PUTRAJAYA, 12th January – New aspirations has to be embraced in a new year, this includes the higher education sector as well in line with the “Amanat Menteri Pendidikan Tinggi 2017” or the Higher Education Minister’s Mandate 2017 delivered by its minister, Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh at Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC). With the theme “Redesigning Higher Education’, among the issues discussed were the policies implemented and milestones achieved in the past year, alongside with the ministry’s prospective plans for the months to come.
“2016 was a historical year for the Malaysian higher education sector as our public universities continue to rise the ranks in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings and our research universities made it to the “Top 1% in the World” World University Rankings.” said Idris.
Among those who attended the event were Deputy Higher Education Minister, Datuk Dr Mary Yap Kain Ching, Secretary General of Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), Tan Sri Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nor, chief executive officers (CEO) of various conglomerates, vice-chancellors of universities and higher learning institutions nationwide, MoHE staff and student leaders.
The minister added that our private universities are not far behind to that of public universities as some institutions showed remarkable results in the Asia University Rankings and the QS Stars Rating 2016. Among the private universities mentioned were Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), Taylor’s University, Sunway University and Multimedia University (MMU).
“If we make a linear extrapolation, by God’s will, two of our universities will be ranked as Top 100 in the World by 2025” said Idris.
Besides university rankings, the minister also praised local research universities for breaking milestones in the research and development field by having the highest leap in the world in terms of research and publication, with the amount of patents, intellectual properties and citations increased since 2007, which makes the Malaysian research landscape to be ahead of Singapore and Thailand.
Apart from that, the minister also discussed on the progress of the planned initiatives in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) such as iCGPA (Integrated Cumulative Grade Points Average), a holistic student evaluation system; 2U2I, a work-based learning system which students will spend 2 years learning in universities and 2 years learning in industry; Malaysia MOOC, an online learning database produced by local universities; Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL), a scheme which promotes lifelong learning among Malaysians and CEO @ Faculty Programme, which brings top local an international CEOs and industry player to share their knowledge and experiences with university students.
On the ministry’s plans for 2017, Idris has laid out the plans in store such as Gap Year Programme 2017 for public university students, Translational Research Year 2017, which is to translate university research to societal needs in line with the United Nation’s Campaign for Sustainable Development Goals, the amendment of the Private Higher Education Act or commonly known as 555 Act, increasing the involvement of students in volunteerism via Majlis Sukarelawan Universiti-Universiti Malaysia (MASKUM) and more.
By : Gan Zhi Han
(Photos taken from Universiti Tenaga Nasional – UNITEN official Facebook page)