Yes, in the just released rankings table by THES, no Malaysian universities are listed on it. Critics are obviously going to have a field day. But they are certainly not going to be raising many issues which we do not already know. The fact that our universities are not competitive, are not rigourous in nature, do not promote and encourage merit and the total lack of transparency in admission and recruitment exercises served the perfect recipe for continual decline in global recognition and quality.
For the latest summary rankings table, you can get it here.
What are our vice-chancellors and Ministers going to say next? (Click here to read what they said last year) That the rankings are irrelevant? That they are inaccurate? That they fail to take into consideration that our universities are laden with "national interest" concerns? That we will speed up the recruitment of foreign lecturers and students?
This new set of data of course makes a complete mockery of the maiden attempt to rank our local universities, as blogged by Kian Ming recently. While the effort to increase transparency is laudable, the sheer lack of rigour in the local university ranking analysis renders the result superficial at best, misleading at worst. Universiti Sains Malaysia was ranked "excellent" for example, in the local official rankings table, but is clearly no where to be found in the THES or the Shanghai Jiaotung University ranking tables. At the same time, 6 other local universities were ranked "good". Has this become the manner by which the Malaysian government define mediocrity? That being "mediocre" (or worse) can be translated as "excellent" or "good"?
This blog found its "kick" sometime in November 2005, almost exactly 2 years ago, when we exposed the laughable mistake made by the surveyors when UM and USM were ranked 89th and 111th respectively in 2004. The then vice-chancellor, who had to be removed ignorably, Datuk Professor Dr Kapten Hashim Yaakob, celebrated UM's achievement like he won the Nobel Prize. Since then, despite the declared of objective of improving the university's rankings by 5 places each year, UM tanked to 169th in 2005, 192 in 2006 and now out of the official 200 list.
Prof Dr Nik Mustapha Raja Abdullah, vice-chancellor of UKM has also pledged in January 2006 when he was newly appointed that it will become a Top-80 university by 2010. I wonder if he'll make the same public announcement today.
Possibly, the vice-chancellor of UM will now use the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) university ranking table as the de facto rankings table, since she proudly declared in March this year that we are ranked 13th there.
"It is the first time they have come up with such rankings and the top 10 positions were taken up by Turkish universities. It is an honour that UM is in the 13th position while Universiti Sains Malaysia is at the 29th spot," she said.
Or for that matter, we might as well create a table where the world's top 500 universities are excluded, and possibly we might be ranked 1st. Or a table for the Malay archipelago ex-Singapore...
It is sad that our university administrators, our Ministry officials and the Government refuses to recognise the very simple and basic problems causing the decline in our local universities (as mentioned above). Even as the Minister of Higher Education, Dato' Mustapa Mohamed launched the much-hyped higher education action plan, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself was quoted as saying that "student intake in these universities would not be based on race but the enrolment must reflect the country's ethnic diversity." (faints)
I'm certain others will pick up this thread and keep the "conversation" going even as I don't write as much these days. I should be able to get my hands on the full report sometime tomorrow and hopefully I'll get to provide a more in-depth review of the current situation. And you can be certain that Parliamentary Opposition leader, Sdr Lim Kit Siang will do the same in Parliament.
At a cursory glance, the biggest gainers this round appears to be universities from the United Kingdom, University College of London at 9th (2006: 25th), Kings College, London at 24th (46th), University of Edinburgh 23rd (33rd) as well as the 2 universitys from Hong Kong at 18th (33) and 38th (50) respectively. The universities from China and Singapore declined, but are well within the Top 100. Well, more later.
it is expected isn't it?
our universities, at best, can probably qualify for the top10 degree mills in the world. while there s no doubt about the quality of some students in the local universities, the quality of its education is very very doubtful.
hahaha.. our local univ only know how to do politic & teh tarik 'research product'.. they hv all the 'R&D medal' hehe but less journal in ISI listed.. so don't say about citation if you didn't publish enough... our local uni also favour racism over merit.. I can say at least 60% of the local U lecturer don't deserve to be there.. there are many candidate better then them out there if msia edu is really concern about QUALITY..
