Forward    Feedback    


Media Statement (2) by Lim Guan Eng in Penang on Thursday, 4th September 2008: 

The success of choosing only the best is the pathway to be a top university   

The Penang State Government congratulates Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for its singular success in being chosen as the sole Accelerated Programme for Excellence (Apex) university by the Federal Government after intense competition from nine other local applicants.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin announced the Cabinet decision yesterday, which is part of an initiative under the National Strategic Plan for the transformation of higher education in Malaysia launched last year.

The decision is a massive boost for USM in particular and Penang in general. With the new status, which comes with greater autonomy and larger funding, USM is in the best position to transform Penang into a knowledge hub, which will boost Penang’s appeal internationally, as well as improving the lives of the Penang people. One of the key criteria of an apex university is ensuring stringent and rigorous criteria for selecting lecturers and deans as well ensuring a merit system for students.

USM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak added that the university planned to use its autonomy to improve three critical areas – talent, resources and governance. This dovetails into the Penang government’s CAT philosophy of competency, accountability and transparency of using the knowledge as one of the key lynchpins to realise our vision to transform Penang into an international city as the location of choice for investors, destination of choice for tourists and habitat of choice for residents desiring sustainable living.

The Penang state government looks forward to greater collaboration and cooperation between the State Government and the University. It is important for USM to play a bigger role in the lives of the wider Penang community, especially enhancing its ties with industry, so to propel Malaysia to the next level in all fields.

With recognition comes great responsibility. USM’s challenge is to fulfil expectations by becoming one of the best universities to be ranked in the top 200 in the ratings such as the Times Higher Education Supplements (THES) ranking in five years, and make it into the top 100 by 2020. In the latest THES ranking, USM is listed in 307th place, while UM is the highest ranked local university at 246th place.

Only by choosing the best can USM realise its goal of being one of the top 100 universities in the world. The Penang state government believes that that there must be no discrimination based on race, religion, gender or political affiliation but that we must always choose the best to be on top of the rest.

* Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister Penang & DAP Secretary-General