Faculty of Arts and Social Science). I fully appreciate the views she has put forth in this blog and the other blog.

Regarding her comments “Quality is limited by the lecturer's abilities to evaluate and to set the standards…..UTAR's greatest flaw is that it fails to encourage further reading. For many of my classes, you read the lecturer's notes and the text, memorise and embrace them - they are your bible, your religion, contradict and you're a heretic who will burn” – I would like to share my experience teaching the students in my faculty here.

I was in the industry for 6 years, and then I come over here. I had no teaching experience. I picked up “teaching” skills through my own hard ways, trying to emulate the way I was trained overseas. It was not long before almost all the students told me they were unable to follow my lessons. They were basically unable to comprehend me if I did not translate some words into Bahasa or Mandarin. They were not able to take down notes on their own if we were to deliver our lectures without dictating to them the points or giving printed notes to them. Even outlines and handouts (with cross-referencing to textbooks and other sources as per the unit plan) were not sufficient for them, they said they were still lost. And whatever notes we wished to give, these had to be given to them a week in advance, if not, as the class representative put it, “we won’t be able to concentrate in class”.

Taking their feedback at face value, I then spent countless long nights preparing detailed notes, summarising, in simpler English, from the textbooks. It occurred to me, I was spoon-feeding them, but I thought, hey, perhaps that was how they did things in here.

It was not long before I observed them paying less attention in class – because they no longer needed to listen and write down anything during the lectures. During tutorials, I observed them not preparing in advance the answers to the tutorial questions. When asked, they replied, “your lecture notes are too detailed, we haven’t finished reading”. Some hadn’t even read it – I could see the photocopied notes, still crisp without underlinings, highlightings or jottings.

For the exams, I referred to the local, UK, Australian and US examinations, and based my teaching and assessment on these. In my first semester, 55% students failed my paper. Understandably, I had to give explanation to the Head for the failures.

The students were asked also and they replied that the questions were within their abilities; they had covered the topics before, and had practised same difficulty-level questions before in tutorials. But they had not finished studying the lecture notes and practised the tutorial questions. And most importantly, they said they found the exam areas “too wide. The lecturer did not narrow down the areas for us to revise for the exam, so how to score?”

In my next semester, with a new group of students, I gave printed lecture notes again, and kept advising them to check this or that textbooks and web-sites to get more informative materials for their assignments and coursework. I told them to have confidence in their abilities to do research, do not underestimate themselves as not being of the same level as students from other universities. Then I told them I expected to see them presenting a solid, well-research assignment in class. They had something like 2 months to do the group assignment and presentation.

I discovered during the presentation that they “cut and paste” materials from the Internet and any textbooks. Despite my cajoling them to have more eye-contacts and refer less to their notes/slides when presenting, they failed to do so. Come Q&A time, I asked for their original opinion and inputs, telling them they would get marks no matter how much they disagreed with what they had picked up from my class or the books. What I wanted was creative, original opinion. They remained silent or repeated the points from the notes and textbooks. I asked them, when did they started their work – they started five days ago. Why? “Because we were rushing other assignments...” When were those assignments given? "Beginning of the semester.”

For the exam, again I referred to local and overseas standards, with adaptations. I also watered down some of my questions and I confidently thought most would pass. In fact, some of the questions were similar to the case-studies they had tackled in the tutorials(or rather, were given answers since they did only minimal work and remained silent during class, forcing us to have to give them the answers). That semester, 45% failed. My head respectfully moved me to another subject, saying that perhaps another colleague could handle that subject better.

Ever since then, life gets “better” for my students. I still maintain my high standards, but extensive spoon-feeding and “narrowing of exam topics” are given. Articles are photocopied in advance for them, and once a while, I still receive groans like “aiya, why so many one…how to finishlah….”

At the end of each semester, we lecturers often have to ask our students to do lecturers’ evaluation (evaluations are done on-line). Often, those of us who conduct their lessons ala-"Utar" style get impressive feedbacks, with students giving comments like “he is so helpful” (read: give detailed notes, photostat articles for them and give exam tips) or “she delivers her lessons so well and interestingly” (read: tell jokes in class, give them answers, play games, cover only easy parts of the syllabus, leaving out the difficult ones).

Those of us who are tough, who insist on not spoon-feeding them or adhere to high standards often get lambasted in their evaluations “she is never punctual for class” (ticked off one or students for being late), “we learn nothing from his class” (ticked them off for not preparing for their tutorials and made them do the questions & discuss during class itself) or “he always wastes time talking about issues irrelevant to our syllabus” (discussed current issues pertaining to the economy, unemployment among graduates of the same discipline and social environment). These lecturers are left praying that the exam results won’t be so disastrous, since if that were to happen, the evaluation comments will definitely be taken into account. (usually the head will try to be fair and speak to the lecturers first regarding their evaluations, to hear their side).

Some of us do not have “insecure and unintelligent” nature, but for the sake of “enhancing appearance of superiority”, wouldn’t it be wise for them to start learning how to be?

I understand and appreciate whatever strong comments Emily and the rest have made so far in this and other blog on the Utar lecturers. Perhaps my story will give you all a chance to hear “the other side” and form your own conclusions.

Having been here for over 2 years, and having gone through all that above, I can say I am still hopeful, i.e. I am not that put off by the type, quality or attitudes of many students that we are having here. After all, when lemons are handed to us, we have to try make lemonades out of them.

Even so, I feel that if only the students have the right quality and attitude, this will go a long way. I am of the opinion that it does not matter if the students, at the point of entry, were to have poor SPM, STPM or whatever entrance exam results. What is important is their willingness to change themselves, make that commitment and go all way out to achieve something for themselves.

We lecturers here are trying our best to firstly, address the gap in the students'academic abilities and English, and secondly, to bring them on par with the international university students. We can only do our level best, but how are we to achieve our desired results if year in, year out, the students give us the feedback that “we want only that piece of paper that will get us a job, so please teach only what you want to examine, the rest we are not interested”.

I sometimes wish there are 70 or 80% Emilys in my fac, it would have made my teaching experience here so enjoyable and meaningful. True, we have our fair share of 1st class Honours students here, I have taught many of them myself. Someone hits the nail on the head by saying that in UTAR, the 1st class honours students are the truly good ones, while those getting 2nd class and below are, well, what can I say.....

Here, most of us are overworked, but whether we are being appreciated by the students, the management and community....that is a big question. But then, we must always remain positive and do our best.

Anonymous said...

To Anon above;

If you want to be a good and popular lecturer, please contact Dr Phili Kosy of ISB,UM

Anonymous said...

TQ. I know the professor, attended and enjoyed some of his insightful talks. Being good, of international standard and great service to my University are my concern, being "popular" is the least. TQ again.

Anonymous said...

To the UTAR lecturer above,

Don't get disheartened with the current students qualities and their learning attitudes. I believe that they are still deeply impinged in their previous attitudes and mentalities towards studies during their primary and secondary years. They were not trained and taught to think critically and independently towards a subject matter and they are still assuming that study is all about reading, memorising and regurgitating during the exams. No doubt that they are the products of our rigid and lackadaisical education system that 'sucks' to the core. They have already been profoundly entrenched in the spoon-feeding system and have become 'addicted' to it. Thus, it will take some time for them to 'recover' from it and discover their true hidden self.
For me, yes I am a UTAR undergrad and I follow this blog, and this article in particular so often to 'see' within myself the strenghs as well as weaknesses in order to make myself a better person-academically. If possible, I'd like myself under your tutelage and as a protege so that I can absorb the knowledge and wisdoms that you want to impart in every student so desperately.

Thank you for sharing your feeling as a lecturer to the ignorant student like me. :)

Anonymous said...

I am totally agreed with Tony P, UTAR is not focus on quality of graduates but quantity of graduates. As every time we saw in the newspaper, UTAR Council Chairman or MCA people will stress on UTAR achievement which is high enrolment figure within 3 years instead of quality graduates. Another matter is UTAR always mentioned that UTAR is a non profit organization and donated by public but UTAR affords gave out the expensive gifts as publish in media (such as MOU event signing). But we are not surprise that UTAR has inferior quality/standard management compare to the other universities because they are MCA string-puppet.

Anonymous said...

UTAR=UITM= AIMST= no standard

Kahani said...

Dear UTAR lecturer,

First, please accept my humble apologies for my hastily worded and imbalanced comment. I failed to list both sides of the coin and in doing so was terribly unfair.

Everything you've said is true. I do remember that the lecturers I appreciated were often the least liked and understood by fellow students. Several achieved the happy balance of "to pass, read notes. To excel, read more" and tailored their exam questions accordingly with memorization-targeted questions coupled with analysis-targeted questions. I understood what they (who I suspect are much like you) were doing and greatly appreciated it.

My harsh comments were aimed at several lecturers who refused to countenence any opposing views to their own (even when backed up with definitive references, such as oh... the dictionary), and who deemed "fill-in-the-blanks" style exam questions adequate evaluation methods.

It is a dilemma, on the one hand if you hold up strict academic standards, many will fall beneath, and the university will not accept that. But if you don't hold to higher standards, none will rise. This hearkens back to the question of the purpose of the university, is it there as a life-saving alternative to those denied public university-entrance, or is it there to be an elite prestigious academic institution. Both are worthy causes but almost mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the comments made by the UTAR lecturer above. Each time I thought about returning to join the academy someone would remind me that I would have to 'gao dou meang' (teach until I can't breathe) and how the culture amongst students is so different from that in developed countries. I think this is a problem when there is no critical mass of good students. It is a pity that UTAR does not have the vision to create a really scholarly environment where quality is of utmost importance.


Anonymous said...

Students now and in past years are different
The image of past students are they are creme dela creme. They are the nation's best, they look intelligent and they they study hard day and night. They are proud being university students in a university where the best can enter. They carry books everywhere and are involved in public expression of knowledge

Nowadays, you cannot differentiate good or bad student. Every one easily enter universities, everybody got buckets of A's. No body seen reading books at canteen or bus stop. All wastetime on handphones cinemas and visiting shopping complex.Because the system has changed. No study still score

Now who to blame?

Utar students partying all the time...
use gels on hair
put blond hair colour
put rings on their ears

not come to study....

Anonymous said...

I am disillioned by your negative comments on UTAR. This is a MCA run private college. Correct, a predominant number of lecturers and students are chinese. So what? Look at Universiti Teknologi Mara, APIT or even the black colleges, white colleges only abroad. Aren't they in the same boat?
A number of students blame lecturers for being improficient in English. What's the big deal? As long as you can communicate, there should be no problem. You think blacks and whites will accept our English even though many of us are overseas graduates with advance degrees and working with them??
Let me share with you my experiences. I have lives in the States for more than 20 years, educated with advanced degrees and teaching there. Look, I work in a black college. They discriminated against me in everyway. Not only am I transferred from one department to another, I have been asked to enrol in ESOL because these blacks think that students and parents cannot understand my English. How terribly wrong is this? I know most of the black English, slangs, accents and southern dialect and yet I am treated as dirt.
As a Malaysian Chinese, I still value my own language. It is frustrating that I was not given the opportunity to study Mandarin when I was in Malaysia. I excelled in Bahasa and I am proud of that language. Thus, in UTAR, I am positive that students should consider Mandarin as the mother tongue and not condemn any Malaysian Chinese for not being able to express well. Speak in Mandarin then. What's the big deal..
Having lived abroad for such a long period of time, it is a shame for me not knowing my own mother tongue. People laughed at me on campus. I cannot even speak to Taiwanese or Chinese lecturers. Don't ever assume that English is your mother tongue. However good you are, you will not be a native English speaker. I have As in all my English classes, research work and etc. and yet what am I?
Just to share with you, the blacks threw me out of my job and replaced me with their own relative. Where is the fairness??? I consider Malaysia as my homeland and I am determined to return home and make a difference in the lives of young people. I am not interested in living abroad. My kids are grown and I want to get out of the States. My point to you young people is that you should be proficient in your own mother tongue. English is important - all you need is to give second priority to that....

Anonymous said...

Frustrated 'yellow banana' speaking above

Anonymous said...

Yellow banana is a racist remark. You should be embarrassed of yourself whoever you are. Since Malaysian Chinese are yellow bananas, how about other races? They should be given nicknames too... You will reap what you sow...