Tok Pa has commented. From The Star...
Seems consistent with his approach to things... doesn't appear to be a denial. Will be interesting to see what the VC's say.
I wonder how many posters on this blog would bother to give the universities half a chance though. Seems to be more fun and 'truly Malaysian' to just criticize.. at least as seen on this blog.
Mustapa: Stress on reputation
By KAREN CHAPMAN
PETALING JAYA: Local public universities have been told to make academic reputation their main strategy so that their world rankings can be improved, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.
“Since the peer review and citations carry high marks, I have directed all vice-chancellors to make academic reputation their main strategy in improving their institutions,” he said in a statement yesterday
He was commenting on the THES-QS World University Rankings 2007.
The methodology for the rankings has been modified this year and for the first time since the rankings began in 2004, no Malaysian university made it to the top 200.
He said the public universities should double their efforts to improve performance so that they would be ranked among the world’s top institutions.
Mustapa said the universities’ leadership had shown an open attitude and were always ready to accept constructive criticism.
“I hope the efforts of our universities will get the support of all parties,” he added.
QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd managing director Nunzio Quacquarelli said Universiti Malaya (UM) was the highest ranked at 246, followed by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) at 307, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) at 309 and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) at 364.
“This in no way reflects their quality as we know they have been working hard,” he said in an interview.
Quacquarelli said calculations for rankings were based on data gathered under peer review (40%), recruiter review (10%), international faculty ratio (5%), international students ratio (5%), student faculty ratio (5%) and citations per faculty (20%).
On the performance of Malaysian universities, he said UM, for instance, showed an improvement in several areas including international students ratio, international faculty ratio and recruiter review.
“But its problem, which is also that facing the other Malaysian universities, is the lack of citations per faculty. What this means is that there are not enough people citing their research,” he said.
Last year, UKM was ranked at 185, up from 289 in 2005. It had overtaken UM, ranked at 192, compared with 169 in 2005 and 89 in 2004. USM was 277 and UPM, 292.
QS head of research Ben Sowter said modifications to the data gathering process included peer reviewers being prevented from promoting their own university and a switch to Scopus from ESI (Thomson) for citation data.
Yes, it's very Malaysian to criticise but also very Malay to be in denial. I will also expect quite alot within the media and pro-government bloggers to be quite defensive.
The decline of UM over the years as a result of UMNO's social engineering of Malaysia is only a small part of the picture. When you wantonly exclude the best and brightest based on creed and race, and promote those undeserving on the rationale that without the non-Malays, Malays will have more chance - it is a recipe for potential disaster. Replicate that on the National level, if all non-Malays were encouraged to emigrate through racist policies and barriers (Tun Razak's rationale) so that Malays have more chance, I predict Malaysia, as clearly seen by the UM example, will gradually decline into poverty. Think Cote d'Ivoire and Nauru as good examples. UM's case is a very clear stigmata of what is to come should the government persist with anti-Chinese diatribe and the NEP. I don't care what "Pak Lah" has to say about "National Unity" and "Integration" and as far as broken promises go, I've grown to be so conditioned to the hollow talk emanating from all BN MPs. Don't expect too much from a PM that has trouble walking the talk.
A few american varsities have made a big leap into the top 10. The traditional top Asian universities have continued to dominate Asia except for the NUS which declined dramatically to level with an improved UQ (my alma mater :)). Australia's a mixed bag with reverses of fortunes for the likes of Melbourne (another alma mater)
UNSW dropped a few notches which could be as a result of bad blood from their failed overseas venture, and so too has Monash. A very interesting year for the world's academia and rightly so for poor old UM.
What do you expect? Our universities will decline further again next year and in future years will sink into academic oblivion!
The captains of our universities are all not trully respected international academicians all the acdemics will respect follow and set as examples. Now to make things worst they even have increased dramatically the number of professors in our universities. Are these local professors really qualified to hold the posts and are academically respected by their peers?
Theoretically with several hundred percent increase in professors in our universities we would have 'MENGANGKASAKAN UNIVERSITI KITA YG GEMILANG CEMERLANG TERBILANG" ???
