Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tea Talk on "E-Mathematics: Pre-instructional and supplemental instruction and their impact on students' online participation and final exam score"

Tea Talk on "E-Mathematics: Pre-instructional and supplemental instruction and their impact on students' online participation and final exam score" by Richard Ng (Silver Medal Winner at AAOU 2008 Conference in Tianjin, China)

To: Academicians, OUM
From: Institute of Quality, Research and Innovation
Uploaded: 22 December 2008

We are pleased to invite you to the Tea Talk (#0109). The details are as follows:

Date : 8 January 2009 (Thursday)
Time : 2.30 - 5.30 pm
Venue : Conference Room, OUM Main Campus

Please confirm your attendance via email before 5th January 2009 (Monday). Kindly be advised that seats are limited to 30 people only.


The 23rd World ICDE Conference

The 23rd ICDE World Conference on Open: Learning and Distance Education "Flexible Education for All - Open -Global - Innovative", Maastricht, The Netherlands, 7-10 June 2009

Conference Scope:

Today’s society has undergone major developments: knowledge has become the major capital and creative force; people’s lives are less and less constrained by geographic proximity; traditions and institutional regulations have eroded and people can make choices in all spheres of life.

In this set of a global, individualized knowledge society, education is a key factor. It is the fundament for equal and sensible participation of individuals in society as well as a source for the well-being of society itself. But in fulfilling this role the education system has to face major challenges. Education needs to be

* globally accessible;
* open for people from different socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and ages;
* innovative regarding content as well as teaching and learning methods.

The ICDE 23rd World conference will experience a real global dynamic interaction. The ICDE is excited to hold this conference in partnership with the 2009 Annual EADTU conference to ensure that their members and partners gain truly international insight in a number of very complex areas. ICDE, as the principal organiser of the World Conferences on Open Learning and Distance Education, has always cooperated with major regional educational associations to ensure that their members’ considerable knowledge is shared with their colleagues globally.


We cordially invite executives, rectors, deans, programme managers, educational policy makers, teachers, researchers, developers, experts, students and staff from the public sector as well as from private educational institutions and companies interested in the field of flexible, open and distance education and training to attend this conference. The topics to be discussed partly depend on the participants input. Please see the attached scheme for suggestions.

The topics of the thematic strands will be presented and discussed in plenary sessions with renowned keynote speakers and in parallel sessions with reviewed contributions from all over the world. A Call for Papers and Presentations will be launched in spring 2008.
Furthermore, pre-conference and side events as well as regional meetings will be part of the programme, organised by interest groups, projects, sponsors, regional associations and consortia.

Conference Programme Committee:

1. Dr. Fred Mulder, Rector of the Open Universiteit Nederland (Chair)
2. Dr. Frits Pannekoek, President of ICDE and President of Athabasca University (Vice Chair)
3. Piet Henderikx, Secretary General of EADTU (Vice Chair)

Representatives from the leading open learning and distance teaching systems and institutions around the world have been invited to join the Programme Committee of the conference.


The conference venue is the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre (MECC). It is located in the oldest city of the Netherlands, Maastricht. This beautiful city is situated in the heart of Europe on both sides of the Meuse River in the southern part of the country. Maastricht is a medium sized city with all the necessary infrastructure, good public transport connections, and a wide range of hotels, cultural and social activities to host the World Conference community in a stimulating and safe environment.

Social events:

The social events and partner programme will be offered in collaboration with several local organisations. The options will be published on the conference website shortly.

The conference dinner will be offered at a very special location with only a limited number of seats. Information on this location is already available on the conference website.
Booking for social events and conference dinner can be combined with registration, once the registration has started.

Welcome to Maastricht, and welcome to the 23rd ICDE World Conference on Open Learning and Distance Education including the 2009 EADTU Annual Conference.

Conference website:

23rd ICDE World Conference secretariat (M-2009)
Open Universiteit Nederland
PO Box 2960
6401 DL Heerlen
The Netherlands

* Please provide your contact details (e-mail address, postal address) for continuously receiving updated information on the M-2009 Conference by sending an e-mail to the M-2009 Secretariat or by completing the form on the M-2009 website.
* You might also visit our website for viewing up-to-date information.

For the conference theme: Flexible Education for All: Open – Global – Innovative we are requesting*:

Your individual or institutional presentation on:

1. Your Experience
2. Your Activity
3. Your Vision

Covering one or more areas of education and training

* Lifelong Learning (LLL)
* Continuing Professional Training & Development
* Higher Education
* Company & Workforce Training
* School
* Vocational Training

Regarding one or more of the following themes

* Open Educational Resources (OER)
* Quality Assurance (including Recognition; Accreditation; Certification)
* Virtual Mobility
* Learning Support Services
* Cultural Diversity
* Breaking Barriers / Removing Constraints & Disadvantages
* Employability
* Technology Enhanced Learning

Or one or more of the following approaches

1. Strategy and Vision
2. Policy
3. Research & Development
4. Good Practice
5. Evaluation
6. Partnership & Networking

*The call for papers will be launched in the spring of 2008.

For Details:

The Impact of Technology on Language Learning and Teaching: What, How and Why.

Date & Venue:

20 - 22 April 2009

SEAMEO Regional Language Centre
30 Orange Grove Road
Singapore 258352


For the past two millennia, the teaching and learning of languages has remained relatively unchanged. However, in the past twenty years, the advances in technology have not only impacted teaching practices but also given rise to new teaching approaches, methodologies and techniques. The modern language classroom teacher is now able to record, play and display real time communication for the benefit of language learners. We have graduated from the language laboratories and cassette recorders of the era of audiolingualism to video conferencing, CALL, Internet-enabled classrooms and even virtual classrooms. All these advances in technology should provide the language teacher with the leverage to bring the outside world into the language classroom and also the language classroom to the outside world. A teacher can now use the latest news reports to teach listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The rate of development in the field of technology demands that we explore the best practices in the field to enable language practitioners to exploit the potential of technology in the language classroom.


The 44th RELC Seminar has the following aims:

· To identify the changes that have taken place over the past twenty years in the use of technology in language teaching

· To discuss the effects of these new developments on the latest approaches to the teaching of languages

· To explore the future effects of technological developments on language learning processes


· Language skills that can best be developed by technology

· New developments in language software

· The role of technology in developing reading and writing skills

· The role of technology in developing speaking and listening skills

· The impact of technology on curriculum and syllabus design

· The impact of technology on language use

· Trends in CALL

· Attitudes towards the use of CALL and technology in the language classroom


1. Invited Speaker Papers
These are formal lecture presentations by distinguished scholars in the field lasting forty-five minutes plus fifteen minutes question time.

2. Parallel Papers
These are formal lecture presentations lasting thirty minutes plus ten minutes question time. The Seminar Planning Committee reserves the right to assign papers to either the Invited Speaker or the Parallel Sessions.

3. Workshops
In these ninety-minute sessions, there is little lecturing by the leaders. Instead, the participants are engaged in activities that have been carefully structured by the leaders.

4. Procedure for Submission of Paper/Workshop Proposals

· A 150-250 word abstract with a title not exceeding twelve words and a fifty-word biodata should be sent to the Seminar Secretariat no later than 28 November 2008. Abstracts outside the word limit will not be accepted.

· The Seminar Planning Committee will inform proposers by 31 January 2009 whether their proposals have been accepted.

· A soft and hard copy of the completed text of the paper selected for the Seminar must be sent to the Seminar Secretariat no later than 13 March 2009. If these are not received by this date, the Committee reserves the right to withdraw the paper from presentation.

5. Criteria for Acceptance
All abstracts will be evaluated by the Seminar Planning Committee. Relevance to the theme of the Seminar and freshness and originality of approach are among the major considerations in the acceptance of papers. The Committee reserves the right to decline paper/workshop proposals without assigning reasons.

6. Copyright/Publication
RELC reserves the copyright over all papers presented at the Seminar. Selected papers will be published. The copyright of papers not published by RELC will be reassigned to the authors.

7. Funding
As a professional non-profit organization, RELC does not generally provide financial assistance to paper/workshop presenters. Thus the registration fee is payable by all participants and parallel paper and workshop presenters.

8. Registration
Please complete the registration form on the next page.

For details:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008




Latar Belakang

Pada 17 hingga 19 November 2005, Fakuliti Teknologi Maklumat dan Komunikasi (FTMK) telah menganjurkan Seminar Kebangsaan ICT 2005 di Prince Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Tujuan seminar tersebut diadakan adalah untuk memperkembangkan penggunaan ICT dalam pendidikan terutamanya e-pembelajaran dan penggunaan ICT dikalangan para ilmuan,meningkatkan penggunaan sumber terbuka di kalangan pengguna komputer,serta menggalakkan perkongsian kepakaran ICT dalam pendidikan.

