"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."- John Dewey.
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Wednesday, January 07, 2009
UM's comparative advantage
Lest I be accused of always bashing UM, here's a bit of good news concerning the oldest university in our young country. "Singapore’s youngest private university, SIM University (UniSIM), is cooperating with Universiti Malaya (UM) to expand the use of Bahasa Malaysia at the international level through sharing of expertise, syllabus and training. UniSIM president Prof Cheong Hee Kiat said the two institutions hoped to realise the objective through such cooperation forged for UniSIM’s Bachelor in Malay Language and Literature programme." Good to see UM's comparative advantage put to good use abroad. Perhaps this can be replicated in other places e.g. Thailand or China?
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Soon in the future, UniSIM’s Bachelor in Malay Language and Literature programme will overtake UM as the most popular choice of Malay studies among the foreign students.
It is sad to see Singapore will leap frog Malaysia even in Malay study.
UM ,,please buck up on your programme quality or else you will lose.
Not only UM, but USM also,
MoU memartabatkan bahasa Melayu di Singapura
GEORGETOWN - Memorandum Persefahaman (MoU) antara Universiti Sains Malaysia dengan SIM University (UniSIM) yang ditandatangani bersama diharap mampu memartabatkan bahasa Melayu di Singapura.
MoU itu merupakan jalinan kerjasama terbaru dalam program yang ditawarkan UniSIM melalui Program Sarjana Muda Sastera Bahasa Melayu dan Kesusasteraan (BAML).
Presiden UniSIM, Prof. Cheong Hee Kiat berkata, pihaknya memandang serius untuk mencapai objektif kerjasama itu dalam melahirkan rakyat yang lebih peka terhadap kepentingan bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa yang banyak digunakan di Asia Tenggara.
"Program yang ditawarkan UniSIM akan memberi tumpuan menyeluruh termasuk pengajaran sejarah, asal-usul dan perkembangan sesuatu tamadun melalui bahasa Melayau di seluruh Nusantara.
(Sinar Harian, 19 Disember 2008)
BM saja ker? Cukup pelajar ker? Graduan nanti nak kerja tanam pisang ker?
but unisim is a dumping ground in singapore. those who are not able to make to to ntu, smu and nus end up there. many lecturers at unisim are without phds
maybe they are cashing in singapore name, just like there are two oxford universities in uk
Whoa... just have to jump in there. Please keep the conversation level, and not use emotional pejoratives like "dumping ground".
Let me disclose that I am a lecturer at SIM University.
Firstly: contrary to what might be inferred by the post which said "those who are not able to make to [sic] to ntu, smu and nus end up there" SIM University does not, and in fact, is not allowed to recruit from the student pool that the other 3 universities recruit. SIM University is geared specifically to the working adult population who wishes to upgrade themselves by studying for a diploma, degree or masters. Even though it is a "new" private institution, the Singapore Government recently recognised its value and announced that henceforth Singapore students of SIM University will be eligible for a state subsidy.
Yes, the students are not the normal 3 "A" levels people, but that does not mean the students are thickies. To think that is to miss one of the main points of this blog, which is to value education.
Secondly: "many lecturers at unisim are without phds". Agreed. Because that is not what we are targetting. Go talk to the NTU/NUS students who are in classes taught by uninspired phds. League tables are blunt tools and but one unfortunate side effect of the being fixated on them is the losing sight of the other role of a university which is to teach. Not all PhDs can teach. Not all PhDs are smart or even street smart. Heck, not all PhDs have actually used their knowledge in a real life situation! We have a mix of PhDs and Masters and more importantly, draw upon a large team of adjuncts to assist us.
In short - we provide opportunities for unconventional students. And trust that people will see that not everyone has to have 5 O levels and 3 A levels to get a degree.
As for what the graduate in Malay studies will do - well, Singapore has a shortage of Malay teachers and Malay speakers. The PM felt it was not acceptable that when an Indonesian General briefed members of the Singapore Cabinet who visited Indonesia following the tsunami only he and a few other older MPs understood the briefing, which was after all in bahasa. It is still the national language of Singapore, it is still the language of all her neighbours. So there is now new impetus to increase the study of Malay again.
The last paragraph of my comment above is my guess. The powers that be felt that a Malay programme was needed and provided one. We are a private institution, so I'm sure someone crunched the numbers...
UM's policy on interviews can be quite disturbing which leads to the interviewee being insulted for not what she has but what she hasn't. Secondly, by appointing full time academics it hopes to regain its status in the Top 200 Rankings. Why SIM wants to partner with UM is anybody's guess but I would rather sign a pre-nuptual agreement before jumping into bed. Further, having panel interviews in a confrontational manner because it wants to obtain local staff is also disturbing and throwing weight by means of showing academic credentials rather than proof of academic rigor is also off-putting. The local endemic way of acquiring honorific titles and academic ones seem to mean that the Head or Dean seems to have everything under control but really it is a sad state of affairs with discriminatory zeal.
Just to add on the what Anonymous said on 1/12/2009 04:13:00 PM regarding two universities at Oxford....
There are two universities at Cambridge, UK.
im agreeinq with dazzakoh regarding phd lecturers at nus who cant teach, i have been thru enough barely comprehendable lectures at nus
phd, head damaged permanently, many cannot even function as normal humans.
Agree with dazzakoh that UniSIM is not a "dumping ground". I am currently studying at UniSIM and this university is giving me hope which the other two local universities did not give me. And SMU is not my cup of tea. The situation is not as bad as what goes on at hardwarezone. Must admit that I was rejected by both NUS and NTU, but probably I am an unlucky borderline case. Over at UniSIM I am studying "full time" meaning not working during day-time and have good results to show. Although the China adjuncts have some pronunciation problems, they make up by other means. Also the fees include textbooks which other universities do not give. Anonymous who said "dumping ground" should visit UniSIM when he (or she?) visits Singapore, and not simply pass comments by just browsing the website. It is a nice place to be.
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