Anonymous said...

first off, kudos to the UTAR lecturer :) I'm not sure if you know it, but there are plenty of students who would have greatly appreciated your efforts. I've had 2 or 3 lecturers like you I loved attending their classes and found their assigned work refreshing and challenging. Rest assured, I'm sure there are students who KNOW the trouble that you went thru and are GRATEFUL for the effort you put in :)

I am a UTAR graduate myself. But that doesn't mean I slept thru my entire 2 years of my degree. On the contrary, I worked hard and did what I could. I admit that there are some aspects of UTAR that needs some improvement (say, the toilets *grin* and the facilities) but I'm sure in time issues like this will be ironed out.

I've been there and I've experienced first-hand how come students can be. Sure, they screw around and slack off, but I'm pretty sure that there are students like that in every other university. But why are we the only ones that the receiving end of all that hurtful remarks and stereotyped treatment? Sure, I'll admit there are some who can't really converse well in English, but they do try! There are also those who cannot be bothered, but there are also those who are very proficient! I am not extremely proficient, but I'd like to think I manage well enough.

It's ironic to think that when I was a student, we were often poked fun at for not being able to converse in Mandarin, yet after we graduate, the common presumption is that UTAR grads can only speak in Mandarin and are hopeless when it comes to English! Those of us who are not able to speak in Mandarin are branded "yellow bananas" and were restricted from being on the committee of any extra-curricular activities. And now, by looking at our resumes and seeing the words "graduated from UTAR", people can simple assume that we can't speak English as well!? ishhhh.... This really has to be irony at its best!

I worked hard to get what I got, and it pains me to know that a employer may just discard my resume and application letter just because they PRESUME everyone in UTAR is the same and that graduates from other universities are better!

and to Anonymous who generalized (once again) that all UTAR students know how to do is ....
Utar students partying all the time...
use gels on hair
put blond hair colour
put rings on their ears

not come to study....
all I have to say is this:

you are presumptuous and petty! I am a UTAR grad. I don't party because it's a waste of time and I can't stand the crowd. I don't gel my hair because I don't need to. I can only assume your 3rd sentence means hair coloring? I'm sure there are plenty out there who also color their hair and pierce their ears. so what!? does coloring one's hair and piercing one's ears amount to anything substantial?? I used to highlight my hair and I like piercings too.. and I even like tattoos! Does that mean that I don't study and I don't work hard?? *roll eyes* I think it only means I have a higher pain threshold than you, doesn't it?

Please, I'm not asking for an argument and I'm not asking for much. I only ask for potential employers, and the general public, not to judge us by which university we attended. At least have the courtesy to grant us the same chances that they would grant students from other universities. And if after that, they still think we have lesser to offer, then I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous of Sun Dec 31, 01:29:46 PM:
I have read some comments that I suspected were from you. eg. one under the discussions on "Frightened Malaysian Abroad..". I thought your comments were funny but I understand your frustration about losing your job in a HBCU. When I was a postdoctoral fellow in the US, I sent an application to a HBCU near my city. I had a respectable string of publications at that time. The HBCU turned me down and chose to hire a fresh PhD (Chinese student) about to graduate from my department. I was not disappointed because that was not where I would seriously consider. But it sound a bit wrong when a college prefers a fresh graduate with barely a couple of publications over another person (just a couple of years older) with a longer list of papers especially when the college is trying to encourage an active research program. Anyway, I later got an offer from Singapore and another from major (not HBCU) US university and I chose to accept the one from the US. Now I am tenured and is a senior faculty in my dept. I can assure you it was not an easy journey. What happened to the Chinese student who got hired at the HBCU? He did not get tenure and got kicked out after about 4 years after tenure review. But he was lucky and was forced to find a job elsewhere. Finally he got a job through a connection with his bro-in-law and is now doing very well in an electronics fab in the US; much better than he would have got if he had continued with the HBCU. His pay is now better than mine because he is in industry and I am in a public university. But, I have better job security (who can complain when there is no retirement age?) There is a couple of morals to this story. First lesson is that when a bad thing happens, it forces you to look for alternative and you ended up better. Otherwise, one would just continue complacently in his job and realize later that he has not gone anywhere in his career. By that time, he would be too old and no longer competitive in the job market. Second, the Chinese guy above was not the only Chinese who did not get tenure in that HBCU. At least four other Chinese did not get tenure over the years in that HBCU that I know of. But Indians and minority have better chance at HBCU. If you want to do research and accept a job in a small college (whether HBCU or not), it is like digging your own grave. Because very likely you would never have an opportunity to upgrade to a major research college. That is because you would have wasted several years with the heavy teaching load in the small college. But HBCU has a lot of opportunity for govt grants. The small college people seem to know that they have no chance competing for a job in a major college because as a member of the faculty search committee in my dept, I have never come across any small college applicants.
The next thing I want to mention is language. I, too, cannot speak Mandarin. I have a hard time in the stores whenever I go to Singapore to attend a conference, etc., and people would speak to me in Mandarin. But I also found that if I speak Hokkien, they would reply in Hokkien happily, i.e. only if they were Singaporeans, and I found they would suddenly turn friendlier thinking I was local. Their attitute would change like the weather whey they found I was Malaysian. Then changed again when they found I was no longer Malaysian. That was my personal experience with a sales-girl at Singapore Changi Airport. If the store-keepers were from China, then they would not speak Hokkien. So, I found a way to tell if a food vendor in Singapore was a Singaporean or a mainland Chinese. The only regret not being able to speak/read Mandarin is that I cannot read Chinese literature (being a kung-fu buff and very interested in Chinese history). In the US, there is no problem if you cannot speak Mandarin. My kid cannot speak Chinese too but she is picking up Spanish because that is becoming important in the US.
As for English profiency, people in Malaysia should realize that many Chinese students from China speak good English. That is because I have spoken to many students in China to interview them over the phone when they applied to join our PhD program.
I wonder whether you are a US citizen. If you are still Malaysian, why not apply to join UTAR?
I have a lot of critical things to say about private colleges in Malaysia from personal experience but I don't like writing in blogs like this because the people here seem to be elitist; talking about rankings, etc. I consider myself a guest in Malaysia and am politically neutral. That is why I don't write at Lim Kit Siang's website when they discuss about education in Malaysia eventhough I have interesting things to say. People can criticize me all they want because I won't bother replying.
Why don't you start a blog site so Malaysian people can talk about their experiences in foreign countries such as US?

Anonymous said...

I just read my posting above and realize a lot of typo. So, don't shoot me because I am posting on the fly, i.e. no editing.

Anonymous said...

To Anonynous of Jan. 3, 2007,
I am still a Malaysian citizen. I applaud you for your response. It is most unfortunate that I am living in the most backward and uncivilized southern state. Also, I am living in a very small town where blacks are the majority.
Well, I am extremely disillusioned and have not choice because I am married and thus the question of going to a bigger city has to be shelved. My children and me are proficient in Spanish. We have lived here for more than 16 years.
I will set up a blog for Malaysians and would like constructive criticisms, advice and communication with Malaysians who reside abroad.

Anonymous said...

Hi,as an introductory,im a post graduate UTAR student.It tooks me quite a long time to read all the messages posted.After reading all messages posted, i was wondering why some of the blogger can simply commented that UTAR or probably other colleges such as Uitm as = no standard...

can i know what makes those bloggers think in this way?high levl of enrollment means that poor quality?or maybe lecturers not proficient in english means not good in teaching?(this points are raised by 1 UTar under-graduate)for me,i dun see any relationship between proficiency in english and teaching skills.So, please ensure that every comments u post are arising from a reliable sources.dun comment based on what u heard from others without any supporting statements.this wil be unfair to UTAR as well as other colleges.

As i said, im just graduate from UTar in may 2006 by taking accounting degrees.During my degrees courses, i met couples of lecturersand tutors,both in TARC (Pre Uni) and Utar (3 yrs degrees).I admitted some of them are really bad in teaching,even though their english level is good enough and possessing professional degrees. but i did meet some of the lecturers which is really good in teaching and coaching us.They wont give up on us on those areas we r in doubt.For me,i wound say that more than 70 % of my lecturers are good and responsible.

Other than that, during my degrees time, i met with all race of students,malay,indian and so on...n amazingly, we r so close to each other...even un till now we wil meet occasionally with all classmates,no matter what the races u r in.So i feel that is not fair to say that non chinese are being neglected and discriminated by chinese.Not FAIR at all..

FYI,currently im taking my professional paper ACCA in one of the colleges in KL.when i compare the study material i received for ACCA n compare it with the same subjects in UTAR,i found out that more than 50 % of the syllabus are taught in UTAR in my last yr study...What does this show?this shows that out Uni standard is good enough to compare with globally recognised professional body...So,who dare to say UTAR is of no standard?

To my junior,i wish all the best to u...i knew that sometimes our Uni management tend to make blank promises,but this is due to they are som kind of limitations pls understand...Now im alr in a working life,n i feel our degrees are being valued by the outside dun worry,just do ur part.

Anonymous said...

Me no spik inglis vely wel. Me hope all u can understant my inglis

Anonymous said...

We understand and we hope ACCA will understand your English too.

Anonymous said...

Tony, what you mentioned about the rapid growth of UTAR at the potential expense of quality of educational plausibly true, esp. if more lecturers/professors are from the low standard local public universities (please do not try to paint public universities as excellent, yes there might be one or two in the past but no way in the present days with its racial basis for professors and students intake – I tend to believe that most public universities are good at superficial grandness but rotten deep inside - you should know the actual fact if you are not myopic! No offence please) Having said that, not all professors/lectures from local public universities are useless, depending on the individuals, some are still good - lotus is still clean in a shit pond!

The concept of UTAR is right and good for the disadvantaged Chinese students. Having an "open-door" policy that takes in students that meet the minimum entry requirement does not necessary mean UTAR will produce sub-standard graduates. It is giving a fair opportunity to anyone regardless of race to pursue a higher education. This does not mean UTAR is taking in rubbish like in some public universities. Einstein and Edison were bodoh in their childhood, only grew up to be intelligent and genius. Likewise, students taken in by Utar may come from families or environment that affected their studies in their earlier days, this does not mean they are stupid. Given a new lease of opportunity they may excel in their tertiary education - this is esp. true if you are talking about its students who are mainly of a people regarded arguably as the most entrepreneurially intelligent on earth! Given the equal opportunities, they can do better! This is fact! Given time, I am very confident UTAR will become a premier university in the region - just as you are aware of the TARC students' employability in the job market. In short, my telescopic view is that UTAR will produce top-grade (like NUS, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge) as well as average grade graduates who will be able to find jobs and contribute positively to their families, the society and the nation and not become parasites, but will definitely not produce stupid, useless graduates that become liabilities to the society! Your wish that UTAR be a quality university is good but the reality in the context of this country is prohibitive in terms of opportunities for further education among many Chinese top students who can't afford to go for foreign universities. Your point that it is politically-linked might be worth pondering, but that is purely because you are just looking at one side of the coin! I have faith in the intelligence of competent and capable people who should know the difference between politics and education - we are living in the globalised village, we can't cheat anymore, people will know ... of course with the exception of people who are bodoh thinking that other clever people are also bodoh – which can only happen in what someone described as bodohland!

Apart from above, it is a proverbial fact that people who are good academically does not necessarily mean they are clever and competent, some of them may just be good at examinations...need not speak too much on all these craps, everyone knows it.

To those who complain, UTAR in its infant stage might have some problems and shortcomings (just like a "useless" baby will shit everywhere but can grow up to be a highly respected man of value to the society), complaints about its shortcomings at this stage only reflect shortcomings of the complainants...why not contribute, if can, in the positive manner for the future generations?

We all know in history that Rome was not built overnight, so let’s hope that UTAR with its phenomenal growth (mainly because of the dire needs of demand by the disadvantaged Chinese students in Malaysia) will eventually lead to becoming an internationally well-known premier university managed in good hands.

Anonymous said...

to the anon above... you hit the bull's eye for your first paragraph.
I am not wholly opposed to your so-called open door policy, yes you were right that Einstein and Edison ain't that smart in their childhood but not anymore during their high school years... do you know which university Einstein went to? do you know what ranking the university he went is right now? I doubt his university will admit himself if he was persistently that bodoh. The point i am trying to cross here, all the Einstein or whoever childhood bodoh story.. should end in their childhood, the university is totally an academic pursue place, it's not a college. please be aware the differences between college, polytech and university. Definitely UTAR have/had top grade or can produce top grade student, but the problem itself is...they cannot produce themselves top grade, not without some critical changes.

