Sunday, August 30, 2009

New law on the cards to act against degree mills - Star

Aug 30, 2009 By HARIATI AZIZAN

PETALING JAYA: The Higher Education Ministry is drafting a new law to give it more powers to act against degree mills in the country.

Higher Education director-general Prof Datuk Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi said that under current higher education laws, the ministry could take action against errant education providers only if they were registered as a university or college, or have an operation in the country.

“Our system is in place to protect students from unauthorised institutions. Unfortunately, there are too many loopholes, so we are looking at ways to strengthen our education laws to curb errant providers like degree mills,” he told The Star.

Under the Private Higher Education Institutions Act, he said, all private education service providers operating on Malaysian soil were required to register with the ministry and get its approval before they could run any programmes, including online and distance learning programmes.

“If they are not registered as an educational institution in Malaysia, we do not have the power to take any action against them.

“But if there is a strong case of fraud, they can be charged under the Police Act,” he said.

A recent Starprobe report on dodgy degrees revealed that most of the unauthorised education service providers were registered overseas or as business entities.

Another measure that was on the drawing board was a database of PhD holders in Malaysia, Dr Radin Umar said.

“We are reviewing existing laws to register PhD holders. The registry will be similar to that of professional bodies and the medical register (under the Malaysian Medical Council),” he said.

This would help weed out not only those who have qualifications from unrecognised institutions but also those who falsify their qualifications. He said details were still being finalised but the registry would likely be implemented by the end of the year.

“One aspect we are looking at is to make it compulsory for those who are looking to work as lecturers in public and private higher education institutions in the country to be registered with us.

“It is important to regulate this so we can protect the integrity of our academia,” Dr Radin Umar said.

He conceded that it would be impossible to compel all PhD holders to register their doctorates.

“It is something that we need to study but we are confident that many will register because most PhD holders will be looking to work as academics.

“This measure is vital if we are to attract more international students to study here and strengthen our position as a regional centre of higher education,” he said.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Malaysia ranked 11th most preferred study destination - Star

Aug 29, 2009 By RICHARD LIM

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is currently the world’s 11th most preferred study destination.

The conclusion was based on the fact that 69,154 international students from more than 150 countries have chosen Malaysia as the country they wanted to study in.

With the majority of students coming from Indonesia, China and the Middle East, the new figure was a 26.5% increase from the old count of 50,788, which was recorded on March 31 last year. The ranking was obtained from the Institute of International Education.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the rise indicated that the ministry’s target to have 80,000 international students by 2010 was achievable.

“We’re happy to have 2% of the world’s international student population,” he told reporters yesterday after announcing the National Higher Education Strategic Plan’s progress report.

“Malaysia is now regarded as an emerging contender to attract international students and we will improve our efforts as there will be an estimated eight million international students by 2025.”

The percentage was taken from the Unesco Institute for Statistics.

Mohamed Khaled said the ministry’s drive to liberalise higher education would not result in an influx of foreign institutions.

“Liberalisation does not mean any foreign university can come to Malaysia.

“Rather, it is co-ordinated regulation that encourages healthy competition amongst private institutions.”

The ministry has already given the green light for Newcastle University of Medicine to set up a branch campus at Iskandar Malaysia’s Educity in Nusajaya, Johor.

It is understood that local conglomerates are negotiating with the Korean Maritime Univer-sity, Southampton University, Royal Holloway University, King’s College London, the Univer-sity of Birmingham and Murdoch University to set up branch campuses in Malaysia.

Driven to driving a taxi despite having a PhD - Star


Bio-chemist Dr Cai Minnjie who failed to land another research position after losing his job last year now happily prowls the streets as a cabbie.

SINGAPORE’S fraternity of taxi drivers, with its fair share of retrenched executives, has now an exalted new member – a PhD bio-chemist from Stanford University.

Prowling the streets of Singapore today is 57-year-old unemployed scientist Dr Cai Mingjie who lost his job at Singapore’s premier A-Star biomedical research institute last year.

The China-born naturalised citizen with 16 years of research accomplishments said he began driving a taxi last October after failed efforts to land another job.

The news shocked this nation, which holds an unshakable faith in the power of an advanced university education.

One surprised white-collar worker said he had believed that such a doctorate and experience was as good as life-long employment and success.

“If he has to drive a taxi, what chances do ordinary people like us have?” he asked.

I have met a number of highly qualified taxi drivers in recent years, including former managers and a retrenched engineer.

One cheerful driver – a former stock-broker – surprised me one day in giving me detailed reasons on what stocks to buy or avoid.

“At a time like this, the taxi business is probably the only business in Singapore that still actively recruits people,” said Dr Cai.

To me, his plight is taking Singapore into a new chapter.

“(I am) probably the only taxi driver in the world with a PhD from Stanford and a proven track record of scientific accomplishments ...,” blogged Dr Cai.