FTMK berhasrat untuk meneruskan kesinambungan Seminar Kebangsaan ICT 2005. Pada kali ini,FTMK akan menganjurkan Seminar Kebangsaan ICT 2009 bersama Fakuliti Seni Muzik (FSM). Seminar pada kali ini dirancang untuk menggabungkan elemen ICT,Seni dan Muzik dalam pendidikan dan mempelbagaikan penyelidikan ICT dari perspektif Seni dan Muzik

Sub Tema

Antara sub tema yang di letakkan di bawah tema utama " INOVASI DAN KREATIVITI MENERUSI ICT DALAM PENDIDIKAN" ialah :

1. Pengintegrasian ICT dalam Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran (P&P)
2. Pendidikan ICT untuk Komuniti
3. Sumber Terbuka dalam Pendidikan
4. E-Pembelajaran
5. ICT dalam Pengurusan Pendidikan
6. ICT dalam Penilaian dan Pengukuran Pendidikan
7. ICT dalam Pendidikan Sepanjang Hayat
8. Pendidikan Seni dan Muzik melalui ICT
9. Pendidikan Seni, Muzik dan ICT di Sekolah
10. Inovasi, kreativiti dan ICT

Objektif Seminar


1. Menggalakkan perkongsian ilmu dan penggunaan ICT dalam pendidikan
2. Memantapkan pengalaman dan kemahiran peserta dalam bidang e-pembelajaran dan ICT dalam pendidikan
3. Mewujudkan jalinan rangkaian kepakaran dalam pendidikan
4. Memperkembangkan penggunaan sumber terbuka di kalangan pendidik
5. Meningkatkan kesedaran tentang peluang-peluang pendidikan sepanjang hayat melalui ICT
6. Meperkembangkan penggunaan ICT dalam seni dan muzik
7. Meningkatkan daya inovatif dan kreativiti dalam pendidikan

For details:

Increase post grads, reduce undergrad intake: UM VC - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, WED: Dec 17, 2008

Universiti Malaya (UM) has now shifted its focus on post-graduate studies by increasing the number of places for such courses and reducing the intake of undergraduates.

Newly-appointed Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Ghauth Jasmon said the move was in line with the university’s efforts to boost its rankings in the Times Higher Education Supplement within the next two years.

“We want more and better post-graduates and reduce the number of undergraduates, so that we can improve the quality of research output.

“The focus now is to bring up UM quickly so that we can get back in the league of the top 200 universities in the world over the next two years,” he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama at his office here.

UM has slipped down the ladder since 2006, when it went from number 169 in 2005 to 192 in 2006. It was at the 245th spot last year but rose slightly to 230 this year.
And, just a month after his appointment on Nov 10, Prof Ghauth has already set his plans for the university into motion to rectify the problem.

He said, the top of the agenda was placing more focus into research and development productivity.

“I’m working to attract first-class honours graduates into the system, to come and do research and improve the quality of research output.

“We also want more people to be involved in research, and this will be the key performance index for measuring their academic performance,” added Prof Ghauth.

He said first-class graduates would also be offered post-graduate scholarships immediately.

Next on the list was filling up 300 academic posts with qualified academicians from around the world, he said.

“We need them to strengthen our academic body, “ he noted.

Prof Ghauth said he was also bringing in experts into niche areas which he wanted UM to develop, such as in the fields of medicine, engineering, business and economics.

On the decline in the quality of graduates the university produced as compared to its heydays, Prof Ghauth said the problem was not just confined to UM.

“Generally, they appear to be such a problem at the moment, but it is not just UM, but nationwide.

“People mainly attribute it to poor communication skills, but one method employed by UM to alleviate the problem is to teach more subjects in English, as well as conduct coursework and assignments in English,” he added.

He said the poor ability to interact and convince people also affected the marketablity of graduates.

Prof Ghauth said this could be remedied with community work, which provided good training in building leadership and social skills.

“For example, if they do community work, we must give them marks for these.

If they do work for their kampung, that must be recognised,” he said.

He said this could be done by widening the choices of co-curricular activites to include such activities and called for the student affairs division to be more proactive in coming up with new ideas for student participation outside the classroom.

Besides that, Prof Ghauth said graduates also needed to be more entrepreneurial instead of expecting to land a job after completing their studies.

He said, one way for UM to encourage its graduates to do that was to come up with entrepreneurship programmes such as the ones in Multimedia University, where he served as president and chief executive officer for 11 years.

“They can come up with good business ideas and under the programme, the universities will fund the setting up of their companies,” he said.

However, he said, the country still recognised the quality of UM graduates.

“Our employability figure is 97 per cent, but there is a need to improve this, especially by shifting focus onto post-graduate studies.

“...but I think generally, our graduates are seen to be much better than many other IPTAs (public universities),” he said.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dewan Rakyat Passes Amendments To Universities & University Colleges Bill - Star

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 (Bernama)

The Dewan Rakyat passed the Universities and University Colleges (Amendment) Bill 2008 to improve and expand the autonomy of universities.

Under the bill, several powers held by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and minister will be transferred to the university authorities which, among others, comprised the Board of Directors, Senate and Vice-Chancellors of the universities.

The bill also emphasised on the internal and external openness, transparency and accountability of the administration of each university.

It also allows the student to be an affiliate or member of an organisation or union whether within or outside the country.

The bill also empowers the chancellor to revoke the degree of any graduate for involvement in any scandal.

When winding up the debate earlier, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the amendment to the act was made based on educational considerations and principles and not for political purposes.

The Dewan Rakyat will sit again on Monday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

PhD Student Journey - Thesis preparation

Scope and length of thesis / project

The level of award, length of research program in semesters of study, discipline, and research methodology all affect the length of a research thesis. The following provides a guide to the approximate number of words in the text, excluding references and appendices, for different types of theses:

Award Words of Text
Doctor of Philosophy: 80,000 - 100,000 max

Checking of the draft/s of a thesis or project

Careful reading of thesis or project drafts, by both the student and supervisor, is particularly important. The following checklist from Howard and Sharp (1983, pp. 207-208) provides a useful guide.

1. Evidence of an original investigation or the testing of ideas

* Was the aim of the research clearly described?
* Were the hypotheses to be tested, questions to be answered, or methods to be developed clearly stated?
* Was the relationship between the current and previous research in related topic areas defined, with similarities and differences stressed?
* Are the nature and extent of the original contribution clear?

2. Competence in independent work or experimentation

* Was the methodology employed appropriate? Was its use justified and was the way it was applied adequately described?
* Were variables that might influence the study recognised and either controlled in the research design or properly measured?
* Were valid and reliable instruments used to collect the data?
* Was there evidence of care and accuracy in recording and summarising the data?
* Is evidence displayed of knowledge of and the ability to use all relevant data sources?
* Were limitations inherent in the study recognised and stated?
* Were the conclusions reached justifiable in the light of the data and the way they were analysed?

3. An understanding of appropriate techniques

* Given the facilities available, did it seem that the best possible techniques were employed to gather and analyse data?
* Was full justification given for the use of the techniques selected and were they adequately described? In particular were they properly related to the stated aims of the research?

4. Ability to make critical use of published work and source materials

* Was the literature referenced pertinent to the research?
* To what extent could general reference to the literature be criticised on the grounds of insufficiency or excessiveness?
* Was evidence presented of skills in searching the literature?
* Was due credit given to previous workers for ideas and techniques used by the author?
* Is evidence displayed of the ability to identify key items in the literature and to compare, contrast and critically review them?

5. Appreciation of the relationship between the special theme to the wider field of knowledge (for doctoral theses only)

* Was the relationship between the current and previous research in related topic areas defined, with similarities and differences stressed?
* Was literature in related disciplines reviewed?
* Was an attempt made to present previous work within the overall conceptual framework and in a systematic way?

6. Worthy, in part, of publication

* Was the organisation of the report logical and was the style attractive?
* With appropriate extraction and editing could the basis of articles or a book be identified?

7. Originality as shown by the topic researched or the methodology employed

* To what extent was the topic-selected novel?
* Was there evidence of innovation in research methodology compared with previous practice in the field?

8. Distinct contribution to knowledge

* What new material was reported?
* To what extent would the new material be perceived as a valuable addition to a field of knowledge?
* To what extent do the conclusions overturn or challenge previous beliefs?
* Were the findings compared with the findings of any similar studies?
* Was the new contribution clearly delimited and prospects for further work identified?
* To what extent does the work open up whole new areas for future research?

Editing the final draft

Candidates and supervisors are responsible for checking the final version of the thesis. A useful reference during this process is Anderson and Poole’s book, Assignment and Thesis Writing (2001, chap. 15). Included in this volume is a chapter on editing and evaluating the final draft of the thesis. This chapter contains a series of checklists, including one for evaluating empirical/experimental research studies and one for evaluating analytical/literary research studies, which provide candidates with a means of judging the final quality of their work.
The editing of research theses by professional editors

Candidates who are considering using a professional editor should read the policy developed by the Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies collaboratively with the Council of Australian Societies of Editors. The policy is outlined below, but is also available from:

Professional editors need to be clear about the extent and nature of help they offer in the editing of research students’ theses and dissertations. Academic supervisors of research students also need to be clear about the role of the professional editor as well as their own editorial role. This policy has been developed primarily to give guidance to professional editors. It also provides a guide for academic supervisors. This document has been developed with close attention to the current Australian Standards for Editing Practice (ASEP). Academic supervisors are encouraged to become familiar with this very useful publication.
Proof-reading and Editing of Research Theses and Dissertations

It is expected that the academic supervisors of research higher degree students will provide editorial advice to their students. This type of advice is covered in Standards C, D and E of ASEP:

* Standard C, Substance and Structure
* Standard D, Language and Illustrations
* Standard E, Completeness and Consistency.

Students may use a professional editor in preparing their thesis for submission, but they should discuss this with their Principal Supervisor and provide the editor with a copy of this policy before they commence work.

Professional editorial intervention should be restricted to:

* Standard D
* Standard E

Where a professional editor provides advice on matters of structure (Standard C), exemplars only should be given.

Material for editing or proofreading should be submitted in hard copy. In electronic copy it is too easy for the student to accept editorial suggestions without thinking about their implications.

When a thesis has had the benefit of professional editorial advice, of any form, the name of the editor and a brief description of the service rendered, in terms of Australian Standards for Editing Practice, should be printed as part of the list of acknowledgements or other 18 prefatory matter. If the professional editor’s current or former area of academic specialisation is similar to that of the candidate, this too should be stated in the prefatory matter of the thesis.

Australian Standards for Editing Practice is available on the following website:


Edith Cowan University regards academic misconduct of any form as unacceptable. Academic misconduct includes, but is now limited to:

* plagiarism;
* unauthorised collaboration;
* cheating in examinations;
* theft of other students' work.

The university defines academic misconduct as follows:

"academic misconduct" means conduct in relation to any academic work that is dishonest or unfair; this includes but is not limited to plagiarism.
"cheating" means conduct in any assessment that is dishonest.
"plagiarism" means

to knowingly or unknowingly present by any means as one's own work the ideas or writings of another without appropriate acknowledgment or referencing. This includes but is not limited to:

* paraphrasing text without acknowledgment of the source;
* paraphrasing text inadequately with acknowledgment of the source;
* copying all or a significant part of the text of another student's assignment or other students' assignments;
* copying all or a significant part of visual representations (cartoons, line drawings, photos, paintings and computer programs).

A staff member who has reasonable grounds to believe that a candidate has committed some form of academic misconduct will discuss the matter with the candidate. If some form of academic misconduct has been committed then an appropriate penalty will be applied as outlined in University Statute 22: Student Obligations and Rules 19 and 40 of the Edith Cowan University (Admission, Enrollment and Academic Progress) Rules.

University Statute No. 22: Student Obligations is available at: uni_statutes.html

The Edith Cowan University (Admission, Enrollment and Academic Progress) Rules are available at: uni_rules.html

The University Academic Misconduct Protocol (including plagiarism) is available at: ac047.pdf


What is a Research Paper Summary?

A research paper summary is a total scope of generalized idea in an article. Researching articles are designated reading materials that provide data and information about a certain argument. In line with the notion of properly constructing one, some instructors may request you to create the said article digest after you have completed your study processing. This kind of additional task will eventually give you an opportunity to present your findings to a wider scope of audiences. The summed ideas can give a more compact way of delivering your results without the need to provide the step by step rigorous ways that lead to the creation of your project.

An article composition may be written in any styles that you prefer. However, it should contain the relevant information that needs to be addressed. There are specific instructions that you need to know when writing your very own synopsis. First would have to be in the aspect of overall content. The digest should include a little introduction that will present the overall details of your assignment. The introduction part will help you condition the attention of your audiences when you are about to present your project.

The next commodity needed for a project article outline is the process of researching. Here, you must provide at least the generalized methods that you have done for your documentation. It is very important that you quickly and effectively compress the info regarding the overall process. The digest can be a very short presentation, it is very crucial that you can manage your process presentation in a compact way. You may include the starting and the ending steps of the experiment procedures. In between these data, you may just opt to provide a vague dissemination of procedures.

The last important part of a project file synopsis is the conclusion. The researching paper summary should provide a clear and concise presentation of the results of your project. You may start giving your audiences some hints on how you have arrived with the results and then later present them in the actual documents. You may just present a short conclusive part and then explain to them what impacts it can designate to the readers. It is up to you on how you will deliver the equated outcome. What is more important is that you include the important details of the proposed project.

For details:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2008 SEAMEO Jasper Research Award

Theme: "Innovation in Education through ICT"


* Promoting citizen participation
* Promoting human rights
* Promoting education for peace
* Education for sustainable development
* Diversity and multiculturalism
* Environmental protection and sustainability

The SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award was established in 1990 with the support of the Government of Canada as a way of recognizing exemplary research conducted by Southeast Asian Nationals in the region. The yearly award aims to encourage young scholars to conduct research on a relevant theme on social development in Southeast Asia and to stimulate continued interaction and knowledge-sharing among Southeast Asian and Canadian researchers.

The Theme for the 2008 Research Award underlines the importance of innovation in education through ICT in attaining goals of sustainable development and moulding future responsible citizens. Southeast Asian countries are in the midst of economic and social transformation and the innovative uses of ICT in education will help achieve the goals of quality education for all and for making the ideal of lifelong learning a reality

Education must not only work towards acquiring the knowledge and competencies to function in a global environment. The goal of a future Southeast Asian community of cohesive, equitable and harmonious societies, bound together in solidarity for deeper understanding and cooperation is anchored in attitudes and values that promote individual responsibility and social harmony. Supporting this goal presents new challenges for education scholars and practitioners, requiring fresh concepts and models for effective teaching and learning.

The 2008 Award recognizes research that explores concepts, ideas and practical experience for effective teaching and learning through ICT in the above-mentioned areas. This includes research on ICT innovative models, teaching-learning approaches, materials, assessment methods as well as documented practices and cases of effective interventions in the formal and non-formal education streams.

The 2008 Research Award

For the 2008 Award Cycle, a travel fellowship is granted to the winner to disseminate results of the winning research in Canada and Southeast Asia. The fellowship will include 8-day travel expenses to Canada and 6-day travel expenses to two selected SEAMEO Member Countries. The fellowship would also include assistance in travel arrangements as well as health and travel insurance.

The award winner will be notified by the SEAMEO Secretariat and will receive a Plaque of Recognition during the 44th SEAMEO Council Conference, March 2009 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Eligible Applicants

* A national of a SEAMEO-Member Country
* Completed/earned a Master’s or Doctorate degree
* Not be more than 55 years old at the time of application
* Physically fit to travel to Southeast Asian countries; Certification by a
competent physician may be requested before traveling
* For studies/projects conducted by a team of researchers with multiple authors, only one person (the senior author) will be eligible for nomination. The submission should include a written note from the co-author(s) waiving any claim to the award, in case the research is selected; and a statement indicating the nominee’s level of responsibility (in percentage) for the research work.

The Research Entry

* Must be a completed research study/project conducted in Southeast Asia (covering
one country or more in the region) relating to Innovation in Education through ICT
and covering one or more of the thematic strands.
* The research must have been completed within the past three years.
* If the research paper has already been published, the revised paper should
incorporate some new aspects/dimensions and/or updated information, analysis and
* All submissions (including photo captions and other materials) should be in
English language
* Research conducted for graduate/post graduate theses or doctoral dissertations
will not be accepted.

Selection Process

A Selection Committee composed of representatives of relevant international organizations, experts in the field covered by the theme, previous SEAMEO-Jasper awardees and officials of SEAMEO will be convened to review the submissions. Selection will be based on the quality of the research report, the relevance to improving education in Southeast Asia and its potentials for promoting better understanding between Canada and Southeast Asia.

