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Admit more non-Bumi students, UM urged

PETALING JAYA, 17 DEC 2008: Universiti Malaya can boost its global rankings by admitting more qualified non-bumiputera Malaysian students into its undergraduate programme instead of reducing the intake, Kedah Gerakan Youth has suggested.

The state’s party Youth chief Tan Keng Liang said reducing the undergraduate intake would result in greater outflow of good students to other universities overseas.

“I totally disagree with the idea of reducing the undergraduate intake. In the long run, this may lead to further depreciation of our country’s human capital,” Tan said in a statement in response to the plan announced by newly-appointed UM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Ghauth Jasmon today.

Ghauth said the move was to shift UM’s focus to post-graduate studies and research, as part of boosting its rankings in the Times Higher Education Supplement within the next two years. UM has slipped from 169th place in 2005 to 245 in 2007, but rose slightly to 230 this year.

Tan said allowing more qualified students of other races into the univeristy would make UM more competitive.

“I hope that UM can consider opening up more undergraduate places to qualified non-bumiputera Malaysian students. It is better for UM to boost its rankings and improve its quality by accepting more highly-qualified Malaysian youths,” he said.

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15 Responses to “Admit more non-Bumi students, UM urged”

  1. Firdaus says:

    I agree that the intake should not be reduced for UM undergrads. As for opening up for non-bumiputeras, this may be a good idea so that bumiputeras can learn together with them and create a more competitive environment in UM.

  2. Lee says:

    Fully agree that UM must give more place for non-bumiputera smart students!

  3. ex-um says:

    Disagree. UM has too many students and lacks facilities.

    Only deserving grads irrelevant of race should be admitted.

    That is the core problem. And the lecturers are “katak bawah tempurung”.

  4. Malaysian Student says:

    Yes, UM must be opened up for all quality Malaysian students without quotas.

  5. Kamal says:

    UM shouldn’t reduce its undergraduate student numbers. At some point in the future UM will need to “earn” its money and the bulk of UM’s income, I would suspect, will come from the undergraduate programs.

    Post-graduates should also not be ignored, but that is a different set of problems. In fact the university should encourage MA by course work – which is one year or a bit more of intensive coursework that generates income, like undergraduate studies (through fees), and it should also encourage post-graduate research – MA and PhD theses.

    The research work generally shouldn’t be generating income through student fees (usually these are sponsored – by the university) but will build a body of substantive work. Also ,as you build your academic output, there is a need to develop UM journals.

    Currently UM is encouraging its academicians to publish in Scopus and ISI citation-based journals. I would suggest that, as they encourage their academicians to publish in these recognized journals, they work towards making local (in-house) journals in the Scopus and ISI lists. This is about creating a standard for UM journals and through it UM academicians can be push to be more critical in their publications.

    Directly then, although it may take longer, the university will be building the foundations for a truly well-deserving international ranking of worth. Achieving a rank shouldn’t be an aim in itself, rather the merit that ranking has to the qualification it produces should be the end goal. In the march towards excellence, UM needs to address both these issues of income and quality not only through its human resources but also structurally.

  6. FLC says:

    Whether UM will take more non-bumi students now doesn’t matter anymore. It is a step too late. Many would prefer to take a course outside which might gain greater recognition in the job market than UM, now that UM’s rating is so bad.

  7. James says:

    Not too late – better to improve now than never. I agree with what Tan Keng Liang said on this issue!

  8. James says:

    I also fully agree what Kamal says. Good point.

  9. Jimmy says:

    I feel that what Tan meant was not making more places for UM undergraduates but instead to open up more places for non-bumiputeras under the existing intake (which I fully agree with).

  10. Vivian says:

    UM’s rating is going to get worse if they don’t admit more smart non-bumi students to study there.

  11. Firebreather says:

    In fact, all universities in Malaysia should be independent and not bow to any racial inclination or force. Sad to say, the standard of graduates has been on the gradual decline over the past 50 years, attributed to the universities’ acceptance of undergraduates based on race and not on merit.

    To achieve world-wide recognition and respect for graduates from Malaysian universities, acceptance of all undergraduates should be based on merit and not on race, colour, religion, and political influence. Then and only then can graduates from local universities hold their heads up high and be proud that they are really graduates of equal ranking with other graduates from universities all over the world.

    Malaysia would then be able to look into the eyes of the world and say “our graduates are of world standard”.

  12. Eskay says:

    Get rid of the quota system on admissions into UM and the problem of global rankings will be solved. Rankings will be on the rise the moment meritocracy is put into practice.

  13. Gobind says:

    This is just a sad situation in Malaysia. If UM wants to improve its ranking, it must wake up to see the real reason behind its poor performance.

  14. elaine says:

    I remember it was difficult to be admitted to UM because it sets high entrance standards. UM should maintain its standards without capitulating to racial politics. Screen and take the best or good enough students, whether bumi or non-bumiputera.

  15. hamzah says:

    Yes, no more quota. Admission based on merit only!


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