October 31, 2010

Boot Nike

Sabtu pagi aku ke KL untuk satu perjumpaan dengan MQA dan semua institusi pengajian tinggi di Malaysia ni. Objective of the meeting was to brief all IPTA/IPTS on the evaluation/ post assessment of SETARA 2009 and way forward for SETARA 2011.

Prof Muhammad Jantan, who heads the SETARA ’09 committee, was manly enough to confront us with two issues raised earlier by some of these IPTA/IPTS. Firstly, should we include research aspect in SETARA assessment? Ideally having a system that can cater both MyRA (research university status) and SETARA (rating for teaching and learning) would be very nice. However, both MyRA & SETARA are owned by different owner, make it difficult to be linked together.


The first issue of not so critical became to hot too handle as it sparked audience to comments on the measurement transparency and assessment style of SETARA. This led to the second issue whether we should cluster or de-cluster IPTA/IPTS for the SETARA 2011? Participants, most of them IPTS argued on why should they were made to play in the same field with the IPTA? They argued IPTAs with government big budget (in this case they say people’s tax money) able to operate in a much more ideal ways, unlike IPTS who compete thru good marketing strategies. The SETARA rating according to them really jeopardizes their rice bowl.

My view on this was simple. We should have a different assessment altogether between universities, college universities and colleges (but definately not de-cluster the IPTA/IPTS). The measurement must be transparent enough for all to understand that the rating (or ranking) is just a platform for quality measurement. This measurement eventually will determine whether a college would be able to be upgraded into University College standard. Macam English Premier League la.. Long term objective of the government is to ‘erase’ the psychological views of IPTA/IPTS. Thus, clustering them together would just do that.


The debate on the subjective measurement i.e. budget, Infrastructure etc is a never ending story. The QS and THES encounter these issues every year. We should take this as a challenge for us to move forward. Bear in mind, by 2015 Malaysian education will be subjected to liberalization. Thus, more International College will take part and take hold of the currently small pie. What can we bank on if it is not a quality teaching and learning, and to some extend commercialized research, to compete with the so called giant of the education industry? Just look at Monash, Swinburne, Sunway etc within less than 12 years of operation in Malaysia they were already rated as an excellent Tier 5 University College.

Malaysian nowadays talks a lot on equality and transparency. In Penang they are proud with their CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency) principle. But why participants at the meeting complaining that a single ‘plate’ should not fit for all? Should not be playing in the same field?

Well I guess fair do not necessarily mean equality. Adil tak semestinya kesamaan. Yang berkaki ayam patut dibantu untuk diberikan kasut bola sebelum dilepaskan untuk bermain di padang yang sama dengan yang dah pakai boot Nike, Adidas, Puma.

P/s - Congratulations to abe and mek Kelantan for winning the Malaysian Cup 2010.

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