PUTRAJAYA, 3 Sept 2008: Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) was today chosen for the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (Apex), beating three other univerisities, including the country’s oldest, Universiti Malaya (UM).
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said USM was selected based on the university’s transformation plan and its preparedness to make changes to its proposal paper.
"The selection for the Apex programme is not only based on past achievements and excellence, but more on the planning for the future and whether the university is able to achieve a world-class status within the stipulated period of five years," he said when announcing USM’s selection for the programme.
During the five-year period, USM must be able to put itself among the world’s Top 100 universities and among the Top 50 by 2020, he said.
He was confident that USM would be able to achieve a world-class standard.
"Let’s see how USM fares and then we will decide whether to choose another for the programme," he added.
Mohamed Khaled said USM’s selection for the programme did not mean that other universities were sidelined.
On the other hand, this should spur them to further improve their position, he said when asked why UM was not selected.
Nine public universities nationwide had submitted their application for the programme but only four – USM, UM, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia – were shortlisted.
USM’s winning proposal paper is titled Transforming Higher Education for a Sustainable Tomorrow.
The Apex University programme is proposed in the National Higher Education Strategic Plan where universities will be divided into three groups namely Apex University, Elite University and Competitive University.
An Apex University is a university of excellence used as a yardstick in higher education worldwide.
Under the programme, the Apex University was promised autonomy in finance, service scheme, management, student intake, study fees and determining the top leadership. – Bernama