“I have been forced out of my research job at the height of my scientific career” and was unable to find another job “for reasons I can only describe as something uniquely Singapore”.

The story quickly spread far and wide over the Internet. Most Singaporeans expressed admiration for his ability to adapt so quickly to his new life. Two young Singaporeans asked for his taxi number, saying they would love to travel in his cab and talk to him.

“There’s so much he can pass on to me,” one said.

Others questioned why, despite his tremendous scientific experience, he is unable to find a teaching job.

His unhappy exit is generally attributed to a personal cause (he has alleged chaotic management by research heads) rather than any decline in Singapore’s bio-tech project, which appears to be surviving the downturn.

The case highlights a general weakening of the R and D (research and development) market in smallish Singapore.

“The bad economy means not many firms are hiring professional scientists,” one surfer said. “Academia isn’t much of a help – there’s a long history of too many PhDs chasing too few jobs.”

While the image of taxi drivers has received a tremendous boost, the same cannot be said of Singapore’s biomedical project – particularly its efforts to nourish home-grown research talent.

“It may turn more Singaporeans away from Life Sciences as a career,” said one blogger.

One writer said: “In my opinion, PhDs are useless, especially in Singapore. It’s just another certificate and doesn’t mean much.”

Another added: “The US is in a worse situation. Many are coming here to look for jobs.”

“I won’t want my child to study for years to end up driving a taxi,” said a housewife with a teenage daughter.

The naturalised Singaporean citizen underwent his PhD training at Stanford University, the majority of his work revolving around the study of yeast proteins.

His case is not unique. US research-scientist Douglas Prasher, who isolated the gene that creates the green fluorescent protein (and just missed the 2008 Chemistry Nobel Prize) faced similar straits.

Prasher moved from one research institution to another when his funding dried up, and he eventually quit science – to drive a courtesy shuttle in Alabama.

“Still, he remains humble and happy and seems content with his minivan driver job,” said a surfer.

With an evolving job market as more employers resort to multi-tasking and short-term contracts, more Singaporeans are chasing after split degrees, like accountancy and law or computer and business.

Others avoid post-graduate studies or specialised courses of a fixed discipline in favour of general or multi-discipline studies. “Experience is king” is the watchword; there has been a rush for no-pay internships.

“The future favours graduates with multiple skills and career flexibility, people who are able to adapt to different types of work,” one business executive said.

During the past few years, as globalisation deepened, there has been a growing disconnect between what Singaporeans studied in university and their subsequent careers.

It follows the trend in the developed world where old businesses disappear – almost overnight – and new ones spring up, which poses problems for graduates with an inflexible job expectation.

I know of a young man who graduated from one of America’s top civil engineering universities abandoning the construction hard hat for a teaching gown.

Another engineer I met is running his father’s lucrative coffee shop. Lawyers have become musicians or journalists, and so on.

Cases of people working in jobs unrelated to their university training have become so common that interviewers have stopped asking candidates questions like “Why should a trained scientist like you want to work as a junior executive with us?”

In the past, parents would crack their heads pondering what their children should study – accountancy or law or engineering, the so-called secure careers – and see them move single-mindedly into these professions.

A doctor was then a doctor, a biologist generally worked in the lab and a lawyer argued cases in courts – square pegs in square holes, so to speak.

Today the world is slowly moving away from this neat pattern.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Database of grads planned - Star

Aug 25, 2009 By RICHARD LIM

PETALING JAYA: Degree holders might soon be required to register their academic qualifications with the Higher Education Ministry.

According to Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, the move was designed to curb the problem of degree mills.

“We will propose a new Act which requires degree holders to supply us with relevant information so we can check the legitimacy of the awarding institutions,” he told The Star in a telephone interview.

“More on this matter will be announced in the ministry’s next roundup meeting soon.”

Mohamed Khaled was responding to a Starprobe report on dodgy degrees offered by degree mills where little or no study was needed.

When told of the proposed measure, Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities president Dr Parmjit Singh was pleasantly surprised.

Describing the proposal as a bold move, he said the formulation of an effective database — which employers could refer to — would address the problem as bogus degree holders would not gain any benefits.

However, he was concerned about how the proposed Act would be enforced.

“Care must be taken and there cannot be any inaccurate records,” he said. “Also, what is going to compel degree holders from complying?”

Meanwhile, Sunway University College and Sunway Education Group executive director Elizabeth Lee said the problem did not lie solely with degrees and dubious MBAs and PhDs had to be addressed as well.

Mohamed Khaled also said that although societal pressure and the hope for better salaries drove some to attain academic qualifications through illicit means, integrity had to be upheld.

He urged the public to be on their guard against those offering fake academic qualifications.

“The public must be discerning and check the track record of institutions,” he said.

“When minimal effort is needed, an opportunity to obtain a degree simply by paying is the sign of a scam.”