Submission of Applications

* Completed application form (Download the form here)
* Seven (7) copies of the summary of the research paper (not more than 20-pages,
inclusive of the rationale, objectives, methodology, findings, conclusions,
recommendations and references/bibliography)
* Seven (7) copies of the research abstract (one-page)
* One (1) copy of the complete research paper
* Hard copy and electronic submissions must reach the SEAMEO Secretariat on or
before 15 December 2008
* The submissions should be clearly marked and addressed to:

2008 SEAMEO-Jasper Research Award
The Director
SEAMEO Secretariat
Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Building
920 Sukhumvit Road
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2391-0144
Fax: +66 (0) 2381-2587

This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Note: The deadline for submitting applications for the 2008 SEAMEO Jasper Research Award is 15 December 2008

For details:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Forged by need and desire to impress - Star

Nov 30, 2008

Here are two true accounts concerning bogus degrees, related by a human resources practitioner.

Case 1: Anonymous letter raises red flag

ANTHONY* had been offered a job as an engineer at an electronics company. It didn’t take him long to establish a good rapport with his workmates. His manager, especially, was very pleased with his performance and the way he carried himself.

Everything went well for Anthony until a year later, when his company received an anonymous letter which claimed that he had lied about his academic background and did not have a degree, as stated in his job application.

The HR personnel took the letter seriously and began an investigation. They found that Anthony’s certificate was almost the same as those certificates submitted by other graduates from the same university, except for one thing – the signature of the vice-chancellor was different.

When this came to light, Anthony’s manager was upset and decided to terminate his services for forging his academic documents.

“There was no way that we could have identified the discrepancy if we didn’t have other certificates from the same institution to refer to,” says a human resources manager who used to work at that company.

He reckons that Anthony was able to handle his job because of the basic knowledge gathered during his diploma studies, and some work experience he had prior to joining the company.

“Anthony apologised and said he wanted the job badly. But I said no, because integrity is one of the fundamental values of a company,” he says.

Case 2: Boost for social status

DARREN* does not have a diploma or a degree but that did not stop him from becoming a successful entrepreneur. After working for three decades, the SPM-holder felt it was high time he attained some form of academic recognition.

Darren was thrilled when he got his “MBA” and began telling his friends about it. Most of them were impressed with his achievement. However, one friend, a human resources manager, became suspicious when Darren mentioned that he’d paid about RM20, 000 for his entire MBA programme. Besides, it struck him that the “assignments” Darren supposedly did for his post-grad qualification were not “challenging” enough for an MBA student.

“But I did not want to probe further because we were at a social gathering,” recalls the HR manager. “Although he never admitted that his was a ‘bogus’ degree, things didn’t sound right to me, based on what he said.”

Unlike Anthony, who falsified his academic records to advance his career, the HR manager thinks Darren probably did it to boost his social status.

“I don’t think he even cares if his degree is authentic or not. He’s already successful and doing very well in his own business. The MBA is just to make him look even better.”

Signed, sealed, delivered - Star

Nov 30, 2008 BY TAN EE LOO

People do lie about their qualifications, sometimes to get a job, or to make an impression on others. It doesn’t help that fake degrees are easily available.

WOW, you have a PhD!” That was my reaction when Chan* claimed that he’d obtained his doctorate from a university in the United Kingdom (UK) more than 20 years ago.

“Wait. From X University*, you say? Hmm ...”

It is important to check if an academic is legitimate and recognised by the relevant bodies before signing up for it.

“Yeah, it’s named after a place in the UK, you know. Just like Shanghai University. I did it through distance learning,” he quickly added.

Well, I’m sorry “Dr Chan”, but no one seems to have heard of the university you purportedly went to.

I had bumped into “Dr Chan”, a college principal, during one of my assignments recently and he sent me his CV after I asked for a copy. His credentials certainly sounded dubious.

First, the name of the university from which he obtained his PhD was “unusual”. Second, when my colleagues and I tried to look it up on the Internet, there were no matching results. When contacted again, “Dr Chan” insisted that it was a “small and private” university and, therefore, “it didn’t have a website”.

A check on the website of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills found no such set-up on the list of institutions that have been empowered by the UK Government to award degrees.

A person can "order" his MBA online or through an agent, and have his certificate delivered right to his door.

On top of his PhD, this college principal also claimed to have completed a diploma from Y University* in the United States (US).

The Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE) executive director, Dr James Coffman, confirmed that Y university is not recognised by any of the six regional accrediting associations in the US.

To give him the benefit of the doubt, “Dr Chan” could have been duped into believing that his PhD is recognised. Dr Coffman doesn’t buy that.

“I don’t believe that any of those people who obtain bogus degrees were duped. They all see it as a quick and easy thing. I have had a steady parade of people coming to my office with these degrees and saying, ‘Could you authenticate this degree because I want to go work in Saudi Arabia?’

“When I tell them their degrees are bogus, they look at me and say, ‘Oh well, I didn’t know that’. But I know very well that they do.

“First, they didn’t do any work for it. How could you possibly earn a legitimate degree when you haven’t attended any class or written a paper?” Dr Coffman says.

According to the website of a top business school in Britain, tuition fees for classes commencing next August tote up to about £45,500 (RM252, 506).

So when someone offers you a degree for RM20,000, there’s cause to be wary.

“I’ve been approached by an agent who was trying to ‘sell’ me an MBA. He said I didn’t have to go for weekend classes and that I could get my qualification within a year,” a human resources manager says.

“You don’t even have to attend the graduation! Your certificates will be mailed to you and you just have to pay the money.”

According to a study conducted by the Society of Human Resources Management in the US in 1999, about 28% of job applicants falsify their academic records, says regional communications head Simon Si.

“When we go to campuses to give talks on how to land a job, we always tell students that honesty is the best policy during the job application process. Some companies value integrity above all other things.”

Si adds that sometimes, students select courses based on the cost of the programme and how easy it is to get the qualification.

“My advice for those who ‘sincerely’ want to further their studies is: If someone says you can get an MBA for RM8,000 without attending classes, you should check first.”

The saying, “better safe than sorry”, holds true when it comes to career advancement. Getting a bogus qualification may seem the faster and cheaper approach to upgrading your qualifications, but Sean* didn’t want to risk it when deciding on an MBA programme last year.

The 30-year-old engineer says he did not have the time to verify if the MBAs he found online were authentic.

“A bogus degree is a shortcut - if you are not found out. But if you are, it’ll probably signal the end of your professional career,” he says.

Instead of checking out online options, Sean feels it is safer to enrol at a public university, where students get to interact with coursemates and professors. He did just that, and his entire programme cost about RM80,000.

Doreen John, coordinator of MACEE’s Educational Advising Center, says there are several ways to verify if a programme offered by an American university is authentic, besides checking with MACEE.

Prospective students can check with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA; and the Distance Education & Training Council (DETC).

“It is important to be sure that the accrediting body or council is legitimate. Institutions that grant bogus degrees will say that they are accredited by certain associations. However, these associations could have been started by the same people who run those institutions that grant bogus degrees,” John says.

On obtaining an MBA through distance learning, which gives students, especially working adults, greater flexibility, she adds: “These programmes can be attractive because they are usually less expensive. And, of course, you save on travel and living costs overseas. They can also save time, besides being very flexible.

“But the people-factor is vital in an MBA programme. With distance learning, the student may not get to meet with other students or the professors, face-to-face.”

Finding out that an employee has lied about his credentials is every HR manager’s nightmare. From experience, Si says that a face-to-face interview session is the best time to pick up signs that tell you something is amiss about a candidate’s credentials.

“Most of the time, companies don’t track an employee’s record once they hire him, unless something happens,” he notes.

Carrefour Malaysia HR director Mohamad Fauzi Hassan says his company adopts a systematic approach when it comes to verifying questionable tertiary qualifications.

“If the name of the university does not sound familiar to us, we will check with MQA (Malaysian Qualifications Agency) and JPA (Public Services Department) to narrow down the search.” When his HR team members are in doubt about degrees and documents, they will contact the university involved.

“Every certificate has a serial number, like a birth certificate, and we will verify the number with the university. If it’s a professional degree, like engineering or law, we will go to professional bodies and check if they recognise that particular university.”

After gathering all the necessary facts, the final step is to “confront” the candidate.

“We will tell him that we are not confident about his qualification and start asking him questions,” Mohamad Fauzi says.

These would centre on the name of the vice-chancellor during the time the candidate was at the university, his lecturer for a particular subject, the number of subjects he took during a specific time, the location of the institution, and so on.

“You can tell from a person’s body language if he is telling the truth. If he’s lying, normally, he’ll ‘surrender’ on the spot.”

Mohamad Fauzi says if a candidate’s qualifications are not genuine, he will not be hired.

“If he is already working for the company, he will be dismissed for false declaration of personal details and violation of the company’s Charter of Ethics.”

And in case the candidate thinks he can get away with the same ploy in the next company he joins, here’s news: some employers do share information about their ex-employees.

“It depends on the HR manager,” says one who’s based in Kuala Lumpur. “For me, if a company calls and asks about one of my former employees, I would tell the truth. Why do you need to protect a person who has done the wrong thing? When he leaves the company, he will carry the ‘disease’ with him to another. Telling the truth is one way through which I can make a difference.”

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why and When Ph.D. Students Finish

Why do some graduate students seemingly zip through programs, straight to the Ph.D., while others languish for a decade or even longer? Or never finish?

These questions are at the root of the Council of Graduate Schools’ Ph.D. Completion Project, which aims to study these issues, identify promising practices, and identify strategies so that more graduate students finish their programs in a timely way. On Monday, the council released preliminary data it gathered from surveys of graduate students who earned their Ph.D.’s, and data on completion rates by disciplines. The results come from 29 of the universities participating in the Ph.D. Completion Project, which involves both public and private universities, elite and up-and-coming institutions alike.

The results reinforce the belief about the role of money in promoting completion. Those who finished up their doctorates ranked financial issues as the top factor in enabling them to do so. And to the extent the data show differences among disciplines in financing, those differences carry over to rates of completion (humanities students need to borrow more, and take longer to finish).

With regard to the “main factors” contributing to completion, new Ph.D.’s (who could pick more than one item that applied) ranked the following: 80 percent cited financial support, 63 percent mentoring/advising, 60 percent family support, 39 percent social environment and peer support, 39 percent program quality, and 30 percent professional and career guidance.

Humanities Ph.D.’s were more likely to have held fellowships and teaching assistant positions than were those in other fields, while those in engineering, mathematics and physical sciences were more likely to hold research assistantships. But factors other than merely holding fellowships — possibilities include their size and duration — are also clearly in play as the data show a significant gap in borrowing by graduate students who finish their Ph.D.’s.

If finances pointed to differences among disciplines, other questions in the survey found common ground. Those who finished their Ph.D.’s were asked about the subject of valuable advice they received from mentors. Research was by far the top topic (and people could pick more than one), across all fields. Teaching was much less likely to be cited. Career advice varied, with it being cited in the humanities and social sciences much more than in other fields.

Across disciplines, those who finished their Ph.D.’s said that their academic advisers were most available to them early in their graduate careers. Asked if their advisers were “readily” available to meet with them during various stages of their doctoral education, the answers were 80 percent for coursework, 63 percent for qualifying exams, 60 percent for preliminary exams, 39 percent for the dissertation preparation, and 39 percent for the dissertation defense.

Previous studies by various groups have found that time-to-completion rates for humanities fields lag those for others, and the Council of Graduate Schools effort provided more confirmation. In the physical and biological science and technology fields, more than half of those in entering cohorts are earning a doctorate between year six and seven of a program. In the social sciences, year seven sees only a completion rate of just over 40 percent; in the humanities the figure is 29 percent.

Within the broad disciplinary categories, rates were not uniform. Civil engineers complete at higher rates than electrical engineers. Chemistry’s rates are higher than mathematics. In the humanities, 10-year completion rates are fairly similar across disciplines, but at the six- and seven-year marks, philosophy and foreign languages and literatures outpace English and history.

Daniel Denecke, program director for the council’s Ph.D. completion efforts, said that the next stages of the project will focus on figuring out what the data mean. He said that a first reaction would be to focus on funds. “A lot of these line up on funding,” he said, with regard to disciplines and financial support.

But other factors are also in play and a higher attrition rate may reflect the availability of good jobs in some fields for people with master’s degrees, not flawed doctoral programs. “We’re going to be looking at all kinds of factors,” he said.


Dr Georgina Gómez Receives Distinction for PhD

On April 2nd, Georgina Gómez defended her PhD paper, receiving a number of critical and incisive questions from the review panel. She however clearly responded well as, after private deliberation by the panel, was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies with distinction! Many congratulations to her!

Following is a summary of her paper.

Making markets. The institutional rise and decline of the Argentine Red de Trueque

Georgina M. Gómez

The Argentine Red de Trueque was a unique economic circuit organised by the grassroots against a background of deep economic demise. A group of environmental activists organised their neighbours to start exchanging self-produced goods and services with each other. They thus structured their own market and, as membership grew, they printed their own money to facilitate trade. The Red de Trueque was so successful that after seven years it reached a peak of about 2.5 million participants in 4.700 markets across the country. It became the largest complementary currency system in current days. However, it did not last long at that scale and fell apart. The story of the Red de Trueque discloses the challenges of creating institutions bottom-up and sustaining their governance once they are in place. The thesis reflects on the challenges and limits of civil society organisations to structure a complementary economic system. It further theorises on the potential of development intervention to organise economic institutions.


Nazi-era graduate receives PhD, 65 years later

An 88-year-old man who has been living in the United States since World War II has returned to Berlin to receive a university degree which was denied to him 65 years ago.

In 1943 Dmitri Stein, a student of Berlin's Technical University, submitted his doctoral thesis on the stability of electrical circuits.

It was rejected, not because of the content, but because of the author's ancestry, after the university discovered Mr Stein's father was Jewish.

Denied a doctorate, he hid from the Nazis, fled Germany and escaped to America, but 65 years on, the university has relented.

At the age of 88, Mr Stein was invited back to Berlin to present his thesis and has finally been awarded his PhD.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

National Postgraduate Conference 2009 - UTP

The Postgraduate Studies Office at the Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) will be hosting a postgraduate conference for the presentation and discussion of research in engineering, science and technology performed by MSc and PhD students. This conference is organised annually as discussion platform for researchers in science, engineering and technological disciplines including electrical and electronics, chemical, civil, mechanical, geosciences and petroleum, and computer and information technology.

This conference will enable postgraduate students to gain experience of presenting their research work in a formal conference environment. Besides presentation there will be a free forum entitled “Starting Career in Research and Academics” and special sessions. The special sessions will be a medium for industrial practitioners and academicians to share knowledge and discussed various topics in their field.

All papers will be published in NPC 2009 proceedings. Selected papers will be published in Journal of Science and Technology - Taylor's University College, UTP Platform Journal, and IMechE Journal.

NPC 2009 will be organized in UTP. The presentation, forum and special sessions will be conducted in Chancellor Complex's Undercroft. The venue have eight (8) seminar rooms equipped with basic equipments such as LCD projector and rostrum. Prayer rooms are also available nearby.

Important Dates
Submission of Full Paper
1 December 2008

Notification of Acceptance
12 January 2009

Submission of Camera Ready
26 January 2009

Conference Date
25-26 March 2009

For details:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Prizes to be won in LG’s online survey - Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Nov 19, 2008

LG Electronics — a worldwide technology and design leader in mobile communications — is conducting a fun holiday survey online on what people want most this holiday season.

It has invited all Malaysians to participate in the survey being conducted at

Participants stand to win some outstanding prizes, including the chance to take home one of the most popular LG mobile phones released this year.

Cellphones are among the top choices for holiday gifts these days so LG is offering as prizes its most attractive trio of phones to three lucky Malaysians — the stylish Secret, the 8-megapixel Renoir cameraphone, and the just-released Cookie.

LG’s holiday survey is also a multimarket one so this is your chance to represent Malaysia and express your feelings and desires for the upcoming holidays and new year.

This special holiday survey will run until Nov 23 across six countries — Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Britain, and Brazil.

Its light-hearted questions cover topics such as which person would you most like to spend the holidays with and what would be the ultimate gift you’d like to receive.

Other questions include what you dream is the perfect holiday and what creates the most stress during the holiday season.

LG will release the results of the survey at the end of this month and you can find out which destination Malaysians would most like to visit during the holidays, as well as which celebrities they would most like to smooch with under the mistletoe.

Smart Teaching & Learning Seminar

Pusat Pembangunan Akademik (ADeC) Universiti Malaya dengan kerjasama EP-Tech Solutions Sdn Bhd akan mengadakan Program SMART Teaching and Learning Seminar pada tarikh, masa dan tempat seperti berikut:

Tarikh: 1 Disember 2008
Masa: 9.00 – 5.00 petang
Tempat: Dewan Arif, Fakulti Pendidikan, Universiti Malaya.

Disertakan poster seminar dan borang penyertaan. Borang penyertaan hendaklah dikembalikan kepada pihak penganjur selewat-lewatnya sebelum atau pada 21 November 2008 untuk melancarkan lagi persediaan program berkenaan.

Tempat adalah terhad dan berdasarkan tempahan awal oleh peserta.

International Conference on Electrical Engineering and Informatics 2009 (ICEEI2009)

The Organizing Committees of the 2nd International Conference on Electrical Engineering and Informatics 2009 (ICEEI2009) cordially invites delegates from all over the world to participate in this event to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 24th-26th June 2009.

This conference is an international event jointly organized by the Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the School of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia. The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for researchers, scientists and engineers from all over the world to exchange ideas and discuss recent progress in all fields of electrical and electronics engineering, and informatics from basic science to practical applications. The first event was successfully held in Bandung Institute of Technology
in 2007.

For details, kindly visit:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let your ideas fly - Star

Nov 2, 2008

GOOD news for creative innovators! The Airbus “Fly Your Ideas” challenge is now open.

A global competition designed to encourage innovative thinkers to develop ideas that can shape the future of aviation and help enhance the sector’s eco-efficiency, the competition is open to college and university students from around the world.

You can be pursuing an undergraduate programme, a masters or a doctorate degree in any discipline, from engineering to marketing, business, science or philosophy to design.

Airbus is offering US$30,000 (RM137,532) to the team whose idea demonstrates the greatest short- or long-term potential to reduce the industry’s impact on the environment.

Competing teams will advance through different challenging rounds, which lead to a live final at the Le Bourget Airshow in Paris, in June next year.

The proposals can look at a wide range of topics including new materials, products and/or processes as well as aircraft performance, manufacturing and organisational and operational performance.

“The Fly Your Ideas competition gives students the opportunity to work with Airbus. Together we can share innovative ideas,” said its president and CEO Tom Enders.

“Airbus wants to encourage students to deliver responsible solutions.

“Through this competition, we hope to tap into new views and ideas, and incorporate them in the early stages of our long term technology work,” said Airbus executive vice-president (Engineering), Patrick Gavin.

For more details about the competition, visit

Friday, October 24, 2008

OUM bags the Silver Medal Best Paper Awards at Tianjin, China.

The OUM delegation were all smiles when the university won the Silver Medal Best Paper Award for e-Mathematics during the 22nd Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) Annual Conference held recently in Tianjin, China. The paper was presented by Prof Mansor Fadzil, Senior Vice President and was co-written by Dr. Richard Ng, Prof Abtar Kaur, Prof Latifah Abdol Latif, Ramli Bahroom and Siti Farina Sheilh Mohamed. The fact that the paper was on e-Mathematics and their impact on students online participation and final exam score, clearly indicates that OUM’s e-learning in mathematics are of international standards.

Once again, congratulations to the OUM team, especially Dr Richard Ng, the director of Perak Learning Centre. All of you have made the university proud.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Minister receives his PhD in Communication from UPM - NST

Serdang: Oct 18, 2008

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was among the graduands today at Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) 32nd convocation.

He received a PhD in Communication, making him Malaysia’s first cabinet minister to complete a doctorate while in service.

Ahmad Zahid said his seven-year effort to complete his thesis while carrying out his government duties proved the perception of some quarters that a post-graduate qualification for people like him could be bought from the local universities was wrong.

“I had to rush here and there to complete my assignments which had deadlines, and sometimes I had to make changes when my research presentation was rejected by the evaluation panel. But that did not stop me from completing my doctorate,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said UPM was not a university that printed and sold degrees, and that regardless of status, the students were required to be committed and produce the best or high-quality scholastic work.

At today’s convocation, UPM also conferred on Asean Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan an honorary PhD in Economics which was presented to him by UPM chancellor, Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

The Chancellor’s Gold Award went to Aini Marina Ma’rof who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education, the Royal Education Award for Bumiputeras to Faizura Rohaizad (Guidance and Counselling) and for non-Bumiputeras, to Yap Wing Fen who obtained a Science degree.

The Alumni Gold Award was won by Business Administration graduand Lee In Thing, Pak Rashid Foundation Gold Award by A’fifah Abdul Razak (Agriculture Science) and the Syed Kechik Award by Ahmad Zamri Alimin (Human Resource Development).

During the five-day convocation starting today, 7,846 graduands receive their diplomas and degrees.

Monday, October 13, 2008

UM's Ranking Improves To 230th Position In The-Qs World University Ranking 2008

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 (Bernama)

University of Malaya's (UM) ranking improved to 230th position in this year's The Times Higher Education (THE)-Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Ranking from 246th place previously.

Its Acting Vice-Chancellor Datuk Dr Muhamad Rasat Muhamad said the position showed that UM's strategic plan which was implemented two years ago under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Datuk Rafiah Salim and the excellent support of the staff was bearing fruit.

Muhamad Rasat in a statement here today said the university fully supported the Ministry of Higher Education in realising the national aspiration of having one or more of Malaysia's universities in the top 200 of the THE ranking by 2010.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Top 100 Universities Ranking 2008 - TIMES

The Times Higher Education - QS World University Rankings identified these to be the world's top 100 universities in 2008. These institutions represent 20 countries with Israel represented for the first time. Whilst North America dominates with 42 universities, Europe and Asia Pacific are well represented with 36 and 22 respectively.