I am very aware of TARC students' employability in the job market too, as I aforementionend in the blog or another blog i suppose, providing workforce to satisfy the currentmarket is what the role of a college or poly. I think that's very much what you mean of contribution to society. A university is otherwise, it's about intellectual improvement and civilization of a society advancement, more than what you think a graduate can merely contribute as to family or jobmarket. the current flow as your hope to have utar to become harvard, nus... is fading off because the whole education idea and mechanism is totally different because utar appears to be seconadary choice for those who are not accepted to public u, whereas nus,harvard and so forth are their ultimate first choice. Why is this happening? As the core problem already raised earlier in this blog, as utar really has a good start with it's very first batch of student(before ktar 'invasion'), impressive is what the word to when encountered them with their flawless english(few of them). I can understand alot of people doesnot seem to know what the difference between a college(or polytech) and a university. Most people think their role is the same which is not.

No offense, because I found a very silly when you mentioned about politics and education, the implication of politics is phenomenonal specially in Malaysia. who can say no one can cheat anyone anymore, some books can tell you that politics is a still cheating game all over the world and globalised village is such a vague term.

I understand Rome was not built overnight, so did KLCC. but what if KLCC was built using teakwood, how long can it last its peak?

Anonymous said...

Sun Jan 14, 11:41:02 PM

Here append my closing to my comment written above.


Anonymous said...


I am a UTAR BA postgraduate(9mths & counting), currently employed in an MNC shipping company. I wish 2 contribute my 2 cents worth on my time in UTAR as well as UTAR itself.

I have 2 agree with many of d criticisms posted here. These situations r sadly, part n parcel of d UTAR culture, if u will. UTAR, 2 me, now resembles a mass production varsity utilising JIT with little regard 2 QC. Im sure all UTAR grads r familiar with d modus operandi: seemingly attend classes from week 2 week, complete a few assignments here n there, then week 13 arrives n students kick in2 high gear. N by this I mean harass lecturers 4 tips. Memorise d hell out of d notes/textbooks. Enter exam hall, cue regurgitate answers. I seriously question d ability of my fellow UTAR grads 2 handle critical, subjective case studies, let alone real life. Yes,its true, u can survive in UTAR on memory skills alone.

However, despite d methods, some would argue UTAR provides an outlet or fills d void 4 education previously unavailable 4 those less affluent or unable 2 secure a place in public unis. I am sure UTARs founders had noble intentions when establishing UTAR but somehow along d way, these intentions have slightly deviated. Perhaps financial gain has blinded d progenitors of UTAR from pursuing their goal of purveying quality education at affordable fee structures. With d advent of d Kampar campus this yr, it looks like more n more students will b flocking 2 UTAR.

I wouldn say Im wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve proud of UTAR but neither am I ashamed of it. They gave me an education, good experiences n most notably, wonderful ppl whom I shall cherish 4 a lifetime. Sure, its hard 4 a banana or non-chinese speaking student amidst d majority but wat can u do? If it doesnt kill u...I wouldn say I was a recipient of discrimination 4 not speaking d lingua franca. Quite d contrary. I hate 2 pontificate but I think dat in d eyes of those who were less proficient in english, my frens n I were admired. Not only 4 our considerable grasp of english, but I think more 4 our mentality. Pour scorn on me if u will, but d stigma of chinese educated students being slightly more traditional ie;narrow minded n less outgoing exists 4 a reason. Debate all u want, but u know its true. If I have 2 b unpolitically correct about this, fine. No point bush beating. My point is, being from UTAR is no handicap, it is only if u choose 2 see it dat way. A self-handicap, if u will. I have seen many of my frens(both 1st n 2nd class hons students) secure respectable, coveted jobs in MNCs. My point once again, being dat its not where u graduate from, its who u r as an individual. Ur character. Ur convictions. Ur principles.

There r those who may slam UTAR n its practices, some who will defend it unconditionally. Well, lets put things in2 context. MCA did something 2 ensure those who desire an affordable education will not b denied it. UTAR does not discriminate against applicants ethnic background. UTAR has no quota system. UTAR practices more meritocracy than most would claim 2. Sure, profit is increasing dramatically, which is something I question with regards 2 methods but if I were 2 summarise my point rhetorically, or even equivocally, it would b this; Where would all these UTAR grads have turned 2 if UTAR had not existed?

Anonymous said...

So many comment about UTAR...

If UTAR is not good, 15500 students will not enroll in the university. UTAR is a preparation of 35 years since TARC establish and stop saying UTAR is growing too fast. Who are u all to say UTAR or other university bad. I have friends in UTAR which secure job at international company.

UTAR too fast??Don't be envy by its fast development. UTAR is people university, built by people for people...If Not of donation, we might not see such a beautiful campus in Kampar. Cheap price doesn't mean bad quality and i believe that UTAR have list of lecturers and tutors. UTAR have all criteria to be the premier university. From the external examiner to internal management, UTAR seem to be the best. Many have been debating over UTAR just because UTAR is seem to be political university. UTAR is not political compare to UiTM, TARC and Wawasan Open university.
If entry requirement is low, then those who is not smart will not have chance to study..Education is mean for everyone..Good university accept all students and groom them become a good students marketable in job market. 15500 enrollment of students will enhance nation development. Read newspaper and you will see there is advanced improvement of UTAR. I am not pro UTAR, but i just believe all University in Malaysia is almost the same. I have seen UTAR achievement since they first establish. If UTAR is growing too fast, flash back..35 years of planning, 4.5 years since establishment, what UTAR have achieve is just small matter. I believe UTAR can foster a better result in the future. Stop throwing back name to UTAR or other university/colleges, let them develop...UTAR 98% of employment is the prove of good university. Where else you can get such a high employability university??

UTAR might not be the best but UTAR is surely not the the worst. Ask yourself when you are 4.5 years old what you are doing?? If UTAR can achieve so much in short period mean the university is good and not develop too fast.

15500 students and their parent can't be wrong...

Anonymous said...

to anon above, i could not agree with u more. evry sentence that u wrote shows that you are a wise person, unlike those who could only talk or might i refer to (type) their own "humble opinion" about the Universities, especially Universities which are linked to political parties. There are many out there who claim taht they have friends or personally condemn these Us, espscially UTAR. Well, there are no strong evidence that shows u are from Utar or those comments are derived personally from the own mouth of UTAR grads. Im not "shooting" anybody right now, but lets face the fact that there are nothing perfect in this world. By digging in the mild disadvantages of Utar, its better to see the whole picture. In my "humble opinion" also, the advantages of Utar overweights the disadvantages of it, or to be put as a ratio of 10000:1.

I agree that Universities should not produce mass grads with low qualities, but how many of u who knows what the graduates of the particular University has gone through? Do not take your own "superior" opinion or experiences as a benchmark to judge things like that. It is obvious that most of the replies come from people who have low understanding of Utar and how the process of education take place in Utar. So, do not personally judge although it is linked with a political party. I would recommend these people to gather more information from primary sources before spitting out their "humble opinions"

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Don't judge a book by its cover, don't judge UTAR by its age

Anonymous said...

I personally agree to anon (1/19/2007 10:45:40 PM) above.
If everyone wants to know how far UTAR quality can go, the CIMA competition that held not long ago is a solid prove that UTAR is a very good University. For all these times, UTAR students actively participate in many activities and they get a lot of achievements like ATQ, Fear Factor, iFeel Modeling, "I Want to become a Model", etc. They prove themselves creative, innovative, sporting, and definitely a true leader in the future. Academy is not everything; many successful people in this world do not have good education background. They even have bad language and not able to communicate well. Their main factor of success is because they dare to dream and act beyond the limits. All people in this world want to live a better life, that’s why they work so hard to reach their dream. Everybody in this world deserves a better life. This is what UTAR trying to do. UTAR give chance to our Gen-Y to improve the standard of life. Education is not mere get high score or grade and show off to the rest of the world.
Talking about the race problem, UTAR do not discriminate other race at all. UTAR is welcome all kind of race to encourage racial integrity. The problem here is most bumiputera are not interested in joining UTAR. UTAR can't do anything if they refuse to register for UTAR. The main reason mostly Chinese study UTAR is because UTAR is the only higher education institution in Malaysia that accepts students from UEC.
With regards to the fast development problem, how do you measure "fast" development? Is "fast" a bad thing? I can say that only the organization that move fast and steady win the race. Many big organizations now grow so fast in just a moment of second. 7-Eleven open a new branch for every 4 hour, are you telling they fail? UTAR just 4 years old, we can just let time to determine whether UTAR growing in the healthy way.
If anybody wants to criticize UTAR, please do proper research before throw any false statement. After I read so many comments, most of them full of bias and errors. Like the statement about UTAR is political-institution is totally a false statement. UTAR is independent and free from any political events. MCA not necessary help UTAR if UTAR need so.

Anonymous said...

Agree with anon..

UTAR strike to be the best only if everyone support them...Why should we question UTAR ability to produce Quality students with 4 years experience??Give UTAR a chance and time to prove that UTAR is able to do it!!! UTAR not producing just excellent academic students but groom with softskills.

Can't we have Quantity and Quality in UTAR??If there is no quality, employment level of UTAR undergraduate will not be so high!!

Anonymous said...

Vividly some still spiralling around the fact that some are judging utar.. some are tarnishing utar. For all my intention have been constructive to my own opinion and have not judge the university by its age by any mean specific, but the quality and things happened. I am not here to censure but want to help utar to what it ought to be - world class university. Everyone have been saying providing education to the communities and people cannot get into public u, just let ktar does all the work.. and serves pretty well. Please dont say ktar is a college and doesnot provide degree, then need you get a leaflet looking at the education path.

I believe in an adage saying that a young emperor being consulted by too many aged ministers will lead to a destructive empire.

Quoted from Wengkius from another blog which illustrated the situation is a better way. Can someone read the one below and before starting to talk about providing education to 'everyone' or 'giving chance to ppl till they fail us'. It's a two different directions here.... be aware
"From what I see, UTAR has 2 conflicting expectations that are placed on it.

1) To be a world-class university - A lot of people want to see UTAR succeeding as a university, at least in terms of international standing and worldwide rankings.

2) To serve the Chinese community by ensuring that Chinese school leavers have a place to go. There is this prevalent notion that UTAR was set up to 'save' Chinese students that were not able (for whatever reason) to get into local public universities.

I do not see any way both objectives can be satisfied at the same time as they have wildly differing approaches. If you want a world-class university, you will have to restrict student intake, implement a rigorous course structure and uphold high academic standards. On the other hand, in the interest of being perceived as 'serving the community', there is continual pressure from the university administration to ensure that most, if not all students graduate, regardless of whether or not they are really qualified to do so.

That's why I pity the lecturers in UTAR. They're expected to push the university in two wildly different directions, a venture that is bound to fail. The solution is simple. MCA already has 2 institutions under its wings. For years, TAR College has been serving objective B very well, which is to be a 'factory assembly line' for gradutes (don't flame me, I'm a TARC product too.. :P). One wonders why UTAR has to shoulder that burden as well. If additional capacity is needed, more TAR College branches can be built. UTAR administrators should be given a free hand in building up a world-class university. I'm sure the academic staff there are capable of doing so, if they are not encumbered by political matters."

Anonymous said...

Here append my closing to my comment written above.


Anonymous said...

Let me post a question to those who has written alot which are not about academically approach towards issue here, i found some previous comment totally preposterous and unrelated academically which doesnot much convince me and doesnot seem to elevate utar to become a world class uni, if education is not such a big deal as prescribed on individual performance regardless of education, why bother having it or you have not really experienced how good university can lead a better way.


By some joining singing contest? explain why alot of chinese-educated student? give some opinion which are so humble? shooting this or shooting like a lame game? The reason why i am raising this is the comments donot seems very constructive and relevant to contribute to the world class university dream.

Never did anyone say utar is bad.... but the premonition. Fast is always a good thing only if the direction is indeviating. If are you guys are looking it from bucolic side, press hard to apprehend the situation in breath and depth, regional and global, east and west, present and future"

No offense.


Anonymous said...

No offense taken JA posted on 20th jan. 2:39:01 AM.

This forum has received much attention because the community is genuinely concerned for UTAR. Some comments may not be constructive but the forum is not meant for that purpose only. It is a platform where people can estalish a community of inquiry without persecution for the slightest disagreement. A place where one can speak its mind and share its experiences for better or worse. The forum has done more good than harm for UTAR management has begun to pay attention to what is being said here since there is a lot of truth in the testimonies. Judging from the sources that I have, quality issues are place on a microscope now. Isn't that good? Isn't that a first step towards a first class university?