There is something definitely wrong here. What we are facing is the MAXIMUM STATE OF DENIAL. The VC s should be earnest in improving the status of the universities. If they cant then we can conclude that they are not the right candidate to hold such posts.
What is even more surprising our Minister in MOHE couldnt see this. I am shocked to see the VCs of our public universities are even invited or 'forced' to attend this year UMNO convention. Is there something that UMNO is trying to tell us? hehe
Come on Mustapha. Stop the charade and hype sounding names and classifications. You are the education minister and you must take the rap and explain why the universoties decline and what steps you should take.
We have enough of this 'sandiwara' and ' wayang kulit' Maybe its high time for you to resign woth your failures of Apex and research universities
Even UM ranked at 246 is still generous. If THES remove all the points for international students and faculty, UM will fall further. THES ranking is biased against US universities. THES database of US universities is not complete. Peer survey participants were asked to choose from a drop-down menu of universities. So, if your university is not listed, you are just non-existent to them. Just imagine that there are 262 national universities in the US and if most of them were to be included, Malaysian universities will be way out of the picture. Take the Shanghai JiaoTung as a guide and you can see how far UM will slip.
Wonder if the former VC and the present VC of UKM will be crowing this year like before?
But the oscar will still go the former VC of UM BILL BOARD HASHIM!
Yes, the Shanghai JiaoTung has a stricter, research oriented ranking criteria. Perhaps UM's VC ought to be thankful for the flattering rank of 246 of the THES-QS. Banners anyone??
QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd managing director Nunzio Quacquarelli said Universiti Malaya (UM) was the highest ranked at 246, followed by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) at 307, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) at 309 and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) at 364.
Only very recently USM VC was so happy and proud with the survey results conducted locally.
How good is our local survey?
Anyway, the bottomline is the THES results had been very generous to our public universities. When more universities throughout the world are included in the list, our universities will drop further and further. No rocket science or rockets will push them up.
That's why it is much much easier to send a space tourist into space and claim a cheap thrill superiority - as well as to make people like Najib feeling taller and, maybe, longer.
Mustapa: "..publications, working paper presentations and academic networking at high impact conventions were the main factors that could help to propel efforts to enhance the quality of Malaysia's higher education system."....
They still don't get it. They still think mingling and rubbing shoulders at meetings, conferences, and exhibitions are the main factors to improve ranking. How are they going to talk if they cannot speak English properly, and what are they going to talk about if there is no significant data to present?
UM's VC is now asking for more funding. Maybe they should first look at how much money wasted for publicity stunts like hiring so-called experts for their namesakes. While at it, they should also look to see whether faculty members have interests in companies doing business (selling supplies, equipment, etc.) with their own universities.
I wonder what "good news" Mustapha and his stable of VC's will be telling AAB and the on going UNMO convention today?
Will he blush or will he commit sepuku or death by honour?
It is not always essential to be ranked top. but in general i feel there are few factors that are responsible for the overall education quality of malaysia. They are 1. The standard and mentality (i.e. not willing to learn and solve problems by themselves, rather copy from internet) of the students. 2. Poor quality and communication skills of lecturers. 3. Lack of world standard lecturers and promoting locals with less ability (e.g. MMU). 4. The management trying to put too much pressure/restrictions on the lecturers (e.g. MMU). 5. Focus on immidiate output rather than sustained growth. I feel the total approach taken by the lecturers and students are result oriented. Student are happy with their CGPA even though their basic knowledge/problem solving skill is really poor. And the lecturers are just giving lectures rather than teaching and making it possible for the students to get in to the bottom of the subject matter. About research, ppl tend to go for number of publications rather than quality of the research.
I hope the Education minister of MOHe, the VCs will commit 'seppuku' in the face of decline of our universities performance
If they dare not use the "kris" to commit sepuku then please resign en masse
Have honour! Have public aCCOUNTABILITY!
This argument about CGPA is a lot of nonsensense indicating standard and quality of the students
Dont tell me a law graduate from UM with CGPA of 3,95 is worst than a 4.0 pointer from UITM and UIA?
In my observations, Singapore started the big push in early 90's by hiring many new lecturers irrespective of their origins. Many of them were mainland Chinese or Indians who went to Singapore as a next-best choice. They also sent a lot of top students overseas for PhDs. The impact of these research-active lecturers became more pronounced as the older less-active lecturers started to retire because the citation score is calculated as per faculty member. Presently, most if not all of their faculty members are active in research, each contributing to the citation score. But, while Singapore is building up their academic and research strengths of their universities, Malaysia is doing the opposite. It took Singapore over a decade to become a world-class university. Today, they are still spending a lot of money hiring the best. Their U.S.-comparable salary scale helps tremendously although I think they are way overpaid compared to typical Singaporean.
Even if Malaysia were to start today, it will take over a decade to become world-class because the efforts of a few good researchers cannot make up for the thousands of non-active or mediocre faculty members. At least half of them needs to be replaced before the contributions of the younger and better qualified faculty members become significant. It would take a long time for the majority of the present faculty members to retire and that is the amount of time needed to improve. That is provided Malaysia adopts full meritocracy today in its hiring and promotion of the new members just as in Singapore. I don't think that would happen in Malaysia because UMNO would not want to see majority Chinese or Indian VC,Deans,Dept Heads, and professors; and what to do with the potential problem of hundreds of unemployed Malay PhDs? The social and political costs would be too high.
One alternative for Malaysia is just to put its head in the sand, carry on as usual, compare only within itself or among the Islamic countries, and gives itself an illusion of excellence and world-class standing.
Even comparing with Islamic countries is not going to make Malaysia looks good for long because I have seen ads by a new university in Dubai, set up with collaboration with MIT. Probably they would do it differently from our MUST.
What is UITM position?
Isnt it supposed to be world class?
"Datuk Professor Dr Kapten Hashim Yaakob, celebrated UM's achievement like he won the Nobel Prize."
Yeah, I remember those banners too. See how we never cared to put in the right effort, but shamelessly crowed about totally unearned, undeserved, literally god-sent accolades. How now? Apa nak buat?
No, I do not think we will be relying on the OIC rankings either. Given our free-fall, it is a matter of time before we also show up badly in that ranking (or not showing up there at all!!)
The most likely scenario is that our government will soon set up an agency in Somalia (or maybe Ethiopia, or Burkina Faso), of course in the name of nominees, and issues rankings. That way, we can not only always put all our many universities at the very top, with our high-flying VCs appropriately glorified, but also show how from year to year the Ivy League Unis in the US and the Oxfords and Cambridges keep falling further and further behind ours. Good idea, eh?
Just be sure that that agency do not start to praise us saying that our Unis are "yang teragung" or "yang mengkagumkan prestasinya". This is because the use of Bahasa in their publications may reveal the identity of the real owners of that agency. See? We need to improve our English so that we can publish that ranking in proper Engish, no?
Mari kita MENGANGKASAKAN TARAF UNIVERSITI KITA!
Well...this is my honest comment (as a foreigner) that chinese ppl are too overwhelmed with the issue of discrimination between malays/chinese. You have reasons to do so. But getting completely submerged into this is too much. If u take MMU for example, you have the 2nd Boss - a chinese. And truly speaking sometimes he exercises more power then the MMU president itself. But the overall problems are still there. So i dont think it is a race issue per say. Although i think malaysia would have been in a much better position if the various kinds of discriminations were not present.
ya I agree with u, race is not the main issue but it has contribute to 'many extent' towards the mediocre ranking performance. See how NUS recruit their staff & their criteria for 'just holding' the position.. it is 3 citation/yr.. here in msia I don't even think a lecturer got sacked by not publishing 3 ISI listed journal every yr..
i am haviinnng a pain in my sssstomacchhhh.....can't helpppp laughhhiiingggg.....
to change it, start with
gelombang kuning at dataran merdeka 1500 tomorrow.
Accoding to insider's news, MMU's president will be replaced by some UMNO's moron within 2 months. From what I heard he is a professor without any ISI-indexed publication. Can you believe it or not?
