by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Monday, 3rd
Three Higher Education Ministers in 4 years
while universities continue plunge in international rankings and losing
out to Indonesia after left behind by Singapore/Thailand
Three Higher Education Ministers in four
years while Malaysian universities continue the plunge in international
university rankings – this is the second consecutive year Malaysia is
excluded from the Times Higher Education Supplement’s (THES-QS) World’s
Top 200 Universities.
Are these two matters inter-related?
This is the question I posed to the third Higher Education Minister in
four years, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin in Parliament this morning
when he replied during the winding-up of the 2009 Budget debate, but as
expected, he could not throw any light on the conundrum.
It is a sad reflection of the “paradigm shift” in university quality and
excellence in Malaysia that while the first two Higher Education
Ministers (Datuk Dr. Shafie Salleh and Datuk Dr. Mustapha Mohamed)
talked about how to defend Malaysian university rankings in the Top 200
World Universities, Khaled spoke with pride this morning at the
inclusion of Malaysian universities in the Top 500 world universities!
I warned this morning that Malaysia is seriously losing out in
competitiveness, with our univerisites not only left behind by Singapore
[National University of Singapore (NUS) ranked 30th and Nanyang
Technological University, Singapore ranked No. 77] and Thailand (Chulalongkorn
University ranked No. 166), we are beginning to straggle behind
Until last year, Malaysian universities were all ranked well ahead of
the Indonesian universities, but in the 2008 THES-QS World Top
Universities ranking, Indonesian universities are catching up with
Malaysian universities in leaps and bounds.
Last year for instance, the three top Indonesian universities were all
ranked behind the Malaysian universities – University of Indonesia (UI)
No. 395, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) No. 369 and Gajah Mada
University (UGM) No. 360, as compared to the three top Malaysian
universities University of Malaya (UM) No. 246, Universiti Sains
Malaysia (USM) No. 307 and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) No. 309.
In this year’s ranking, University of Indonesia has improved by 108
placings to be ranked as No. 287, Bandung Institute of Technology No.
315 and Gajah Mada University No. 316.
This means that in the 2008 THES-QS Ranking, University of Indonesia
(No. 287) has narrowed the gap with University of Malaya (No. 230) and
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (No. 250), while ahead of Malaysia’s apex
university, Universiti Sains Malaysia (No. 313), University Putra
Malaysia (No. 320) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (No. 356).
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor