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.”