Malaysia is in Ostrich Mode over University Rankings

June 20 2014

Taipei, Taiwan

Malaysia in Ostrich mode over University Rankings

By KT Maran

The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2014 has shown that for the second consecutive year, Malaysia’s public universities have failed to make it to the top    100.


Malaysia’s PM Najib and his Deputy take Education Lightly

However our Education Minister is making good progress on thinking up a perfect excuse for it. In his response to the failure of local public universities to make the list, Education Minister II Idris Jusoh said the decline did not reflect the local tertiary education levels in the country.

He said emphasis should be placed on the entire learning process rather than rankings alone. “Rankings don’t mean everything, although we can improve (our performance). We must be realistic when aiming for a position,” he said.

The nation’s continuous failure to feature in any university ranking despite a huge education budget every year has not gone down well with the public. The Education Ministry received RM38.7 billion in 2013 and has been allocated RM54 billion this year, the biggest allocation yet. However we keep making excuses for the deplorable academic performance of our Malaysian Universities. Our neighbour Singapore is ranked second.

First class infrastructure alone is not enough to pull us out of this rut. What about the mentality of our students? What has happened to striving hard and putting in the effort to achieve academic excellence?

It does seem we are good in giving excuses year in and year out for our dismal academic performance. The world is laughing at us and our ministers are doing us no favours with their rationale either.

20 thoughts on “Malaysia is in Ostrich Mode over University Rankings

  1. Guys,

    What’s new? As a nation, we have yet to learn, unlearn and re-learn but we talk about life long learning. Before doing that we must recognise that our education quality is not up to par compared to those of our neighbours and resolve to do something about it. In other words, we must have the political will to make necessary changes. Excuses will not do.–Din Merican

  2. Pity for Malaysia and it’s a shame having to resort to excuses all the time in defense of its higher educational institutions. Wonder what the criteria of these various rankings are? Are the criteria in any way against our National Interests as determined by the Government-in-being?

    As far as our Government is concerned, external rankings are biased against Malaysia. If the rankings are favorable, they, however, will go to town with it. The real problem is that we cannot accept criticisms. How can we improve if our bureaucrats at the Ministry are reluctant to look at themselves critically.–Din Merican

  3. I visited University of Malaya in 1970 as an exchange student from Hong Kong University. I was marvelled at the nice campus. I was in UM many times subseuently, the last time was about two years ago, the campus has gone down-hill. I can tell from talking from the teaching staff, there is a lot to be desired.

  4. The gomen is waiting for FLOM’s Permatas to come on stream then the billions spent on education will bear fruit as Bolehland educational instns will be catapaulted into the 1st ten. Just you wait and see.

    I have some Malaysian graduate youngsters here with me in the US who have completed their studies in the STEM fields and none want to return to what they perceive as a system of mediocrity that promotes the children of the elite for jobs though dunggus they may be. Of course there is also amongst this group a child of a minister who while giving excuses for the lowly rankings of the education institutions that come under his portfolio deems it fit to send the fruit of his loins overseas.

    I guess if there is an international ranking for hypocrisy and double-speak Malaysian ministers would win hands down.

  5. When mediocrity is the by-word or the mantra of those high up what more can you expect?

    So many local undergraduates and graduates have come my way and, I have to admit, none really impresses me. Most, if not all, are unemployable by any standards. And that include some who are trained overseas.

    My nephew is one typical example. He was educated in Dublin but is an introvert who prefers to be with his own kind, as English is still a problem with him.

    When abroad he must have lived and mixed with his own kind rather those outside of his circle.

    I have seen these “kampong Melayu” in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. How are these Melayu elite wannabes gonna improve? Search me.

  6. The country has lost its plot long ago….this is nothing new.

    The Malays are too dependent on the government to change. Many feel the present ‘situation’ is to their advantage, why change?

  7. This bunch of maggots are incapable of recognizing the truth or taking positive actions to address the problem. They are too busy ‘polishing shoes’ to ensure their own survival.
    As a country today, with all the unnecessarily extreme comments and actions of those in power, we are already on the bus to Somalia….we’ll be there soon. Good luck to all of us.

  8. Yeah Tok Cik, it’s all about Mediocrity. As Dato said, the lack of self-reflection is the bane of Hubristic Non-Awareness.

    The Root of the Problem lies at the base of the Tree. When Foundations are Weak, so is the Crown of the Tree. They do not strive for excellence, nor ability – they strive for Recognition, Celebrity and Superficiality.

    For instance UMiT – with the billions poured in at the detriment of other public varsities, what in the ‘Kampung’, have they achieved? Kangkung-no-mics. Or Permata, under the auspices of THE ONE – when the only geniuses here are Sycophants who kneel before their goddess.

    You cannot breed ‘Intellect’ – you have to nuture them. Otherwise all One will have is Dysfunctional Mediocrats – like many of our ‘Islamic’ Ministers and Racist-Fascist Bigots/Extremists whose main claim to Fame is ‘Syiok Sendiri’. Overdose of Tangkat Ali and Krim Gamat, ya?

    Why on earth, would anyOne insist on making the biggest, roundest, smallest, longest, shortest or any other superlatives? Is it a ‘Racial’ Problem or a Cultural Phenomenon based on deep-rooted Insecurity, if not Insanity? That’s what One gets when everything on this Bumi is Politicized to Kingdom Come!

    So the Failure to Thrive of our Academic Institutions can be summed up as: “Style Ada, Menang Tak Bolih.”

  9. However, if there’s something good said about our local institutions of higher learning these same people will go about town trumpeting their successes. But when the news is bad they will either downplay it or blame the Opposition for making a mountain out of a molehill. The other favourite excuse is the criteria for selection do not meet local standards. What standards are they referring to? Beats me.

  10. Nowadays graduates can’t even string a sentence correctly, tenses are wrong, pronunciation is awkward. Problem is….they don’t even realize this!!

  11. Ostrich is right, with its head stuck in the longkang. The DPM said the level of education in this country is one of the best in the world. Goodness! How dare he utters such words. Doesn’t he know the world is watching. The trouble is we have clowns as leaders. I can’t help feeling lost and distressed witnessing the country’s rapid downfall.

  12. Siang,
    Me thinking of eating frog leg porridge……famous in singapore. Hahahaha!

    Tok Cik,
    I thought they would blame the Jews. Hmmm……..David Marshall is also a Jew. Me agreed with you. I have seen some in the university where RPK was born. Which place hah? Hehehehe! Ask Pak Bean la!

  13. It will take the revamp of the entire education system to get the University rankings up, as well as the need to rejuvenate the universities with educators of merit. It will take quite some time because the entire education system has been corrupted by entitlements rather than meritocracy. Everyone in this blog knows why the local Universities have gone south; and destined to stay on that course until the day comes when country stops hindering the bright and capable from achieving. When the country’s education and economic policies stifles the bright and capable, and promotes undeserving students simply because of race and religion, the result is what we have now.

  14. The no fail policy has created an artificial overcrowding at the finish line of our education system. We are now faced with a situation where those who have gone through the system do not want to do the difficult, dangerous, and dirty jobs because the rightly feel that they are overqualified for those positions. That gap has been filled by a generous immigration policy which has brought its own issues.
    Kita mesti belajar untuk mengatasi masalah tanpa wujudkan masalah baru.
    The Minister of Education who is also the DPM is not prepared to take risks. In stead,he spends lots of public funds to prepare an education blueprint which he has no intention of following through. Why ruin his political career!–Din Merican

  15. Glad you wrote about education again. As a person who studied at public university for three years (didn’t complete) and received my diploma in a private college (barely completed) and currently thrown my degree study in the wind (doesn’t see finishing it – just focus on my day job and professional certificate), I just lost hope. The student quality, lecturer quality (even those with Masters / pHD), management quality (top down, student facing to higher ups) and facility quality. It just sad. Can’t speak for other studies, but as far as IT goes, I’ve lost my hope.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.