Thursday July 22, 2010
V-C: Explain criteria for education rating system By EMBUN MAJID firstname.lastname@example.org
ALOR SETAR: Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak wants the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to explain the criteria for the Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education 2009 (Setara). “The MQA should give a clearer picture on how the rating is made because it is unfair that public and private universities are lumped together as they are ‘different’. “Private universities are profit-oriented while public universities aim to provide education for all,” he said after hosting a dinner with the media here on Tuesday. Dr Mohamed Mustafa said grouping the two under one category also gave a negative perception to well-established public universities, as they are compared with newer private universities, some of which might have been operating for a few months only. In the Setara rating announced by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin last week, UUM was in Tier Four with 24 other institutions – 14 private and 10 public – classified as “Very Good”. The rating, which involved 58 universities and university colleges nationwide, is conducted every two years and evaluates teaching and learning quality. Dr Mohamed Mustafa said that according to MQA, UUM’s rating had dropped, but the university felt that this was not correct. “We have more than 30,000 students, including some 3,000 foreigners from 42 countries. “We also have twinning programmes with foreign universities,” he added.