UTAR is a private univ. It has to generate its own funds to sustain its R&D which the academic community at large will use to rank its standards. R&D is risky and takes time to develop. It is a chicken and egg situation. Without $$, UTAR can't reduce teaching hours, reduce intake of students and focus on R&D. If R&D does not guarantee the returns on its intellectual property with the investment, how is UTAR going to sustain itself? UTAR cannot simply raise its fees since it is meant to serve the average or below average income students due to political reasons. With 15000+ students and a budget of over 100 milllion a year, imagine the increase in revenue if UTAR were to increase its fees by 3-4% a year or adjusted to inflation rate. Can the average income family keep up? Does average salary adjust to inflation rate? I bet to differ.

Now, UTAR should not rest on its present situation as the competition in higher educationin malaysia will be stiffer. It should use the extra income it has generated to nurture its R&D division in order to create intellectual properties that will have ripple effects to the economy. (Think -- Google in Stanford. Google was created from a grant in physics). When a lecturer has shown promise in his /her research, teaching load should be reduced.

Here is a fact, UTAR is 4 -5 years old. It has focused more on quantity than quality. It is not morally right or worng per se. It is what the market wants.

However, if it continues to focus on quantity, it would not go very far. Look at KTAR and its staff. Sure they produce good students but quality research? this is after more than 30 years. There is still no sign that the KTAR management is changing its course. If UTAR management were to follow that strategy, it too will be so. Therefore, the vision of a premier univ is merely framed words on a wall.

Yes, let this forum discussion continues to put pressure on the management bacause open discourse is truly ACADEMIC !!!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget, MCA may be the promoter of UTAR. They have done a great job organising its start up, big thank you to them. However the money to set it up comes mostly from public donations. Donations come from not only the big towkays, but also the taximen, hawkers, and men on the street. These people enable UTAR to charge affordable fees.

Equally important are the parents who send their children to UTAR. Doners and parents include people from beyond the Chinese community which the MCA represents. These are the stakeholders UTAR management should be answerable to.

Public universities do not feel the need to be accountable to the public, only to the political masters. Other private universities and colleges are accountable only to the owners and shareholders. This forum has opened up a channel for stakeholders of UTAR to have a voice. Whether UTAR managment choose to practise accountability to its stakeholders is yet to be seen.

What do the stakeholders want? Quantity? They already got that from KTAR. Do they want another KTAR, or do they want a great university beyond what KTAR can offer? Stakeholders, state your case.

Anonymous said...

The last part should read -

"Do they want another KTAR, or do they want a great university beyond what KTAR OR OUR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES can offer? Stakeholders, state your case."

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, UTAR's rapid development has laid the groundwork for mediocrity. It is as if the powers that be behind the establishment of UTAR want the university to develop fast so that their legacies can be seen during their tenure in office. Apparently they want the facade to be in place but what is inside is another matter. They also appear to want to do it cheaply. The hiring of senior personnels with little or no previous experience at senior positions in major research institutions overseas is disappointing. I am not sure what role the International Advisory Council plays in the development of UTAR. If the members are international academic elites, the result at UTAR certainly does not show their thougtful inputs into what makes a quality institution. The CEO can only do so much by herself. She has to depend on her senior personnels and that is where the problems start. There are just too many greenhorns with no idea what are the do's and don'ts from lack of experience in academia in western countries. They can prove me wrong by publishing their resumes at UTAR's website. The vicious circle has begun and so the mold for mediocrity has already set for UTAR because I am afraid it is already too late. Just like the public universities in Malaysia...they have to keep the people even when they know they are incompetent.

Anonymous said...

I ll leave a short note this time.
I just would like to suggest to have one of the most critical turnaround plan which have been hauled by me all the times.
It is applying higher or certain cutoff GCPA, maybe 2.7, for those ktar students who wish to transfer to UTAR as it would benefit both schools. To make the grading transfer more meaningful, I understand that ktar allows its student to update/supercede the failed subjects, which is not accountable to the diploma overall grade, thus only select and accept those ktar transfer who has two or less paper retaken/superceded.

This impact will not only increase UTAR student quality but ktar diploma's quality as well. Note.

Can I hear some affirmative voice here?


Anonymous said...

JA, nice suggestion, but why only KTAR.

UTAR should have its own set of criterion when it comes to credit transfer. Here is a proposal:

For each unit filed for exemption,

the student would pay a fee to take an exam set by UTAR faculty. There will be a refund if and only if the person passes. There is no need to base the judement of exemption of credit solely on the syllabus. Colleges and universities may not follow what they have on the syllabus. Students are given credits if they perform to the level deem acceptable by UTAR faculty.

This measure will put pressure on the academic staff to set exam papers if UTAR keeps its intake for each semester till the fourth week. By the way, UTAR managment, why do you allow transfer between programs or new students to enroll in the fourth week of the semester? If a course can be completed in less time for an average student, why should the course be set up for the stated duration? The underlying contradiction is apparent.

If quality is an issue, quantity must be sacrificed. Unless UTAR management still fools itself to believe it can have both Q's.

Anonymous said...

i've just finished spm and im stunned to read this. =/ and confused as well.

Anonymous said...

To Anon above who just finished spm

Wait till you join UTAR later on, you will be in a coma and not stunned

Richard G. said...

Hi spm student,

Take all comments by anonymous postings with a pinch of salt. Never choose a university just from hearsay. You never know the motives of the person making the postings.

Go attend the university open days. Visit the campus and see the facilities. Are the real facilities the same as those claimed or shown in the beautiful brochures? Then observe the students. Are they happy? Do you want to be like one of them? Talk to as many people as you can who have first hand information about the university – former schoolmates, family friends, other students as well as the lecturers.

Also look at the student notice boards. What sort of activities do the students have? Some of the notices can be very revealing about the sort of student life at the campus.

Then discuss with your family. Always trust your own judgment.

Good luck!

Richard G.

Anonymous said...

Richard G:
I am disappointed to read your advice to that SPM student. Checking the happiness of the students and notice boards? Is that how Malaysian students evaluate the colleges and plan their future? My advice is go to the Internet and read, read, read. In these days and age, there is no excuse for not knowing about other universities through the internet. In my time, we have to wait for the postman to deliver the prospectus. It is really sad to see students not knowing about various degree programmes and the universities involved. It is also tragic to see the same thing among the parents who put so much faith on the opinions and decisions of their equally ignorant children. This is tragic because education is not cheap and you have to get it right the first time. I am saying this because my nephew recently graduated from KTAR and went to UK to top up. He told his parents that a company was sponsoring him for postgraduate studies in the UK. When my bro-in-law told me about the company, I told him the whole thing appeared fishy, and till now my nephew is still waiting for the sponsorship letter. He can probably wait till the cows come home. When I told my bro-in-law that graduate studies in the US are fully supported by the universities there, he asked incredulously whether there was such a thing. That ignorance nearly made me go ballistic. Why they didn't ask me when I am right here in the US is baffling. I told him I am in the admissions committee for graduate students in my department and that graduate student assistantship is a fact of life. It appears like every students in China know about that except Malaysian. If you are going to do an American degree transfer program, check the rankings of the universities because many colleges in Malaysia offer 3rd, 4th, or lower tier universities as destinations. Some are even so far down the rankings that you need to print out several pages to find them..if you are lucky. Ask your friends in the US or email a reliable member of the Malaysian students associations over there. Don't depend on the advice you get in Malaysia. If you have a long term plan to stay in the US for good, then get a PhD in the US. That is the easiest because there is a special category for people with expertise and it is easier to prove when you have science or engineering PhD degree and relevant publications. Again, everybody knows that except Malaysians. It is all in the Internet and you don't need a con-man touting immigration advice for a fee to tell you that. Also, I cannot understand the fascination with UK universities. Many of my nephews went there. Why UK when the chance of staying for good is so much more remote especially when the costs are about the same? Heard and read about the violence in the US, then go to the smaller college towns in the US. The police officers in my town are so free that a traffic accident is an exciting event for them. They will be at the scene before you know it. OK, maybe a bit over-dramatized but that was my experience. If you want to study in Malaysia, then check out what your degree is worth upon graduation and what your chances are in going overseas for postgraduate degree. A bachelor degree is nothing nowadays. Look around the colleges in Malaysia and you can see them almost giving these degrees away efforlessly. Remember that higher education empowers people especially the poor, and don't squander your parents' hard-earned money by enrolling in stupid and questionable courses. I apologize for all these rantings but you can understand my frustration when students complain about not knowing what to do and then you have local colleges/universities trying to make a buck giving all sort of questionable advice. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Richard G is definitely from Department of Public Relations, UTAR.

Cant blame him...he got to take care of his rice bowl

Richard G. said...

Hi Anon,

Instead of labeling others this or that, what have you contributed to the discussions in this blog? At least I stand corrected on my postings. Our academic friend from USA did not agree with me. That is OK. Actually it is much better than OK because he contributed some very useful information about postgraduate opportunities in US.

What about you? Are you a PRO of a competitor to UTAR?

Richard G.

Anonymous said...

Richard G:
I am the anon guy from the US. My apologies to you if I sounded harsh to you. But it is really frustrating when students never plan ahead and always too gullible. That comment is directed more toward my nephew and similar students. I posted my previous comments few days ago and till now nobody, not even one student, asked how we go about making the decisions on graduate student admissions. A Chinese graduate student of mine told me recently that he read in a Chinese web site discussions on the questions I asked when I called the students to evaluate their spoken English. I was surprised at their initiatives to put together the questions so others may learn. That shows how serious and meticulous the students in China are in preparing to do graduate studies in the US. I think I have wasted enough time here and will not post again. Good luck.

Richard G. said...

Hi Academic friend from US,

Our Malaysian education system historically is based on the British system. So most students still aspire to get into Oxbridge. Times are changing and many students are now looking at US as an option. One contributing factor is that the number of UK postgraduate studentships has dropped drastically after Britain joined the EU.

I met some post doc’s from China at an international conference in US a couple of years back. One of them told me that he came from one of the top 3 universities in China. One third of his graduating class got postgraduate assistantships in US, another third in Canada and Europe. The remaining third stayed back in China. He said that he and his classmates really take the competitive US entrance examinations very seriously.

Perhaps for the benefit of students who bothered to read this blog, may I suggest that you outline here briefly the requirements and the criteria for the selection of postgraduate research assistantships in a US university?

Richard G.

Anonymous said...

I am a parent; non-academic reading the comments posted here and feel we should give due credit to the fact there is an opportunity for Chinese especially children from the working class to further their studies at a local university.

Give UTAR sometime to progress - I mean, Rome wasn't built in a day!

We cannot always measure standards against overseas universities especially UTAR is very much a fledgling in comparison. Of course, we would like to... but be practical.

Anonymous said...

i can't believe myself that i was not allowed (i repeat: NOT ALLOWED) to fail a TARC student even when it was obvious that he had comitted plagiarism? a reputable college?

Anonymous said...

fellow anon above^,
TARC n UTAR are 2 different entities. Why drag TARC case to UTAR??

Anonymous said...

TARC and UTAR...both same.

Generated by MCA!

Anonymous said...

You and your sister were born by the same papa and mama. Are you and your sister the same? You be the judge. ^.^

Anonymous said...

Richard G:
I went to MIC's AIMST website and saw the resumes of their instructors and administrators. Why don't the instructors and administrators at UTAR do the same thing? That would give people an idea of the instructors and administrators at UTAR. Also, why is the website so out of date, with no current news, etc.? These are honest, constructive suggestions and not meant to insult or degrade UTAR. No offense meant.

Richard G. said...

Hi Anon,

I completely agree with you. I think that is exactly what Tony intended this blog to do. To put up constructive criticisms and suggestions to improve UTAR rather than just “condemn” or post misinformation (which I try to correct) about UTAR. Of course, sometimes, shock tactics also work!

Unfortunately, I am not part of UTAR management although I do know of certain people (who are in a position to influence the policies in UTAR) who do read this blog. So all your comments are not in vain.

Unless you are thinking of a complete regime change, it is not easy to change entrenched vested interest groups. But without all your comments, it would even be harder to change UTAR for the better.

So please do not give up.

Richard G.

