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The Malaysian Government Should Recognise The Degrees From The Top 100 Universities In The World, Especially Those From Asian Countries Such As China, India, South Korea, Hong Kong And Japan.

Press Conference Statement

by Lim Guan Eng

(Kuala Lumpur, Sunday): DAP urges the Malaysian government to recognize the degrees from the top 100 universities in the world a compiled by The Times Higher Education Supplement especially those from Asian countries such as China, India, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. The time has come for such recognition to be given when universities from countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan or Indonesia that Malaysia recognizes are not even in the top 200 universities much less the top 100 universities.


There are only 23 universities in the world outside Europe and USA that are in the top 100. However 10 of  these universities are from Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. In other words only 13 universities are from the Asian countries of China (2), Japan (3), Singapore(2), Hong Kong(3), India(2) and South Korea(1). (see list attached).


Malaysia does not recognize the degrees of many of the 13 top Asian universities when Malaysia’s UKM is at No. 185, UM at 192, USM at 277 and UPM at 292. The time has come to accord recognition especially the top university in Asia, Beijing University which is at No. 14 world-wide. DAP can not understand why Malaysia can not recognize degrees from Beijing University when its academic excellence and standards is unparalleled in Asia.


DAP is asking for recognition for technical courses such as medicine, engineering and dentistry. As for courses with a different legal system, then students may need to sit for a special local examination. Such refusal to acknowledge recognition will only arouse suspicions that the Higher Education Ministry is motivated by considerations other than academic excellence.


Similarly recognition should also be given to Tsing Hua University(No. 19), Chinese University of Hong Kong(No. 50), Hong Kong University Science & Technology(No. 58),  Nanyang Technological University(No. 61), Seoul National University(No. 63), Indian Institute of Management(No.68), and Osaka University(No. 70). The time has come for Malaysians and Malaysian universities to learn from Asian leading universities regardless whether they are from Japan or China, South Korea or Hong Kong, Singapore or India.


Failure to do so out of a sense of false price or denial syndrome would only cripple efforts to develop a first class mentality. How does one explain recognizing degrees from Pakistan, Bangladesh or Indonesia which do not have a single university in the top 200 universities but not the top university in Asia – Beijing University?


To be the best Malaysian universities require a sense of humility and burning desire to learn from the best. Even though UM is the only Malaysian university out of the 4 Malaysian universities to slide backwards, such a state of affairs for Malaysian top university is a damning indictment of Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamad’s efforts to improve standards and excellence. Perhaps Datuk Mustapa would be more successful if he concentrate on improving the performance of our universities than making unnecessary apologies on behalf of his deputy Ong Tee Keat to the Education Minister Datuk Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn.


* Lim Guan Eng,  Secretary-General of DAP

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