2008 Rank School Name Country

1 HARVARD University United States
2 YALE University United States
3 University of CAMBRIDGE United Kingdom
4 University of OXFORD United Kingdom
5 CALIFORNIA Institute of Technology (Calt... United States
6 IMPERIAL College London United Kingdom
7 UCL (University College London) United Kingdom
8 University of CHICAGO United States
9 MASSACHUSETTS Institute of Technology (M... United States
10 COLUMBIA University United States
11 University of PENNSYLVANIA United States
12 PRINCETON University United States
13= DUKE University United States
13= JOHNS HOPKINS University United States
15 CORNELL University United States
16 AUSTRALIAN National University Australia
17 STANFORD University United States
18 University of MICHIGAN United States
19 University of TOKYO Japan
20 MCGILL University Canada
21 CARNEGIE MELLON University United States
22 KING'S College London United Kingdom
23 University of EDINBURGH United Kingdom
24 ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of T... Switzerland
25 KYOTO University Japan
26 University of HONG KONG Hong Kong
27 BROWN University United States
28 École Normale Supérieure, PARIS France
29 University of MANCHESTER United Kingdom
30= National University of SINGAPORE(NUS) Singapore
30= University of CALIFORNIA, Los Angeles (U... United States
32 University of BRISTOL United Kingdom
33 NORTHWESTERN University United States
34= University of BRITISH COLUMBIA Canada
36 University of California, BERKELEY United States
37 The University of SYDNEY Australia
38 The University of MELBOURNE Australia
39 HONG KONG University of Science & Techno... Hong Kong
40 NEW YORK University (NYU) United States
41 University of TORONTO Canada
42 The CHINESE University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
43 University of QUEENSLAND Australia
44 OSAKA University Japan
45 University of NEW SOUTH WALES Australia
46 BOSTON University United States
47 MONASH University Australia
48 University of COPENHAGEN Denmark
49 TRINITY College Dublin Ireland
50= Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de LAUSANNE... Switzerland
50= PEKING University China
50= SEOUL National University Korea, South
53 University of AMSTERDAM Netherlands
54 DARTMOUTH College United States
55 University of WISCONSIN-Madison United States
56 TSINGHUA University China
57 HEIDELBERG Universität Germany
58 University of CALIFORNIA, San Diego United States
59 University of WASHINGTON United States
60 WASHINGTON University in St. Louis United States
61 TOKYO Institute of Technology Japan
62 EMORY University United States
63 UPPSALA University Sweden
64 LEIDEN University Netherlands
65 The University of AUCKLAND New Zealand
66 LONDON School of Economics and Political... United Kingdom
67 UTRECHT University Netherlands
68 University of GENEVA Switzerland
69 University of WARWICK United Kingdom
70 University of TEXAS at Austin United States
71 University of ILLINOIS United States
72 Katholieke Universiteit LEUVEN Belgium
73 University of GLASGOW United Kingdom
74 University of ALBERTA Canada
75 University of BIRMINGHAM United Kingdom
76 University of SHEFFIELD United Kingdom
77 NANYANG Technological University Singapore
78= DELFT University of Technology Netherlands
78= RICE University United States
78= Technische Universität MÜNCHEN Germany
81= University of AARHUS Denmark
81= University of YORK United Kingdom
83= GEORGIA Institute of Technology United States
83= The University of WESTERN AUSTRALIA Australia
83= University of ST ANDREWS United Kingdom
86 University of NOTTINGHAM United Kingdom
87 University of MINNESOTA United States
88 LUND University Sweden
89 University of CALIFORNIA, Davis United States
90 CASE WESTERN RESERVE University United States
91= Université de Montréal Canada
91= University of HELSINKI Finland
93= Hebrew University of JERUSALEM Israel
93= Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Germany
95 KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Scie... Korea, South
96 University of VIRGINIA United States
97 University of PITTSBURGH United States
98 University of CALIFORNIA, Santa Barbara United States
99= PURDUE University United States
99= University of SOUTHAMPTON United Kingdom
101 VANDERBILT University United States
102= University of NORTH CAROLINA United States
102= University of SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA United States
104 University of LEEDS United Kingdom
105 PENNSYLVANIA STATE University United States
106= University of ADELAIDE Australia
106= University of ZURICH Switzerland
108 University College DUBLIN Ireland
109 TECHNION - Israel Institute of Technolog... Israel
110 GEORGETOWN University United States
111 MAASTRICHT University Netherlands
112 TOHOKU University Japan
113 FUDAN University China
114 TEL AVIV University Israel
115 University of VIENNA Austria
116 Université catholique de LOUVAIN (UCL) Belgium
117= MCMASTER University Canada
117= QUEEN'S University Canada
119 University of ROCHESTER United States
120 NAGOYA University Japan
121 OHIO STATE University United States
122= DURHAM University United Kingdom
122= University of MARYLAND United States
124= National TAIWAN University Taiwan
124= University of OTAGO New Zealand
126 ERASMUS University Rotterdam Netherlands
127 STONY BROOK University United States
128 EINDHOVEN University of Technology Netherlands
129 University of WATERLOO Canada
130 University of SUSSEX United Kingdom
131 University of BASEL Switzerland
132 University of CALIFORNIA, Irvine United States
133= CARDIFF University United Kingdom
133= Technical University of DENMARK Denmark
133= University of LIVERPOOL United Kingdom
136 University of GHENT Belgium
137= Freie Universität BERLIN Germany
137= TEXAS A&M University United States
139 HUMBOLDT-Universität zu Berlin Germany
140 Ecole normale supérieure de LYON France
141 University of Science and Technology of ... China
142 WAGENINGEN University Netherlands
143 NANJING University China
144= SHANGHAI JIAO TONG University China
144= University of GRONINGEN Netherlands
146 University of ARIZONA United States
147= CITY University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
147= Universität FREIBURG Germany
149 Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie PARIS V... France
150 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México ... Mexico
151 RUTGERS, The State University of New Jer... United States
152 University of BATH United Kingdom
153 University of ABERDEEN United Kingdom
154 Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (II... India
155= Eberhard Karls Universität TÜBINGEN Germany
155= VU University AMSTERDAM Netherlands
157 TUFTS University United States
158 KYUSHU University Japan
159 The University of WESTERN ONTARIO Canada
160 QUEEN MARY, University of London United Kingdom
161 University of LAUSANNE Switzerland
162= CHALMERS University of Technology Sweden
162= NEWCASTLE University, NEWCASTLE Upon Tyn... United Kingdom
164 SIMON FRASER University Canada
165 University of FLORIDA United States
166= CHULALONGKORN University Thailand
166= Universität GÖTTINGEN Germany
168 University of NOTRE DAME United States
169 Universität FRANKFURT am Main Germany
170= INDIANA University Bloomington United States
170= University of CALGARY Canada
170= University of LANCASTER United Kingdom
173 KTH, ROYAL Institute of Technology Sweden
174= HOKKAIDO University Japan
174= Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (I... India
174= RENSSELAER Polytechnic Institute United States
177= University of LEICESTER United Kingdom
177= University of OSLO Norway
179 University of CAPE TOWN South Africa
180= University of COLORADO at Boulder United States
180= WASEDA University Japan
182 MACQUARIE University Australia
183= Lomonosov MOSCOW STATE University Russia
183= Université Libre de BRUXELLES (ULB) Belgium
185 BRANDEIS University United States
186= University of BARCELONA Spain
186= University of CANTERBURY New Zealand
188= POHANG University of Science and Technol... Korea, South
188= Technische Universität BERLIN Germany
190 Universität STUTTGART Germany
191 University of MASSACHUSETTS, Amherst United States
192= University of BERN Switzerland
192= University of BOLOGNA Italy
194 University of READING United Kingdom
195 University of ANTWERP Belgium
196 University of SAO PAULO Brazil
197= DALHOUSIE University Canada
197= University of BUENOS AIRES Argentina
199 KOBE University Japan
200= University of ATHENS Greece

Source: QS Quacquarelli Symonds (
Copyright © 2004-2008 QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd.

Khaled hails achievement, believes better results to come - Star

Oct 10, 2008 By SIMRIT KAUR

Malaysia’s top local universities’ improved ranking in the Times Higher Education-QS (THE-QS) World University Rankings 2008 is an achievement to be proud of, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

“It is something to be proud of that a number of Malaysian institutions have attained such high positions in the rankings. I believe that our local universities will improve even further in the years to come,’’ he told The Star.

Asked about the drop of the ranking of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) from 307 to 313 despite its status as an apex (accelerated programme for excellence) university, Khaled said the criteria used for the rankings and the apex programme were different.

“In the apex university, we are looking to the future and choosing a university that is the most capable of being transformed and becoming world-class in 10 to 15 years,” he said.

USM deputy vice-chancellor (Aca­demic and International Affairs) Prof Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal said the university would scrutinise the data to see the reason for its drop.

“I am from the school of thought that the rankings are useful but not absolute,” he said.

Acting Universiti Malaya (UM) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Muhamad Rasat Muhamad said UM’s improved showing proved that the university’s strategic plan, implemented two years ago, was showing results.

“UM fully supports the ministry in realising the national aspiration of having one or more of Malaysia’s universities in the top 200 of the THE-QS ranking by 2010,” he said.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shaha­budin said the improvement in the ranking was a collective effort.

“We have worked very hard by consolidating our research, publishing our work, having more international collaborations and monitoring the number of citations per month,” she said.

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Nik Mustapha Raja Abdullah said UPM improved by overcoming weaknesses identified through analyses of the previous years’ results.

“There have been improvements in several areas including the number of papers published in high impact journals, increase in citations and aggressive internationalisation programmes,” he said.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang said the university had improved in three of the six criteria used to compile the rankings.

Friday, September 26, 2008

New target - 60,000 PhD holders by 2020 - Star

PUTRAJAYA: Sept 26, 2008

The Government has set a new target of producing 60,000 Malaysian PhD holders by 2020 under the “MyBrain15” initiative.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the new figure was more reasonable compared to the previous goal of 100,000 under the National Higher Education Strategic Plan launched last year.

“In order for the country to be competitive, we need a critical mass of researchers. The current number of 8,000 PhD holders is insufficient to drive innovation and promote economic growth,” he told reporters here yesterday after the launch of MyBrain15.

Khaled said Malaysia needed a pool of highly-skilled and productive people, particularly PhD holders.

To ensure adequate supply, the Government would also be setting up a special fund to sponsor 400 bright students to further their studies from undergraduate to postgraduate level.

“These students will act as a feeder to ensure the success of the MyBrain15 initiative,” he said.

Currently, the Government is sponsoring 3,914 students at PhD level. Of this number, 39.4% are pursuing their studies locally, 30.1% in Britain and the rest in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States.

Khaled said that for MyBrain15 to succeed, government agencies, including public universities, would need to reduce bureaucracy to attract top Malaysian and foreign brains.

“Public universities must put more emphasis on research and development (R&D),” said Khaled, adding that all universities would have to set clear targets on commercialisation of R&D as well as the number of patents achieved.

He also said that the ministry was looking at other methods of acquiring PhDs, including industry-based applied research.

Khaled also called on higher education institutions to focus on indigenous-based research and development in areas such as biotechnology and tropical medicine.

On the purported misbehaviour of some foreign students, in particular Africans, Khaled said that action would be taken against anyone who broke the law.

“We welcome foreign students but they must abide by our laws. Whatever cases that have been reported are isolated as the majority of foreigners are law abiding,” he said.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Supervisor and Me

Last week, my supervisor Prof. Dr. Karl Wagner came to my city in Ipoh to conduct a Survey on Adult Learners at OUM Perak. The survey was conducted over 2 days from Sept 20 - 21, 2008.

We had dinner at a Japanese Restaurant serving buffet sushi and steamboat all at RM29 (US$9) per pax.

His schedule was pack and so was mine. But we met over dinner to discuss on various research projects on Mobile Learning. As for my PhD research, I am in the process of collecting data and basically we do not discuss about it.