Anonymous said...

firstly i would like to thank you all on your views of the univercity of which i am currently enroled in. (please ignore my bad english, i know its one of the failings of my univercity)

unfortunately i would have to agree with most of your critical comments, despite which i still love my univercity very much.

first and foremost, UTAR is a politically motivated entity. that cannot be denied. a quick research on your part, however will reveal is not 4 years old, but over 30 years in the making. the conception of this univercity was done even before i was was conceived then when the may 13 incident caused loss of life. the univercity was formed by MCA to unite chinese, so to speak. its primary goal at that time was harmony in society, not academic excelence. to this day, students who enjoy irritating lecturers with out of the box questions like me still get the cold shoulder. "the nail that stands out gets hammered down"

secondly, UTAR is the last resort for us students of the lower income group who have nowhere else to go. with our pre-existing socio-economic background, you cant expect too many of us to be fluent in english. note also that UTAR students are primarily from a chinese language based background. while lectures presented in english, the lingua france of UTAR is still chinese. one cannot expect students to just change their primary language of +-20 years like changing their clothes.

as for complaints regarding their poor website maintainance, we students have a lot to gripe about that too. the reason is that the number of staff in relation to students is very large. while the univercity enrolment grew exponentially, the number of staff remained relatively stable.

lastly, about freedom of speech in a political univercity, my answer will probably surprise most of you. we are allowed to speak more freely compared to public univercities. i assure you that public univercities will not have views about politicaly motivated books, with the exception of karl marx's works. we have in our library books published by chin peng and lim kit siang. lim kit siang's book about the 1978 elections was particularly enlightening. allow me the assumption that no public univercity library contains those books.

thats all i have to say to defend my univercity. nothing made by man is perfect, and definately not something that is just 4 years old as claimed by some. even UM has its flaws, else it would have ranked higher than UKM in the univercity survey.

Anonymous said...

i'm kinda confused with the stuff going on here... but after reading the whole string of comments... some were kinda useful.
anyway- i just graduated form 5 and took SPM last year..
after delaying myself from furthering my studies for months. its practically time for me to choose where to further my studies. After going through the options, it was either UTAR or ADP programme in SEGi.

Questions is: for a basic degree,
is it a big diff if its a "Local deg" or a "Foreign deg"
frankly speaking- i've always thought obtaining a foreign deg provides an edge compared to local deg. comments?

i to0 agree with US anon that Malaysian coll offer lower tier US universities as destinations like the ADP i'm considering
then again. i did apply for UTAR and was given letter of offer.. its course starting end-May which i hav yet to accept..

although the coll here offer lower tier US Universities, least that the deg is offered by a US Uni which has been established long before ago. I'm certainly not here to de-grade UTAR but i'd stil have to consider the best option.

right. not that im that certain where to go as i'm kinda confused between UTAR and ADP as both has diff prospects. was rather afraid to make decisions as i'd definitely wouldn't want to make the wrong choice and regret for the rest of my life. advice pls?

spm student....

Anonymous said...

If you are interested in US studies, you should check the US News & World Report ranking and look for those universities listed in the National Universities category. There are 248 National Universities and you should aim for the top 124 (1st and 2nd Tier) universities in that group. Universities in other categories (Liberal Arts, Master's Universities, Comprehensive Colleges) are already far below the National Universities. Note that for Master's and Comprehensive. they are further divided into regions because there are just too many. There are over 5000 universities/colleges in the US. Don't be misled by ranking of tier 1 or 2, etc., in regional groups because that ranking is only for that particular region. In your case, Upper Iowa offered by Segi is 4th tier in the Midwest region under the Comprehensive colleges group, which is not comparable to the top National Universities at all. You should try to transfer to one of the top 124 national universities instead. Make sure there is agreement between your college and the US university to transfer credits up to 50% of the degree requirements in the US. Many universities would not give you 50% credit transfer. Top national universities also give you more opportunities to work on campus.
You should ask yourself first what you want to do and whether you want to come back? Are you PhD material? If you have no intention to do postgraduate studies and just want to get a Bachelor degree, then go to UTAR.

Anonymous said...

ok. i get it.. but as you know to0 at any time.. a student without A-Level cert can't enter those universities that you consider the national universities... unfortunately- only those universities that partners with local coll here will offer courses like 4+0/3+1/2+2.. without requiring the student to take A-Levels.. and i thought taking this route mayb better as i dont plan to take A-Lvls

anyway. if Upper Iowa is in 4th tier.. does it create an affect in any way towards the quality of the cert? as im not quite sure bout this... yet again. of course ppl would favor top universities...
I do intend to take Masters' after the basic degree. just that i thought taking ADP would be a better option as i plan to take Masters' in US too... at the same time afraid if i took the basic deg in UTAR, they wouldn't recognize it if i were to take it overseas..

as for transfer of credits. the SEGi offer told that its transferable anytime.. but i just had planned to do my final year there if i happen to take this route..

Anonymous said...

SPM student:
If you want to stay and work in Malaysia, UTAR is sufficient and it is recognised in Malaysia. I would avoid TARC for degree programmes.
If you want to try your luck and see how far you can go in the US, then I would go for the 2+2 program. That gives you sufficient time in the US to learn English and most importantly to let the US faculty knows you better. That is very important. The degree will be the true US degree. Furthermore, you get more time to use their better facilities. You need the support of US faculty to write good recommendation letters when you apply for postgraduate admission in the US. In some places, if you are continuing on to graduate program at the same university then recommendation letters may not be needed. Postgraduate studies in the US are fully supported. So, in fact your parents need only to pay for the final 2 years of the bachelor degree and you can support yourself after that. That is if you are conscientious in your work and do well. (These statements are more applicable in sciences and engineering where there are many assistantships available compared to business, etc, where chances are much less). If you are in a major university, there is a better chance of going to a good graduate school. Also, in your final year of the Bachelor program there is a possibility that you are allowed to work as part time teaching assistant (paid hourly at least $8/hour presently limited to about 10 hrs/week -- about RM1100 per month--enough to give you sufficient pocket money to pay for phone bills and the movies) provided your spoken English is good. Also, as a senior undergraduate, you may have a chance to participate in actual research work which can be really helpful in your future application for graduate study. All these opportunities are more readily available in larger research-oriented national universities. You can only work in the campus and not outside. However, that would make you very busy and I would not recommend that if you have a lot of course work to catch up because your previous courses in Malaysia would not be up to standard. I would not recommend that undergraduate students work if their parents can afford it because working takes up a lot of study time.
The 3+1 program gives you too short a stay in the US university for the US faculty to know you well.
As for the 4+0 program, in my view that is the same as UTAR. Furthermore, some universities may give you a certificate that say XX university at YY college in Malaysia. That would be useless in term of any prestige you hope to get.
I know that Sunway has Western Michigan U as their partner and WMU is a 3rd Tier National University which is much better than Segi's Upper Iowa.
Make sure you consider Taylor and Inti as well because some of their students have gone to top tier national universities.

Anonymous said...

oh well... i'll reconsider again...
if its too complicated then i shall do the RMIT course... 'nuff said

coz i hate Sunway... maybe will consider Help College University &
gosh.. ive been thinking about this topic like every single day...

Anonymous said...

"Postgraduate studies in the US are fully supported".. btw, what do u mean by fully supported in this phrase?

and when i finish my studies, am i allowed to like work there for some time? i think there's a work permit or something.. im sure that before
postgraduate, the student has to be working for a while

btw, just inquired SEGi.. they claim to allow transfer of credits to other universities in U.S and not necessarily Upper Iowa... but of course, admission is not 100% compared to Upper Iowa.. which most likely is 100%.. how true is that?

Anonymous said...

Fully supported means your tuition fees will be waived and you get annual stipends of about US$20 K or more depending on universities and cities, with higher stipends in cities where cost of living is much higher. That pay is more than enough for a single student and some graduate students are able to support a family. Since students can survive with less than US$1 K per month for food, accommodation, etc., they usually have money left over to do some travelling and buy a car.
After you graduate in the US, you are allowed to have 1 year practical training. During this time, you can apply for any job just like anybody else and accept any job offered to you. Within that 1 year period, you must try to land a job and get the employer to change your visa to a H1 (or you all may call it work permit) that allows you to work for up to 6 years (if I am not mistaken). The H1 is for a specific employer and you need to get a new one for a new employer. (Typically takes about 2 months for new H1). While you are on H1, you must try to get the employer to sponsor you for a green card, or PR. The process is very easy if you have a PhD with some publications, because there is a special category for people with expertise in areas of national interests such as sciences and engineering.

Anonymous said...

ok.. thanx alot for yr help..
actually got a friend too that juz came back from US after living there for 13 yrs... could hav asked him
but he's too busy.. oh well..

thanx again!

Anonymous said...

The teaching staff of UTAR is actually better than many Malaysian public universities such as Universiti Malaya,Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,etc most of the lecturers in these so called 'top universities' are Malays and they are so stubborn that still using Bahasa Melayu in their lectures.I've studied in UM before and after being disappointed to their poor system and attitudes, i decided to further my tertiary study in UTAR.After studying in UTAR,I find its course syllabus are much better than local public uni as they are more emphasizing on student English standard by including at least one English writing or oral presentation subject in every semester.This is what i have never experienced before when i was in UM.Furthermore,from what i have observed,the lecturers in UM are generally arrogant and slack,some of them even shorten the lecture hours frm 2 hrs to merely an hour!
Regarding to the student quality,i don't think public Uni students have any advantages over UTAR students because majority of them are Malays and some scholars who failed to get the course of their choices in public uni would choose to study in UTAR like my case as UTAR offer low cost and quality degree courses.Tht's all I have to comment on this topic.THX!!!!

Anonymous said...

im dead.. i love utar so much

-tang lai meng-

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 8/05/2007 02:54:00 PM
You are so sick (in the head). I think you must love Hospital Bahagia in Tanjung Rambutan very much. Get yourself admitted there and don't ever come out.

Anonymous said...

I don't think utar students can rely only memory skills to get As in exams. i got distinction in Tarc diploma but got a paltry 2.9 in utar. i don't know what went wrong during the marking as i can do almost all of the questions and i have calculated the rough mark based on the parts i missed. i shouldn't go below b+ but still i got 3 c+. even the answers the reading subject like pengajian malaysia where i wrote almost exactly like the notes also got c+. man, utar is trying to screw me and my friends up big time. not one of my friends got above 3.0. i was not even happy with the way they give coursework marks. really only 1 or 2 people get high mark. all the others get below 70. what is Utar doing? if you are trying to screw us up, just say so. we will work and stop studying in your university or we go back to take advance diploma in, i'm so disappointed.i was aiming for 3.5 but got this kind of shit in return.

Anonymous said...

Students who copied in exams in Utar gets higher grades than students who don't. so unfair. i guess really screwed up utar is.

Anonymous said...

Anon [10/22/2007 07:08:00 PM):
You probably have not adapted to university learning yet. College and university are different institutions. A student who scores very well in colleges may not necessarily fare well too at university. It depends on how fast he adapts to university system, which requires much independent work on the part of the undergraduate.

The study methods and exam strategy you employed (quote "....can do almost all of the questions and i have calculated the rough mark based on the parts i missed.....even the answers the reading subject like pengajian malaysia where i wrote almost exactly like the notes...") are ill-suited for university learnings. For a starty, you should prepare yourself adequately for any possible questions that may be examined upon, and while answering, you should always meet the requirements of questions, and not regurgitate the whole of your lecture notes.

Do your best to adapt by acquiring proper study skills for university learning. Blaming the university for not giving you the results you achieved during college is not the way. The fact that most of your friends did badly and only 2 students scored in the exam merely points to the high exam standards set by your univesity. And your study exam strategy is most unsuitable for such difficult exams.

You'll only get similar "screwing and shitting" from any university that maintain its standards,if you do not try to adapt. Indeed, prior to entering a university, students should take a good look at themselves and consider if they can withstand the academic rigours of a university, or should they best go to colleges or start working instead.

Anonymous said...

Nice comments, I do only manage to read 20% of it. Sorry for that.

I'll just leave my comment here.
I am a student pursuing degree in UTAR in 2008.

What can I see from the inside. The administration is a bit messy, yet they work so hard to serve everyone, including me indeed.
Sorry, I have to admit I'm a chinese too, who escape away from the hopeless IPTA and Local U^^ About those discrimination, I have no comments. You can see chinese almost everywhere in UTAR, few non-chinese. But I did treat them well, maybe this is only what I can do?
After 1 year of study in UTAR, I found that no matter how good a University is, it's still the responsibility for a student to take some initiative and hardwork if one wishes to excel and adapt in society after graduation of UTAR.

I look forward for a better UTAR in the future. As a student, I will just have my normal life, study smart, respect others, maintain the so-called UTAR culture, while assisting UTAR {if I can} directly or indirectly.

And now I want to be a lecturer or teaching assistant to serve UTAR once I graduate. Bless me, and bless UTAR.

Together we can make a difference.
*Happy new year 2008*

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr ZZZ,

WE will appreciate if the lecturers can assist by informing the students not to throw rubbish and lunch boxes on to the classroom floor. Presently they just leave the lunch boxes on the floor and carpet of the classes. It is part of education, so I hope that your end can assist.

Thank you


Dear Lecturers

XXX is from PA block. She has officially raised this issue and made the matter known to the University Registrar (Dr YYY).


All lecturers are required to lookup the word APATHY. I may 'pop quiz' you during the next annual review.


Anonymous said...

It's funny that my friends and I who has decided to do our foundation in PJ Campus received the offer letter just less than a week before our January intake date (7th Jan 2008, and that letter demanded us to make our arrangements as soon as possible and continue our studies in the new Perak campus. It's good that they're having the new batch of students for year 2008 to study in beautiful campus environment of Perak, but all of us living in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city were totally unaware of our immediate transfer to Perak eventhough we haven't been to mass call yet (and we did clearly stated in the admission letter about our request to study in PJ). We did asked whether we could do our foundation first in Pj, and later our degree in Perak, knowing most of the degree programmes have been shifted to Perak campus, but yet it's unfortunate this kind of thing happen to us out of the blue. We do not know the area of Perak well, such as landmarks and transportation, and we totally never refer to the staff during open day about the accomodation (we will be like sitting ducks if we ended up in Perak by now).

So instead, we changed our minds and wanted to study in TAR college instead. Easy transportation, and familiar places next to the campus. It's truly a bliss studying here.

I wouldn't wanna say that UTAR ain't that bad, just that they should have been quick in doing their jobs or at least give us a call or something. Though we regret not having to enjoy the scenery at Perak campus this time, we thought that our decision to pursue our studies in some place else might get us contented.

With regards,

Anonymous said...

Ah. It took me quite a while to actually read through all of these, and though it may be quite an old post, but I do feel that there are certain issues that I may have to voice out, even if it's the least significant one.

I'm a UTAR student, graduating from my third year soon. Here are my thoughts =)

1. "Attire of students is horrible not like a university student. Dressing code of the university is published but there is not enforcement towards it. Even those lecturers fail to follow the dressing code. Students actually wear slippers, singlets, cap and etc to classes."

I guess one may find it no different when compared to students of other colleges. These are higher learning institutions, not boarding schools or military camp. If we're to impose such strict rules when it comes to dress code, how different are we from being in a primary/ secondary school?

2. "Their English level is atrocious and not making any effort to improve it. They speak Chinese all the time, as if it’s a kopitiam."

Hah. I don't see why it's so bad to speak Chinese all the time. I bet this person doesn't know that in UM, all society and club meetings are held in Bahasa Melayu. And to take note, it's not true that the students here make no effort in trying to improve their English. I've never encountered anyone like them before who takes the extra step to understand the English language better. Mind you, that these are the very students who struggle with exams and classes but still able to score while at it.

Finally, it's not a matter of who's right, which uni is better and by whom it is politically owned. In turn is the fact that there's a silver lining in every storm. With the whole agenda about spoon-feeding and all that jazz, I believe that it isn't particularly in UTAR where all is about memorisation and regurgating facts. It's just basically the basis of education in Malaysia, which each and every one of us has lived with.

I've seen and met and known lecturers who I've grown to love and respect (ironically those that I dislike most and vice versa). I've encountered those who yes, cannot teach. But all in all. I guess it's the company that matters, and the willingness to want to open up your mind and learn from the people around you. I refer this to both the students (for I've found and made great friends that I'll treasure for life) as well as these lecturers who actually put up with ill-behaved, snobbish students like us who at times may think that we're too good to be taught. There's always a bad sheep in every place, but that doesn't make the entire colony of sheeps bad, kan?


Anonymous said...

Oh, silly me. Keep getting my phrases wrong.

*silver lining in every cloud


*black sheep in every flock

wonder said...

i need help...i am a student from UTAR and i am sorry to say i think its the worst place someone could be in. the lecturers could barely speak english, and i think my standard of english is dropping. its lucky that i came froman english speaking family. i enter UTARbcoz i got 8a's and needed an affordable education so i took the scholarchip there... now i am truly regreting my choice because i din learn anything much....the lecturers have horrible english... now i am in trouble because i cant find a university or college that accepts UTAR's foundation...
could someone please help me... show me a way to get out of this mess..... i really and trully wan to learn and i think UTAR is wasting my time...

Anonymous said...

I'm currently a student studying in utar,i was a student from chinese independent secondary school.i think that the existance of utar is very good because it provides chinese independent school graduates a back up plan of getting a degree.I get quite outstanding result in my uec but because my parents can't afford to send me to overseas university and because i do not have spm or stpm certificate i can't apply for government university.Luckily there is utar to let me futher my studies in degree and i also get a scholarship from them.utar is good at the quality of their lecturers but uinterms of facilities they still have to improve it.Generally,utar is good in terms of quality but not in facilities.

Anonymous said...

1st of all as an ex-student KTAR & UTAR , let me describe what life is as a non-chinese speaking baba nyonya student in both institutions ( KL main campus ), 3 words: A LIVING NIGHTMARE!!!

Why??? Imagine sitting in the class with most of time hearing only cantonese or mandarin conversations not only from most chinese students but chinese lecturers as well!!!( Most lecturers can't even speak proper English ) That really gives you a nut crack in the head not having the faintest clue on what the hell they are saying!!!

Now most of you might think, 'Why can't you just learn to speak their language then???' OK now its sounds simple BUT the majority of chinese students I've known are VERY, VERY reluctant in mixing with other non-chinese communities, in other words., most of them will just ignore your existence if you're an indian, malay, etc. Gwie loh??? Hmm, maybe. So most of my time I felt being 'left out' & unwanted here. How pity. Not only me but many non-speaking students are suffering this dilemma as well.

Now I'm not against chinese students ( especially the lower income group ) or anything but
you guys must accept the fact there are different communities studying here too. Don't discriminate us just because we can't speak your language. ( I remember the WHOLE class ordered me to be quiet when I ask the lecturer to explain in English because he was talking in Mandarin. )

In the working world you will definitely meet people from all walks of life. How can you survive if you choose to only communicate & work with the same race???

So after obtaining my diploma at KTAR for 2 years, I decided to quit UTAR after wasting 4 months at degree level, due to the misunderstanding with alot of chinese students here that has a poor mastery of the English language.

Overall its not the institution that is bad, its the people who make it look bad, even though I was attracted by the cheap course fees, still I do want to continue studying in a hostile environment. Both KTAR & UTAR must really provide an environment which both 'bangsa' 'kaum' can study together comfortably or else you guys are no different from UITM. I apologize though if I offended anyone.

As for wonder, I'm really sorry we are in the same boat. You could start your foundation somewhere else. Don't worry though about the time wasted because you're still young. If $$$ worries you, you can try applying for JPA scholarship which I think 8A's is good enough.

P.S I get an average of 6 mosquito bites a day, the Setapak campus has a real problem with aedes & malaria breeding!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon above, I am a Chinese who cannot speak Mandarin and Cantonese, being from the south. When I was at KTAR many years ago, I did not enjoy living in KL because of my language deficiency. But at least at that time, students at KTAR mostly speak English. Probably the problem of Malaysian students not being able to speak English properly has gotten worst.
I am surprised to see many comments here about UTAR lecturers not being able to speak English properly. Where did these lecturers graduate from? China?
I have also seen that Chinese graduates from Malaysian universities cannot speak English properly, not only from UTAR. I have always wonder why that is so if the medium of instruction is English.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not lecturers speak decent English depends on the hiring as well as staff development strategies. I do not know about the latter, but when office boys are involved in accessing the hiring of a lecturer, than crossing our fingers is the best we can do. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.


Anonymous said...

for Anon above whom chinese but can't speak mandirin or cantonese:

Don't mix up the lecturers between KTAR & UTAR. for setapak campus, i can said those lecturers r well qualified! u can try google search setapak campus FES dean - Dr. Tham Choi Yoong. And i'm not agreed with the comments said that UTAR lecturers not being to speak english properly... ...u may try to speak to lecturers then only give comments.

Anonymous said...

UTAR could one day become the star of the academic community in Malaysia. The long-term formation and nurture of a good-quality institution relies on its strict selection of students who have demonstrated good academic performance during their high school years and at the same time on highly qualified instructors who were trained from top schools in the world. Look at how california Institute of Technology has developed into a world-class science school from a small school some 80 years ago. Money may be the key to achieving that goal. The nurturing must be fueled by ample funds from both the public and the private sectors. Would the rich Malaysian Chinese be willing to generously donate large sum of money to nurture such goal?

Anonymous said...

English standard of UTAR's lecturers:
I don't agree that their English is poor, it may be due to one or two junior lecturers who are trained in BM. But for those senior lecturers, almost all are trained in English.
Infact it should be the English standard of the students, theirs is so poor that it is really hard to conduct class in normal speed.
Next is their attitude towards learning- most expecting spoon-feeding or rather 'breast-feeding'. How to make UTAR excel doesn't depend on lecturers but rather the students.
I always encourage the students to improve their English standard by communicating in English with classmates. Next be willing to check for new words with dictionary. A journey of thousand miles start with a humble step, nothing venture nothing gain, there is no free lunch.
Remark by an ex-UTAR lecturer but part-time now.

Marc Ng said...

to anon above,

my apolopgies 4 commentin earlier dat certain lecturers spoke english improperly.

4 wat i believe is, yes its evidently there are students strugglin 2 use the english language.

thats y in certain cases, some lecturers might have 2 speak broken english ( or manglish ) 2 give students a clear understanding on wat lecturers are trying 2 tell them which in overtime they are used 2 converse the same way ( again i stressed its only my point of view ), but i salute those 2 though in trying 2 use the most simplified english as possible 2 communicate with students without comprimising thier proficiency.

what im really concerned as an ex student studying there is the personality & character of the chinese students mainly originated from the rural towns.

never mind if you're poor in english but,

can we co-operate together as a team during assignments, presentations, projects etc???

can we discuss the problem when misunderstanding occurs b4 it gets bigger & worse??? ( happens all the time )

can we show maturity & respect in our conduct towards faculty staffs??? 4 example there is always a time to cuddle wit your partners & not infront of your respective lecturers when classes are in session ( kantoi!!! )

moral values, participation & teamwork, which i found most chinese students are lacking, this is are what im really worry about, not just the english part.

in the end students from the south ( especially chinese bananas or other english speaking students ) will find it difficult 2 settle here, look at LimKokWing Uni 4 example, different races & cultures all mingled together in 1 campus ( i know la very geng adi mah so y wana compare so more )

sory ya tony im abit off topic here from your post x)

Anonymous said...

da rakyat: UTAR is chinese dominated, IPTA's is malay dominated & AIMST is indian dominated, y our education system has bcome like dat wan???

UMNO: dun wory evritin is
OK!!! undilah Barisan Nasional!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 3/20/2008 07:13:00 PM
"Don't mix up the lecturers between KTAR & UTAR. for setapak campus, i can said those lecturers r well qualified! u can try google search setapak campus FES dean - Dr. Tham Choi Yoong. And i'm not agreed with the comments said that UTAR lecturers not being to speak english properly... ...u may try to speak to lecturers then only give comments."

The anon you referred to was not mixing up KTAR and UTAR. If you read properly, they were both relating their experiences at KTAR and UTAR.

This is not the first time that a UTAR student is so impressed with their Dean of FES and asked people to google him.

So, out of curiosity, I went to ISI to check.

This guy only has about 10 papers, 20 citations, and a h-index of 4.

So, go figure out yourself what these data mean.

Anonymous said...

It's not surprising that such CV only impress UTAR students since they don't have chance to compare with other deans of other universities... don't look too far, Singapore is enough. The deans here have mostly industry background, perhaps they are a good manager, but they cannot figure out what research means. Even for the students' intake, they prefer to grasp en masse in the very beginning, regardless of their quality, in such a way that sometimes our homemade students with a bunch of A's need to complain the lack of place to study in an MCA spirit oriented university. Maybe at least these students can continue to admire their administration... Well, things may change since there will be a new president....

Anonymous said...

I read the comment that

"UTAR could one day become the star of the academic community in Malaysia. The long-term formation and nurture of a good-quality institution relies on its strict selection of students who have demonstrated good academic performance during their high school years and at the same time on highly qualified instructors who were trained from top schools in the world. Look at how california Institute of Technology has developed into a world-class science school from a small school some 80 years ago. "

Let me share with you, as a SME, I hired two UTAR graduates. The most recent one was dismissed. No doubt, academically, she sound good. But, practical wise, cannot perform and cannot deliver. The only excuse she could give us - she is fresh graduate and we should give her more time. Her lecturer (apparently she contacted him/her) also said the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Obtain a better gain by mass production in industry is said to be competitive, but it becomes a waste for creating uncompetitiveness in tertiary education.

Be able to sell mediocre merchandise in business is called good marketing, but it is a mere shame for the reputation in tertiary education.

Anonymous said...

UTAR is just wanna making money & fool the chinese society, even though it stated as non-profit organization.

not all the utarian are performing well after graduated, some r good, some r rubbish.

some courses r not required for industrial training but some r compulsory. quality of lecturer also depend on faculty... ...

now utar had changed a new president, hope he can done something on it, especially the management staffs. As all the ppl that deal with those staffs b4... ...utar management really SUCK!!!

Anonymous said...

Bigjoe99 said...
You are under the impression that UTAR is an act of positive development, when in fact its an act of desperation. I remember when Merdeka University was approved by Tunku (and then objected by UMNO ultras) and most Chinese thought it was a ridiculous idea that they should have to set up and pay seperately when there was perfectly good universities around paid for the government.

UTAR is a political valve release for the frustration of non-bumiputras particularly the Chinese. Its a tool of oppressor who mean to keep its students down not really make them better. So poor quality is to be expected because that is what is expected no matter what the spin is.

Utter bullcrap.
You assume that the university is under political influence as thus,making the non bumis especially Chinese like you say 'tool of opperesor'.
This i can say is total pure bullshit.
You dont even know how its management staff works and hell,you talk about expecting poor quality.
So much from a empty brainer.

Anonymous said...

oo.. is PJ DAP Tony Pua and Ong Kian Ming blog. Don't act like so smart please. Open a blog bomb'ing UTAR just because of UTAR is under MCA. Both of you very childish,acting between author and reader and keep bomb'ing UTAR and MCA.You think that the public don't know what you are doing? never mind,at least the GOD know.GOD will give you the reward one day,or maybe the reward will fall on your family.

Now I only know,DAP member also treating pilitic as a games.Thank of you letting me know about this today,and I promise I will not vote for DAP forever,and also I will tell your "main purpose" of your blog to those people around me, let them know DAP people is how.

If you dare,or you think that you are correct and nothing wrong, please don't delete my comment and reply to my comment, because I want to see you still have what to cheat the public.

Anonymous said...

What the other commentors mentioned earlier, i would strongly agree with them as i feel a politically-based university beats the perpose of having a university which its main aim is to produce output(graduates) which are employable. I feel that this is an indirect way of campaigning and getting votes from the rakyat in the next general elections. And i believe that if you want to do something,do it with your utmost effort n do your best,as i realized that utar hires under qualified staff that lack in communication skills,especially in english.i called the utar help line and asked about my status in utar(as im sadly a utar student),and this is what i got from the telephone operator: "ha? i dun understannn,next time say nicely lorrr.."is this what foreign students (for example)want to hear?this shows utar hires half past six staff.clearly for a university to have a billion ringgit new campus in kampar certainly doesnt have the same amount of professionalism that utar is boasting about. Now for the part that im feeling very bitter about,the management.Besides its non academic staff being rude and unprofessional,i feel that they have a terrible way of managing the students welfare.imagine utar released the foundation exam results later than the degree classes started,which made students who already moved to kampar main campus to suffer if their results were bad as thay already prepared for the dgree class.why cant they release the exam results as early as possible??so that students may decide what to do next?of course utar is a uni that doesnt have good quality and professionanlism it should have.i personally think highly of utar when i first enrolled for this university.n now i feel the utmost regret to even be called a UTARian.

Anonymous said...

reply to above:
Please compare your fee with other universities first. If all the students willing to pay more, then UTAR sure can hire an english expert sit beside phone wait for your call. You should know how much you paid,so don't expect too much. If you want a perfect university,just go to HELP or SUNWAY,but think about you can afford the fee or not.

UTAR is open a door for those students that unable to get their desire course in Local Universities because of the stupid Quota and unable to pay the expensive private universities. For those that thinking UTAR education is no quality,please go to get a first class honors degree in UTAR and show me first, if you dare then go for UTAR Actuarial Science, i sure that even third class degree you also cant get it.

I would like to restate that, "UTAR is open a door for those students that unable to get their desire course in Local Universities because of the stupid Quota and unable to pay the expensive private universities". Our next generation will use their brain to think who should they vote. If u think that MCA can force UTARian to vote MCA,please show me your evidence.
Those that thinking UTAR is a "politically-based university", they are those anti-MCA people, all these people is very childish and very free, so simply find a nonsense point to attack UTAR.

Anonymous said...

Who is the culprit for causing the poor English standard among younger generation in M'sia? They are the bloody governing politicians, the big mouths who are good for nothing!
If UTAR could help to fish votes for MCA, then MCA wouldn't have suffered so badly in the recent 12th GE.
Phase 1 of Kampar costs about RM0.1 billion & not many billion for the building project, please be sure of the math.
The tuition fees charged by UTAR are peanuts if compared with that of Taylor's, Sunway, Monash, Nottingham,....
UTAR is in the trasition period in moving from KL/PJ to Kampar, so it is a bit messy.
If one who want to have a better steady facility yet with affordable fees, then don't go to UTAR but other IPTS's like INTI etc. You can't have both ends of the world, please.
I was the 1st batch of students using the TARC Setapak campus in 1976, it was many times worse then than UTAR now.
Before that we were using government school in Cochrane Road, KL for our afternoon school session. Was it better?
But we are the graduates who built up the good reputation of TARC.

Anonymous said...

reply to the above:
so ur trying to say:cheap fees=less manners and poor management??
expensive fees=good management,professionalism??

its a god damn university !U.N.I.V.E.R.S.I.T.Y! that status achieved must come also with a sense of professionalism regardless how much the fees are!dont have that 'university' status if its staff cant even speak proper english!btter open a shop house college!come on..ppl dont have to pay money just to have some ppl who can talk should be implemented regardless of how much the fees are..

Anonymous said...

I am not implying that cheap fee = poor service + poor management, okay.
If you are the student of UTAR & if you feel that the operator is really poor in his/her English, be more specific and raise it with the University there & then. You are the consumer but also the student, to me it is you right & duty to do so. That will be more effective.
I have quite often in contact with their operators/staff, I did not have such bad cases as you claimed. They are quite good in their English so far.
Since you are one of the students, do you mind to advise of how good is the English standard of UTAR students generally?

Anonymous said...

With my humble opinion...
I feel that UTAR no quality at all
If compare with UM UKM and USM even KTAR
UTAR is newbie and doest not excel in anything
UTAR is showing their stupidity to world in this blog.

Student at UTAR only discriminate other races.
sometime,I do feel that
KTAR student are produce more succesfull people and make big name out there.
UTAR just a newbie and taking advantage on KTAR.
They try alot of solution to upgrade their name.

They use KTAR name
for instance,we know that KTAR student are hardworking and
brilliant.That is past 20 years back.they claim that KTAR is college level
and UTAR is University level.
that is huge false statement.

they grab/hire MMU's engineering dean professor chuah as their new principle....
I have high respects to UTAR the principle but,not from student.
why I say so?Last time grab KTAR she retire.

Chinese minded...everything about money..I dare them do not receive
other qualification except STPM and outstanding diploma holder.

I think UTAR will could not survive anymore after 2-3 years time.
I heard alot of complaint from UTAR
student and keeping telling me that UTAR no quality and weak management.
As I know,
UTAR is set by MCA
MCA is nothing great nowadays...they love money compare helping poor people
UTAR also money compare helping poor student which really
need education.

UNIVERSITY is education center and not political center!!!!

Anonymous said...

To: Dear anon above
I felt pretty sad reading your constructive comment about UTAR.
I was a foundation student before and I am studying at Kampar campus right now, still I didn't see any symptoms you've pointed out all above.
As we can see there are supporters and critics with a mean to discuss the future of UTAR.
If you want to find the truth of UTAR, please visit it personally rather than commenting by looking at previous posts.
A little thing to share here.
I've personally talk to the lecturers and found that they are actually travelling from KL to Kampar to teach for few days a week rather than hold a permanent post as a lecturer in Kampar campus.
I really salute them and appreciate with what I have now even though there are some unsatisfactory portions to be improved.
We shall see, 3 years after if this blog alives, I shall get a degree from UTAR.
Please, keep commenting on this, we need more intelligent people to voice up their opinions about how UTAR should go in future.

Anonymous said...

YB Tony Pua,
I'm always ur supporter ever since u are active in PJ areas.However, after reading your irresponsible oomments abt UTAR, i'm really disappointed to u.Your real intention is just want to attack and bombard MCA by using UTAR as a scapegoat. UTAR's image has been tarnished by your irresponsible and groundless accusations. There are many good students who excel in their STPM and SPM pursuing their tertiary studies in UTAR. UTAR provides them a more secured option and better opportunity to pursue their dream courses.The quality of education has been strengthened as there are getting more good students choosing UTAR as their choice to pursue their dream while public universities tend to close their doors for them.Please stop sabotaging UTAR while ur arrow is actually pointing to MCA. Eventually, the victims of your irresponsible actions would be UTAR students and the university, not MCA or their leaders.

Anonymous said...

It is time for the Alumni to gather and show the strength and contribution. We need to setup a strong and independent UTAR Alumni!!!

the future of UTAR will begin from there!!

bear in mind my vanguard!!we need a long sighted and affluent and influential alumni!!
let the wind blows, the alumni pole untouched!!

Alumni Association is the 'exit-plan' for the better UTAR.


Anonymous said...

UTAR-MCA relationship cannot be deny.
MCA is "Puak Cina Kapitalist" or The Shang class.

They are the Merchants and Traders class who are in power with the Westerners' help, just like the Kuomintang party in mainland China during the 1930-1949.

Under UTAR, you are not "liberated" but still under Malaysian capitalists' control.

To bring the great order to Malaysia, then DAP must rise up to power in forming the next Malaysia Government, then DAP shall truly represent the Shi class,the intellectuals class and has the mandate to form their own university.

Only then the real genuine intellectuals-academicians on this land, are truly liberated, in order to heal this nation.

This is a case of

Water-Wood "Capitalism"
Fire-Earth "Socialism"

Anonymous said...

At least UTAR much much better than UITm! So dont complain . Just smile you are so fortunate

Anonymous said...

To Mr. “I feel that UTAR no quality at all”,

Kudos for telling me that I just finished my studies from a newbie university that doesn’t excel in anything and shows off their stupidity to the world in this blog.

Wow…!!! That’s like so heart breaking and I only got to know this ugly truth after spending 3 precious years there. NOT…!!!
Are you telling me that my beloved university needs to win some kind of mojo international award to prove that they have what it takes to give me and a thousand others a proper tutelage...? Says who...? Oh wait a minute, it was you…

We do not discriminate other races and the only reason that we (I’m talking on behalf of the U now, because when you’re talking bad about it, you’re also referring to me, DIRECTLY…!) have a near-to-nil intake of Malay students is due to the fact that they do not want to join us in the first place although UTAR’s tutorial fees are the lowest among other *private* higher learning institutions.

And seriously, all of our students really don’t give much thought about KTAR than you think. All we know is that any of their diploma students who want to pursue their degree will join us during our 2nd year of studies.

*Surprisingly*, UTAR is indeed at an university level as most of the KTAR’s hardworking and brilliant students who tried their hands into acquiring a degree found that our studies is indeed harder than their previous college level materials. Revelation…? NOT…!!! 1st point done.

Hmmm, your 2nd point seems a little confusing because it seems that you’re once again implying akin to that Jose Mourinho shouldn’t go to Inter Milan because he was once a renowned coach at Porto and Chelsea…? Well, I hope Lampard stays or else lots of MMU students might flood UTAR in the next intake.

3th? 3th? LoL…!!! That’s why when you are in a court case, you always hire the best defense lawyer you can get with all the money you have, and not one who can’t number their 3rd point as *THIRD*. Guess the prosecutors won’t even break a sweat in landing you into the nearest state penitentiary.

The only reason you branded us as Chinese-minded may originate from the reality that we’re founded by MCA and as stated above, our students’ racial composition ratio (approximately 85% Chinese, 14% Indians, 1% Others).

Well, everything does revolve around money nowadays BUT if you can tell me any tertiary institution that provides free education (as in FOC) without any kind of scholarship aid, do share your utmost secret with all of us here, okay…?

About you “daring us to not receive any other qualifications except STPM and outstanding diploma holders”, I think if you were only willing to drop by the school’s website’ for less than a minute’ and click on the *Admission* tab above it, you will get all the answer you want.

Heck, if UTAR *will could* not survive anymore in 3 years top, what’s the purpose of going through all the hardship of establishing the main Kampar campus then… For some yippee-kay-yay fun is it…?

I won’t even be getting my last semester result way across the South China Sea in only a month’s time after my finals if it was due to *weak management*.

Lastly, MCA doesn’t love money (because money can’t love you back, it’s just a piece a polymer paper) and trust me, I’m a banking graduate after all plus I know that they’re helping me in getting the quality education that I need or else I’ll be a “Serat Kayu” (sure sounds way cooler) grad.

That’s all… Thanks for reading and god speed.

P.S. All of our lectures are conducted in English (nearly all the textbooks are from American publisher and better yet, they’re subsidized by UTAR themselves, and we have it like way cheaper than MPH), and that’s what I would consider to be that little niche UTAR grads have over public U grads (Haha, you guys are still great btw, love your school break that lasts for more than a month, we only have it like 3 weeks max over here) .

Anonymous said...

Hear ye, the last part in of the P.S. section where I mentioned that “I would consider to be that little niche UTAR grads have over public U grads”, I wasn’t *intentionally* referring to the superbly low-cost books that we enjoy since if you read at first glance with those bracketed sentence in, it might seem that way… It’s actually the medium of interaction that I’m referring to, in 100% pure ENGLISH… Silly me…!!!

P.P.S. Make sure to get a hold of Metro Station’s self-titled debut album… It rocks…!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm Mr.UTAR no quality at all.

Who got right to say UTAR no quality?

1st public
2rd student
3th educator
4th employer

Have u ever here public telling that Harvard university no class??Are they able enter that top
university if they claim Harvard university no quality?

Who is going to study in University when they finish secondary level of study.what is student's choice is their list?public University?

Educator got right to say an undergraduate is weak in the university..cuz,this will include themself as weak in,their responsible is to teach well...

Are employer are going to employ a no quality university student?If got, tell me so...share with me.I have many friend and brothers from UTAR.They seeking jobs now...

Well,dun compare UTAR with UiTM...
That is totally raciz..which i hate it the most..
UiTM is no in my list..cuz,I'm chinese and no way for me to enter.Pity UiTM student too..they also need to study.I got Prove that UiTM is better than UTAR.Dun make me take out the evident.That is very discorage..

I visit UM,UTM,UPM during my form 6 school trip.I'm the one of the active during my secondary school.
what I saw? A group of Local University having group study in the library..all loking very serious..which make me wanted joint them to have spirit of study.

I dare to say..If u are non-bumi and able to get a seat in UM that means you are brilliant and lucky..congrulation to u.

I got some UTAR senior reply and showing that they are no agree with my humble opinion.I respect their view..
but,when they say MMU student will flooded at UTAR =="
are MMU student needed to flooded in UTAR?sorry to tell..
Pro.Chua can't make many changes in split second.
Why?I dare to say I got relationship in internal war in UTAR.I can't mension that much in here...but,It is very ugly to share it here.

I Write comment is to warning that UTAR dun to proud with the name and keep on dreaming to move to kampar..they are still a lot mistake they done.

honestly,pity the senior..risk their future in UTAR without knowing the weakness in UTAR.If u are the senior from UTAR.Please dun get panic..Just do your part!
dun let UTAR make u down with stupid system.

towards foundation student..
u are not great over there..I u get offer there..u accually at the hell of UTAR.they want your money and not your talent.cuz,the system does no count your add math at all.I get shock after I do internal servey..
do you receive a freshman booklet with fine this and fine that..that is horrible.

towards ex-UTAR/UTAR
My own brother facing same fate as you all.u can disagree.
I dun think u will simply agree with what I say.cuz,hardly to accept what people bombard you.sorry to tell that,my own friend is come from UTAR.Many if them very regret now.

let me ask you.
1st are u from KTAR-diploma

if yes,ans me..why u want to take UTAR?
my ans..KTAR's advance diploma exam paper is very high level.

2rd are you from STPM
if yes,why u so stupid go UTAR?just go overseas..
cuz,I got many sponsor after my STPM.

3th are you from UEC/A-Level/SAM/

UEC-No choice
SAM-No choice
A-level-No choice
can tell u that..u totally no choice and have study in UTAR..cuz,u take this kind paper also wanted to overseas.

Anonymous said...

Well, glad to hear from you back “Mr. UTAR no quality at all”…

But before I begin on uttering any blasphemous words to anonymous people who considers the university of my choice as of ‘no-quality’, I want all of you intellectual people to know that the name that I use (as in this blog comment) is my real name…

Why then do I don’t use some hokey-pokey made-up name or remain invisible like most of this blog commenter’s do?

Simple… Simply because if I reply back to other people with the intention of them knowing what they are writing doesn’t hold up to what they said, I don’t hide behind a shrouded-layer of anonymity to get my points across.

You want transparency, I’ll give it to you a notch up… Bare-naked…!!!

1st point “Who got right to say UTAR no quality?”

Yes… All of these entities have the right to say that UTAR have no quality (even I have the right say that), but merely claiming it without any strong foundation to back it up is totally absurd.

It’s like me telling you all that ‘Do you know why does the alphabet only contain 26 letters AND not more or less’? I know the answer, it’s because La-li-lu-le-lo(google it…) made so. But IRONICALLY, as much as I like to believe it, even I don’t have the evidence to support my statement…

Same goes to word-of-mouth, you might believe our university as of xxx-quality based on your brother’s rant, but unless you experience it for yourself, your thoughts are practically groundless. (Hey, speaking of your brother, isn’t he the one who supposed to be here lamenting on UTAR instead of you?)

Yup, Harvard University is really a prestigious school, no doubt about it and given that my dad is a retired government air-man, mom is a house-wife and nearly all job posts that pays a decent salary requires you to be a diploma/degree holder… Obviously, public U would be my ultimate choice, but let’s just say that the choices of course offered to me are a real letdown.

I even waited for the “rayuan” letter (causing me to miss the May intake for UTAR) but sadly what I hoped for didn’t materialized (offered zilch aka. na-da, ta-da, apa-pun-tiada) and luckily UTAR went the extra mile by having another intake in July for that year, insuring people like me to have a decent shot at a proper education (I didn’t even have to pay anything for the July application intake as UTAR said that they’ll just use back my May intake info for the registration *JOY*).

And this experience of mine is total 180 to what some of you scholarly people who can still afford to call UTAR as having no-quality and greedy for money.

Of course an educator has the right to announce whether their students are weak or not (taking into account that these dedicated educators are relaying to their students comprehensible and easy to follow lessons), but that doesn’t mean that the lecturers are weak just because they have a few students who failed their test. Students are to be blamed if they just basically don’t give a damn on whether they want to excel in their studies or flunk it totally, not the teaching staffs.

A legitimate fact is that in order to be employed, you have to go out and seek out the jobs for yourself because these jobs won’t come to your front-door knocking, you know… A person (unsurprisingly, he/she’s anonymous too) commented here previously that he/she is disappointed with employing UTAR grads into his/her SME, now let’s wonder how they can ace their interview first before securing the job?

Funny how no one compared UTAR with UiTM before you brought up this matter?

Funny how you claimed this matter to be racist (on what basis… I plainly don’t know) and said that you hate it the most when magically on your next sentence, you said that you won’t even want to enter it because you’re Chinese?

Funny how you got PROVE (it's actually PROOF, but I like your a tad better) that UiTM is better than UTAR (in what way… I just don’t know… *déjà vu*), but you rather tend to hide it instead of exposing it? Even if it’s discouraging for UTAR, I bet that they will rise from the ashes and be better than before your-so-called allegations.

Wow… Group study in a library? WOW…!!! (Sorry, WoW MMORPG fans, this isn’t what you think it is) That scene is like found throughout the world at every library, even your secondary school one, mind you… Okay, maybe other people have different things that turn them on so I won’t delve into this further.

Considering the amounts of students taking the STPM exam and the number of slots allocated for the intake of students into the public U completely lopsided, most are virtually bound to NOT enter public U at all even after drafting into lower six. Hence, securing a place there (even if it’s not the course of your choice) is a major achievement IMHO.

About the part where I mentioned that MMU students will flood to UTAR in the previous post… It’s actually a JOKE okay… I’m not implying that MMU students will want to come to UTAR even if their ex-dean made the decision to explore a greener boundary, MMU is MMU and UTAR is UTAR. (Oh, did you know that Inter Milan already tabled a bid to secure Lampard from Chelsea although Scolari persist that Lamps wants to stay at Stanford Bridge… Only time will tell, precisely one season the most)

Wah… Not only are a complete outsider but you even have some*priceless* info on UTAR’s internal war that students like me knows nothing about. Hmmm, since it’s too ugly to share, maybe I can recommend you some high-class plastic surgeon who’ll gladly charge you some super-steep exorbitant price to beautify it for a rare public display.

Sadly, your warning is a bit late and it seems to fall into the wrong ears.

Pity the UTAR seniors without knowing their own U weakness? What are you actually talking about because it really seems like we’re walking (in this case, cyber-surfing) around bush here? What’s with the stupid system too (maybe a system which acknowledges you one, is it?).

To foundation students… UTAR doesn’t want your money nor is your talent, what they want is to provide you with quality first-hand education so that you’ll grow up to be a better person in this short 1-year (and also to know how to spell ‘survey’ correctly) before pursuing your treacherous degree course.

Oh yeah, unlike “Mr. UTAR no quality at all” claiming that your add math skills will go to waste at UTAR (utter gobbledygook), you geeks will be happy to know that we have the ‘Quantitative Techniques’ papers (yup… plural, since we have QT1 and QT2 for each of the semester in the first year) to satisfy your crave for mind-numbing calculations…

Yeah, baby… I as an ex-UTAR student find it hard to accept what you said about UTAR because it doesn’t have a definite truth in it even a single microscopic bit. Your friends might regret about it, but what’s specifically ‘it’? Not getting 1st class honors, heck, even I do regret about it…

Stupid for going to UTAR? Nope, the stupid ones are those organizations who sponsor a certain individual who can’t even properly label 3th as 3rd (and 2rd as 2nd, which someone repeated for both post as I only corrected the 3rd one in the previous post) to go outstation. Wonder who that person is btw?

No matter what background or qualifications you have prior before pursuing your degree (adv. diploma may have the same status as a full-fledged degree, but you need to take into account also things like where you obtain it etc.) the choice is entirely up to you on where you want to further it. Your cert doesn’t have any restrictive order that forces you to come to UTAR and YOU KNOW IT…!!! (But I really don’t mind if you do choose UTAR in the end, it’s a good choice after all) \(^0^)/

That’s all and a shout-out to all Kampar campus students (Drats, you guys and gals are damn lucky to enjoy that place… LoL…!!!)

P.S. I miss Smokin Aces thanks to writing this masterpiece, but what the heck, I love UTAR more than my HBO.

Anonymous said...

Besides some minor (or major, if you happen to be a renown author, editor-in-chief of a huge publication, TESL holder etc.) grammar mistakes...

The pure sin that Chelsea fans will want to kill me is for misspelling Stamford as Stanford...


P.P.S. Chelsea is coming to town in this coming weeks. So, be sure to catch them at the Stadium Shah Alam with ticket prices ranging from RM33-333...!!! Free publicity sure doesn't hurt anyone... LoL...!!!

Anonymous said...

I am so appalled by the standard of English that is written here. I guess this speaks volume of the quality of students whom I suspect are contributing to this blog lately. Please check your usage of English first before putting up comments, ok? This is an very shameful!

Anonymous said...

Apologies for the mistake in the last sentence above. I have mistakenly typed "an" in that phrase. It should be " This is very shameful!"


Anonymous said...

Why University student always mension about Chelsea??Let talk about real life...

Anonymous said...

Hey!!! I'm from UTAR...
UTAR no quality
especially the management...very bad.

Anonymous said...

UNITEN is malaysia best private University...UNITEN boleh!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm from foundation student...
I'm so regret enter UTAR to doing my engineering foundation...The system in UTAR is very bad.I wanted to witdraw from UTAR and move to other private University such as UNITEN...

Anonymous said...

UTAR sucking student money....time table also dunno how to do...only asking money...and always fine student...UTAR really low class.

Anonymous said...

UNITEN or UTAR also S**K!!!!
all private U only talking crap about their own good..

IMHO...Local U is the best!!!
let me name it.


UTAR=UNITEN=no quality
Local U=best quality

why? ask yourself...
where is your lecturer university come from?


stop talking crap...
Jin Shian stop claim UTAR is gud Uni

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