The good reputation of the most hopeful univeristy in Malaysia (MMU) will again be destroyed by UMNO very soon!
It's not the race issue, it's the money issue. If you pay penuts, you get monkeys. It's as simple as that.
If you want to build a world-class university, you must be willing to pay handsomely. Good brains will naturally be attracted by $. Take a look at the top 50 universities, can anyone tell me that their professors are not well-paid?
No money no talk. It's the same in all fields.
The problem is that, there is always a certain quota for the appointment, depending on races. This happens throughout the local Uni's. Even if the salary is increased, nothing will change. The root is still the mentality of the people. If one stresses too much on defending the so-called racial pride without recognizing the facts, nothing can be changed at the end of the day
It is not a money issue, it is a race issue. We spend enough on research, and if we had spent it wisely, we would have gotten more back and so on. Malaysia is a 'rich' country when it comes to resource, all apart from human resources simply because a weak group of people becomes weaker due to discriminative and protectionist policies.
Contrary to what some people said, this is not just about salary but also a race issue. It is not a coincidence that top administrators that matter are all Bumis. Also, many non-Malays applied for faculty positions in spite of the low salaries. This is more true nowadays because permanent jobs in the US and elsewhere are now much harder to get. The problem is whether the govt is willing to adopt true meritocracy and to kick out those that don't perform. Making faculty appointments just to provide employment for a select community only exacerbates the problem of mediocrity and does not provide any incentive to work hard.
i'm anticipating their excuses.. :)
btw, apex university is unlikely to make a different if students intake isn't gonna be based on real meritocracy.
MALAYSIA GEMILANG, TERBILANG, CEMERLANG!
RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES, APEX UNIVERSITIES
All hype sounding words with no meaning. The system remain the same. The people remain the same. It will remain the same everything!
You cannot undo evolution that take millions and millions of years to evolve with a few decades of empty rhetorics and slogans!
I propose let us cut the crap of trying to be the best university. We had our chance, We had history to prove it.
Let us save our money for better things
The present state of our universities is " clinically brain dead" or " clinically unrecoverable"
God bless MMU,finally we lost the last hope :(
This blog always talk about IPTA, how come you never talk about our problems in IPTS, especially those unis set up by our Government-Linked companies such as MMU, UniTen, Uni Petronas etc.? These unis are given important role to play and partially funded by the government and thus the tax payers.
> If u take MMU for example,
> you have the 2nd Boss - a
> chinese. And truly speaking
> sometimes he exercises more
> power then the MMU president
> itself. But the overall
> problems are still there. So
> i dont think it is a race
> issue per say.
You are right, the 2nd Chinese Boss is the real boss because the President brought him from UM decade ago to control MMU as the President did not know how to do it. Other VPs are friends of this 2nd boss. The same goes with all other Deans and Assistant Deans, they are all his friends or associates. The same 2nd boss is also Dean of Engineering School, his PhD student became Dean of IT School right after getting an Engineering PhD., many of his engineering friends are dumped into School of IT because Engineering School do not have enough places anymore. The only Professor in School of IT is also a former engineering school staff, in fact School of IT do not have a single IT PHD holders! You can go ask MMU to prove this is not true, they can't! Just go to their website and check out the subjects we have to painfully endure, subjects such as multimedia operating system, multimedia expert system, multimedia marketing, multimedia information system, multimedia planning and everything are attached the word multimedia just to make it look nice and even our own lecturers do not know what they are talking about. So glad my suffering are over long time ago, good luck to current MMU students, i heard it is worst than during my time, I heard all the good lecturers have left because unhappy with the uni.
MMU's engineering faculty, in my opinion, is the best currently in Malaysia.
I do not know much about IT at MMU but as far as I know, the Engineering at MMU is much more better than any ITPA.
Ya, the 2nd boss is the main controller form MMU engineering and IT and I heard he has a "Dato" title :)
Though I wrote the "11/10/2007 08:03:00 PM" comments above, I agreed IT and Engineering in MMU are many times better than IPTA because IPTA IT and Engineering are simply sucks. During my time, there were many good lecturers around, most have left and one of them work in my company, that is how I know. Just wait for another 2 or 3 years and see what kind of graduates you will be getting.
