Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2nd PhD Colloquium - OUM

2nd PhD Colloquium
Centre for Graduate Studies, Open University Malaysia
18 – 19 July 2009

The Centre for Graduate Studies, Open University Malaysia, extends a warm welcome to all Doctor of Philosophy students, supervisors, course facilitators and programme coordinators to the 2nd PhD Colloquium. The purpose of the event is to consolidate the research efforts of facilitators, students, research supervisors and administrators as well as to provide a forum for discussion and sharing of ideas and information in relation to doctoral-level research at OUM.

Over the past six years, the Centre for Graduate Studies (CGS) has successfully conducted doctoral level courses for students of all backgrounds. It was in July 2008 that CGS held its first PhD colloquium. That event witnessed the presence of 70 students from all over Malaysia as well as a number of doctoral research supervisors and facilitators.

We hope all doctoral students registered with OUM will make a special effort to attend the colloquium on 18-19 July 2009. A number of talks and workshops will be conducted during this much-anticipated event. Experts in the field will share ideas on topics such as how to effectively conduct a literature review, how to use statistical procedures when analysing data gathered for doctoral research. There will also be a workshop on writing dissertations with clarity and focus as well as discussion on research topics within specific disciplines. Additionally, a number of students will present their proposals and preliminary findings during the qualifying examinations scheduled over the two days.

We hope all of you will attend the colloquium and be a part of the valuable knowledge sharing session with other doctoral students and experts in various field.

Govt aid extended to post-grads in private institutions - The Star

June 23, 2009 By FOONG PEK YEE

KUALA LUMPUR: Those doing Masters and Phd in all the 24 local private institutions of higher learning can now apply for Government financial aid from this month.

However, there are conditions.

An applicant must be unemployed, retrenched, without regular income or a fresh graduate.

Those doing Masters programmes will get RM10,000 and those doing PhD progammes will get RM20,000 respectively.

Prior to this, only the country’s 20 public institutions of higher learning and three local private institutions of higher learning were qualified for the aid.

The aid, part of the second economic stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in March, would be opened to those who are below 45 (during the time of application) from now, compared to age 35 for applicants for Masters programme and 43 for PhD applicants.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Norden, in a written reply to a question from Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting (BN Kulai), as to whether the Government would extend the aid to local institutions like Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, said the applicants would also need to have a CGPA2.50 now instead of CGPA2.75 initially.

There are 10,000 places for Masters and 500 for PhD. At the Parliament lobby, Deputy Higher Education Minister Dr Hou Kok Chung said 3,377 applications for Masters and 225 for PhD had been approved until this month.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

SPM SURVEY: Survey not representative - NST

By : PROFESSOR DR NOR HAYATI OTHMAN Dean, Clinical Science Research &Chairman, Conjoint Board Pathology Universiti Sains Malaysia Kubang Kerian, Kelantan

THE results of the New Straits Times online poll on the place of English in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination ("Majority says aye" -- NST, June 10) cannot be used as a basis for discussion.

The subjects of the survey were most likely people who read your newspaper, that is, they are already conversant in English, have Internet access (most likely urban), probably were not from interest groups such as students, teachers, academics or parents.

Also, the sample size of 1,027 is only a minute fraction of the Malaysian adult population, indicating that the survey was not representative.

If the survey were to be replicated using hardcopy questionnaires, with good random sampling of the subjects, equal distribution of gender, socio-economic stratification and people from urban and rural areas, the results might be completely different.

I am not against saying "aye" to the discussion (having a pass in English for SPM). Indeed, I think that is a very good proposal. I am just questioning the conclusion that was drawn from what I think is poor statistical methodology.

I would like to add to the proposal. Other than having a pass in English, students should have a good credit in Bahasa Malaysia. We should also encourage our students to learn a third or a fourth language, like many students do in European countries.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

He's now Dr Abdul Razak Baginda - Malaysiakini

Jun 11, 09 8:00pm

Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda has finally got his doctorate degree in international relations from Oxford University.

The man who was charged, and later acquitted, for abetment in the murder of his Mongolian lover, Altantuya Shaariibuu, has been awarded a doctorate of philosophy after a long delay due to his incarceration.

With that, he is now called Dr Abdul Razak and he plans to continue his research in international relations.