Going through our mobile learning projects

Prof. Karl was seen here briefing a group of adult learners at OUM Perak

I have just sent my instrument for printing. Fuh ... the cost of collecting data of course is not cheap these days. What about cost of employing a research assistant? I am just embarking on my next phase of a lonely journey ... real lonely. Still not able to see the light at the end of the tunnel yet

Quality eLearning, Academic writing workshops, MADE seminar 20-24 October 08

Quality eLearning, Academic writing workshops, MADE seminar 20-24 October 08

Emeritus Professor Fred Lockwood, an expert in Academic Writing, Quality Open Learning and Students in Elearning will be conducting 2 workshops
for educators and adult students who are interested in knowledge enhancement in the above areas.

The half a day seminar organised by Malaysian Association of Distance Education (MADE) will also have the renown speaker - Dato' Professor Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid to present a paper on Lifelong Learning and Global Competitiveness. It is a rare occasion to have these two experts for the workshops and the seminar.

For more information, kindly download the following items:

Brochure 1: (Click picture to enlarge)

Brochure 2:(Click picture to enlarge)

Registration Form:(Click picture to enlarge)

International Conference on Youth Research (ICYR08)

International Conference on Youth Research (ICYR08) - Developing A Glocal Generation: Directions And Challenges

The Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in collaboration with the Malaysian Institute of Research in Youth Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports (IPPBM) will be organizing an international conference on youth research (ICYR08) with the theme Developing A Glocal Generation: Directions And Challenges, 16-17 December 2008.

You are invited to visit the website at to register as a participant or as as paper presenter.

Please take note of these important deadlines:

Submission of abstracts - 15 August 2008

Submission of full papers - 15 October 2008

Registration and Conference fees - 15 November 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shaping your thesis

At some point in the process of preparing to write your PhD, you will need to step back from your project, and tell the STORY of your research. Once again Murray (2002:187) suggests that this process requires you to shape your ideas, and use your intuition to produce your thesis into a coherent whole which reflects originality. A good way to think about how to structure your thesis is to use Brown’s (1994:1-8 in Murray 2002) Eight Questions.
Brown’s Eight Questions (1994: 1-8) cited in Murray 2002

1. Who are your intended readers? (list three to five names)
2. What did you do? (50 words)
3. Why did you do it? (50 words)
4. What happened? (50 words)
5. What do the results mean in theory? (50 words)
6. What do the results mean in practice? (50 words)
7. What is the key benefit for readers? (25 words)
8. What remains unresolved? (no word limit)

This exercise asks you think ahead about what you will do, and thus to link work already done, with work that still needs doing. Murray suggests this will help you to think about the whole project, including the gaps. Seeing the project from the perspective of its entirety, will help you to gain your own authorial voice, and help you to know the extent to which you are in control of your project. For more general advice see the Postgrad Resources cite. For some clear questions and answers on avoiding plagiarism, look at the 'How not to Plagiarise' website at the University of Toronto. There is a useful self test on plagiarism at the University of Southern Mississippi that may also be helpful.


The Relationship between PhD supervisor and student

By Catherine Armstrong

The career development forum contains many comments from people who want to embark on a postgraduate career but are unsure how to go about it. One of the major stumbling blocks is the incredibly competitive funding system, but apart from the financial concerns one of the most important intellectual decisions you will make is selecting a supervisor. This decision can make or break a postgraduate candidate, sometimes leading to fruitful encounters for years to come, or a period of awkwardness and even bitterness. I am not going to recount nightmare supervisor stories here because, in most cases, the relationship is a very positive one. In this article I will explore how to get the most out of this exchange and achieve the goal of a successful postgraduate degree and perhaps an academic career afterwards.


If you have a specific idea of the topic you want to study at postgraduate level then it may be that the selection of a supervisor will be very straightforward. Undergraduate tutors can guide you towards the academics working in the particular field and perhaps they will contact them first to prepare the way ready for your approach. If you are not based at a UK university then the internet is the best tool for finding out which scholars are the most suitable supervisors. Each academic department has its own public web pages and often each member of staff within the department has his or her own site or sometimes there is a separate page for ‘research interests' within the department. Obviously the choice of university itself will also be a significant factor, as will funding opportunities offered both internally and externally. But by selecting a field-leader as your supervisor, this ensures that the academic community as a whole will value your work.

Occasionally it is appropriate to have two supervisors: for example when a proposed project is inter-disciplinary, or marries two different scholarly approaches within a single field. This can complicate matters because there will then be two people to please, to meet with and to discuss approaches with and they will not always share the same opinions. However, the positive side is that you get another intellectual viewpoint on your work and if one supervisor becomes very busy for a time, you have another to turn to. Joint supervision will only be recommended to you in unusual circumstances and should not be assumed as the norm.

How to persuade them?

Arrange a meeting with your potential supervisor personally if that is possible. If distance or time prevents you from doing this I would recommend a telephone conversation. You need to know that they think you will be a good candidate, while you need to feel that he or she is a mentor with whom you can work. It is important to research their interests and current projects and can show why they would be a good supervisor. Prepare a list of questions in advance, it is always good to talk about funding and practical arrangements too. If this academic agrees to supervise the project they can help out in all sorts of ways. You will then have to apply to the university for a place and for funding if applicable, so it helps to have a supervisor supporting you from the start.

What to expect from your supervisor?

In short, support, advice, guidance, sometimes direction; also reassurance during the difficult times and congratulations during the inspired moments! Respect is also there to be earned: you will probably notice that as a postgraduate, members of staff treat you more like a colleague than a student.

Supervisors should not be looking for assistance to write their pet project: they are there to ensure you produce your best thesis. They should not take over, but neither should they neglect their students. Make sure regular meetings are arranged with your supervisor, these could be once a week or once a term, depending on the topic and the travel distances involved. Now it is often possible to keep in close touch using email without actually meeting in person. Ensure that these meetings are well planned and have an agenda so that the best use can be made of the valuable time of both parties.

Be warned: supervisors' feedback on work can sometimes be critical, so learn to deal with that criticism, it is almost always meant in a constructive way.

What your supervisor will expect from you?

Hard-work and enthusiasm. If either of those two are lacking, your supervisor will start to feel that his or her time is being wasted. Remember supervisors are very busy people with their own work, undergraduate teaching and probably other postgraduate students to think about. Make your relationship with them as smooth and easy as possible.

Deadlines will be set for submission of chapters or parts of the project and the onus is on you to meet these. The supervisor should not have to chase the postgraduate student or keep extending deadlines. They should have been agreed together, so show your supervisor respect by sticking to agreed targets.

Supervisors are your main source of help during this time so do ask them questions, but show that you can be independent too. It is your project so show confidence that you can mostly manage it by yourself.

How this relationship changes?

Many people find that their PhD project could grow and become their life's work. It is vital to be strict with yourself and choose a point to stop looking for evidence or data and start writing up. This decision often determined by other factors in life such as family issues, or by funding concerns. In that period leading up to submission when you are writing up your findings and polishing up the presentation you will probably find your supervisor more useful than ever. As the project finally comes together, your supervisor will be important in helping you to identify what makes your work original.

A supervisor's contacts will form the basis of the list of potential thesis examiners. Be guided by your supervisor, he or she may have heard through their contacts that the big name scholar you wanted to be examiner is unsympathetic towards approaches like yours. The supervisor contacts potential examiners on your behalf and only with your agreement.

Supervisors offer guidance to get their students through the viva, so make sure that you use their knowledge of your field and the examiners chosen. There are stock questions that are included in many vivas (‘what makes your project unique?' or ‘how does it relate to current theoretical developments in your field?') and your supervisor will help frame answers to these questions.

After the viva?

A PhD supervisor will probably be one of the key referees for your subsequent job applications whether in academic work or the private sector. So it is important to keep him or her informed of career hopes and plans. It is polite to inform them whenever they have been named as a referee so that a reference request does not come out of the blue.

If you do decide to go into an academic career, your supervisor and examiners can help mould your PhD thesis into a monograph or series of journal articles, whichever is most appropriate.

Having worked closely together for at least three years, your supervisor will probably feel that he or she will have an interest in your progress, whatever you go on to do. It is appropriate to keep in contact and occasionally ask for advice or assistance. However, their formal connection with you has ended and while they can offer support by, for example, introducing you to their networks of contacts, it is now your job to go out and craft these connections with other scholars yourself.
Writer Profile

Dr Catherine Armstrong is a teaching fellow in History at the University of Warwick and Oxford Brookes University.

Catherine is also Director of Historical Studies in the Open Studies department at the University of Warwick.

Her book 'Writing North America in the Seventeenth Century' will be published by Ashgate in June 2007.

As a jobseeker for an academic role herself, Catherine is in a unique position to understand and offer her knowledge and experience to those developing an academic career.