According to my colleague, MMU lecturers are FORCED not to fail more than 20 percent of the students and the average must not be less than 60 marks even if it means that they have to pass students by giving them free 10 to 15 marks, actually the students also know about that.
It's true that in MMU, lecturers are FORCED not to fail more than 20% of the students and the average must not be less than 60 marks. However, if the average is more than 70%, they need to deduct marks from students to maintain the standard. Don't be surprised about MMU adjusting marks. The same happens in Monash Univeristy Malaysia and Nottingham University Malaysia, so do all IPTA and most univeristies in UK and Australia. Nowadays education is a business. If you fail too many students, you got no business!
In local IPTA it is worst...
I think most students marks are 'jacked up'
" Anonymous 说...
It's true that in MMU, lecturers are FORCED not to fail more than 20% of the students and the average must not be less than 60 marks. However, if the average is more than 70%, they need to deduct marks from students to maintain the standard. Don't be surprised about MMU adjusting marks. The same happens in Monash Univeristy Malaysia and Nottingham University Malaysia, so do all IPTA and most univeristies in UK and Australia. Nowadays education is a business. If you fail too many students, you got no business!"
Guess that you are a student from MMU?
I think that you have to get your claims proven. Pointless to fake up sth just to def the phenomenon. My friend who is in University of Sydney told me last time that their school administration demands a stricter control over the points
The ex dean of business of MMU, a Persian guy who is now attached to another third rate private university, was sadly only interested in making money. Further, he had qualifications from the now defunct Newport University, strange huh that he was even selected to represent MMU. Goes to show the quality of MMU. Might Mix Bag of Unwanteds
you are wrong. An international lecturer is regarded as an 'asset' under THES. MMU is 'smart' hehe
May I know what is the rank of MMU in THES? Anyway to read other universities outside the top 200? TQ.
MMU ranked in THES? You must be kidding. If that happened, I can definitely throw THES out the window.
I am not the MMU student nor lecturer. May I know why do you think MMU should not be ranked in THES? I thought the uni is performing well in research and teaching, right?
MMU is only 10 years old, but it has already surpassed all local universities. It's not ranked in THES I guess because of its young age. But overall, it has done very well as compared to all local universities. Just that it needs more time to build up the reputation internationally. But one thing for sure, not all of it's faculties are good. And this may pull down it's overall ranking.
Who says MMU is better or the best?
Talk with facts man! Prove it laaa!
I got a feeling the person who wrote this is from the university PRO department!
Hey, cool down men :)
What about you to say MMU is not "good", any facts to show?
sure MMU good.. earn a lot of money ... good for country, anyone can become lecturer in MMU
Are you sure "anyone can become lecturer in MMU"? My friend (he has friend working in MMU) told me you need good publications to apply for lecturer position and you also need to have good proficiency of English. That what I was told, agree?
I would like to comment regarding MMU . Firstly, it is one of the few (if not the only) university in Malaysia that requires lecturers to publish in ISI listed journals in order to obtain a promotion. In order to be a senior lecturer, one has to publish 3 ISI journal while to be a professor, one even need to publish 15 ISI journal. So I would say the publication is much better than most of the average public uni in Malaysia.
Secondly, being established for only 10 years, it is hard to get invited to take part in the THES ranking. Even Singapore Management Uni is not qualified as it is less than 10 years old.
Thirdly, yes, not all their lecturers are excellent. But they do have good ones, check the links
to name a few. Some of the bad mouthing seems to be factless. E.g. The persian you mentioned was not the dean, but associate dean.
Why bother if the lecturers are local or not. You think local lecturers at TAR who can't speak proper english are better than some of the foreign lecturers? When I was doing my post grad in the U.K, my first supervisor was a Nigerian (who graduated from Imperial) and my second supervisor is an Egyptian (a professor!).
Not to worry. UKM's ranking will move up, up next year - its model superman, the space traveller, will lift its ranking very high.
Next year all IPTA's ill be completely out of THES top 500!
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