The former confidant of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is also writing a book about his life, in particular his 22-month ordeal in Sungai Buloh prison where he was held during the trial.

Abdul Razak, 49, told Bernama that he submitted his doctorate dissertation three years ago but the university put it on hold after his arrest two months later.

“When I was acquitted and released from prison on Oct 31 last year, I wrote back to the university, they revived the whole process and early this year they told me that I had passed and been awarded the Doctorate of Philosophy (Dphil).”

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Najib’s visit marks milestone in Malaysia-China friendship - Star

June 4, 2009 By CELESTE FONG

Najib conferred doctorate

BEIJING: Trust has been the key to the success of the strong ties between Malaysia and China, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“This bond of friendship between Malaysia and China is based on the word trust. If my late father (Tun Abdul Razak Hussein) trusted the Chinese leaders (then), I have the same respect with regard to the current leaders (of China),” he said in his acceptance address after receiving an honorary doctorate in international relations from the Beijing Foreign Studies University here yesterday.

High honour: Najib receiving an honorary doctorate in international relations from Prof Hao Ping in Beijing Wednesday. — Bernama

Najib said although he was unable to accompany his father, Malaysia’s second prime minister, on the historic visit to China in 1974, he remembers vividly what his father said of that trip:

“I can work with (Prime Minister) Zhou Enlai and I have the greatest respect for him.”

Najib said what his father meant was that the relations between the two countries must be based on trust.

”If we have the trust, everything can be possible,” he said.

Pledging to take Kuala Lumpur-Beijing relations to greater heights, Najib said the present and future generations of Malaysians and the Chinese were now reaping the fruits of the labour and vision of past leaders like Razak and Zhou.

Dwelling at length on the fateful meeting 35 years ago here, Najib said it was like the Chinese saying that the journey of a thousand miles must start with the first step.

Najib believed his late father did not think of first and second steps but the thousands of miles for the future generations.

“It took courage to make that decision and it was the right decision,’’ he said, describing his late father’s move then as bold and momentous and ahead of his time.

Quoting another Chinese idiom “yin shui si yuan” (When drinking water, don’t forget the people who dug the well), Najib said he was modifying the saying to – it is the responsibility of Malaysian and Chinese leaders to dig more wells so that no well will run dry and water would flow for the well-being of both Malaysia and China.

Najib emphasised: “Let us work together and continue this journey that began 35 years ago.”

On fears expressed by certain quarters of China’s tremendous growth into becoming a global economic powerhouse, Najib said such fears were unfounded because the Chinese civilisation has always been based on friendship.

“We began as friends and the friendship between the Malay world and the Chinese world is not new. It began during the era of the Ming Dynasty when fleet commander Zheng He visited Malacca with 35,000 troops and 300 vessels.”

He said if an armada of that size had desired to capture Malacca then, it would have been achieved easily.

”However, China had no such intention. Instead, it extended a hand of friendship. Malaysia does not consider China a threat because Malaysia had many times to evaluate China over the past 600 years,” he said.

Najib also noted his official visit to the China as Malaysia’s prime minister was also “very personal” to him as the visit also coincides with the period of his late father’s historic visit to China 35 years ago and that the conferment of the honorary doctorate on him was a symbol of the closeness of the friendship between Malaysia and China.

Najib said the relations between Malaysia and China were deep-rooted and personal for him and that was the reason he brought along his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, their two children (son Nor Ashman and daughter Nooryana), his mother Tun Rahah Mohamed Noah and his brother Nazir for the official visit.

Najib also acknowledged the 60 students from China at the university who are studying Malay and the 36 students from Malaysia there who are studying Chinese.

Najib said he would also ask his youngest child Nooryanna, who is studying Chinese at Georgetown University in Washington DC, to attend this Beijing university for a month or two.

He said he felt that “if we study languages, we will understand the civilisations of both nations and when we understand both civilisations, the relations will be more cordial and tangible”.

Earlier, Prof Hao Ping, China’s vice-education minister who is the university’s president, acknowledged the Prime Minister’s contributions to the institution from the time he was the Education Minister and said that it was Najib’s fourth visit to the university.

Also present at the ceremony were Gu Xiu Lian, deputy chairman of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People’s Congress and president of the China-Asean Association, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon as well as Malaysian business leaders and entrepreneurs.