KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Dec 2008: The University and University Colleges Act (Amendment) Bill 2008, which was tabled for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat today, will give universities more autonomy, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said.
He said this would be achieved by transferring some of the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and minister to university authorities such as the board of director, senate and vice-chancellor.
“Under the amendment, the power to set up faculties and departments which are previously under the jurisdiction of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong will be put under the senate.
“This is in line with the function of the senate as the main academic body of a university,” he said when tabling the bill.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Khaled said the amendment would also allow students to be a member of organisations in or outside the country.
“However, students are prohibited from participating in party politics either in or outside the country,” he said.
Mohamed Khaled said that the act would not be applicable to International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and private institutions of higher learning.
IIUM was exempted as the university was set up under a treaty between the government and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries while UiTM was set up under its own Act, he said.
“Private institutions are governed by the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996,” he said. — Bernama