‘Grads’ unable to contact IIU - Star

Aug 25, 2009 By HARIATI AZIZAN

PETALING JAYA: Attempts by a few “graduates” of alleged degree mill Irish International University (IIU) to contact their alma mater after the Starprobe’s expose came to nought yesterday.

“I called their office many times but nobody picked up the phone. I just want to get a clarification from them,” said a marketing executive who holds a Master’s of Business Administration from the institution, which had changed its name to Isles International University.

The executive, who only wanted to be known as C.C. Lee, said she had been worried about her position at work since reading Sunday’s Starprobe report on “dodgy” degrees.

When the Starprobe team checked out the official IIU office in Petaling Jaya - as stated in their website and correspondence - they were greeted by a padlocked door with only a forwarding number pasted on it.

When the Starprobe team tried to call the new number no one picked up the phone.

A quick visit at the “new” office, located nearby, revealed that it was still operational.

Another IIU victim who only wanted to be known as Vernon said he was considering taking legal action against the institution.

“I was shocked to read the Starprobe report. My convocation ceremony in 2006 was very ‘real’ - it was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and I received my scroll from a deputy minister. We had guests of honour, who claimed to be academics from the European Union University, to witness the ceremony,” he said.

Vernon, who works in the hospitality sector, said that he found out about the university from a booth the institution had set up at a Tesco outlet.

“I was browsing through their brochures when they offered me an opportunity to get a degree. They told me that with my 10 years of experience, I was eligible for a degree if I submitted a project paper. They showed me pictures of famous people who received degrees from them and video clips of their past convocation ceremonies,” he said.

“I regret it now. I should have suspected that something was wrong because it was too easy but they really convinced me that my experience meant something and that their operation was legitimate,” he added.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Duped by rogue college - Star

Aug 23, 2009

PETALING JAYA: “Really? I honestly didn’t know.” That was all one prominent public figure who received an honorary doctorate from notorious degree mill Irish International University could say when the Starprobe team informed him of the alleged scam.

The leading academic, who earned his Masters and PhD from an American university in the 1970s, said he was asked to submit all his academic studies and publications to the institution for their assessment before they awarded him a Doctor of Literature degree in 2001.

He added that he was informed that the honorary degree was in recognition of his scholarship and other contribution to Malaysia and the international community.

“They then invited me to attend their graduation ceremony at the University of London in the UK. They seemed very credible; that’s why I accepted the honorary degree,” said the renowned intellectual who was appointed senator a few years ago.

He claimed that he was not aware of the controversy surrounding the institution, which led it to be blacklisted by the Government in 2005. But now that he has been alerted, he said, he would drop the honorary mention from his profile. “If it is blacklisted, I don’t want to be seen endorsing it,” he said.

It is standard practice for these dodgy universities to invite prominent people, including politicians, to their convocations and conferring them with honorary degrees, said Irish deputy ambassador to Malaysia Eoin Duggan.

“It would add credibility to the institution’s name,” he said.

Duggan added that many who got the degrees were duped, but there were those who knew from the outset about the shady arrangements.

Convocation ceremonies could sometimes be quite elaborate, he said, citing a year when one of the organisations rented a room from a top university in England to confer their “graduates”.

One year, he said, the institution rented a room in Cambridge or Oxford University. In 2004, IIU, which set up a new “branch” in Cambodia, awarded the country’s Prime Minister Hun Sen with an honorary degree at its convocation ceremony.

Former vice-chancellor of Sunway University College Prof Jarlath Ronayne, however, felt that the recipients of the honorary degrees should check up the conferring institution’s reputation before accepting them.

“In the case of the IIU, it was reported on BBC last year that a top British businesswoman returned her honorary degree and severed all links with the university

when the whole set-up was exposed as a sham. That is what the recipients should do to stamp out this menace,” said Prof Ronayne, who has been monitoring the institution and the degree mill trend for some time.

Mary Chapman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, as reported by BBC London, had agreed to be guest of honour at a “graduation ceremony” for the institution held at Oxford University’s Divinity School. IIU then put her picture on its website to recruit more overseas students. After the BBC expose, Chapman cut all ties with the institution.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong believes that the sprouting of these bogus universities is spurred by the increasing demand for paper qualification.

“People are desperate to get a degree. Many are seeking Masters and doctorate degrees for self-enhancement, to get better jobs, better prospects and to strengthen their CVs.

“Many so-called graduates did not even pass their SPM. Some did not even sit for SPM but they have MBAs,” he said, adding that no statistics have been collected on the number of fake degree holders in Malaysia

Dodgy degrees - Star

Aug 23, 2009

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are so caught up with degrees that many would go to any lengths for one.

And degree mills — bodies that award degrees with little or no study — are ready to hand out the awards to many who want to boost their business position, social status or political standing.

The Starprobe’s search reveals that many Malaysians are buying dubious Bachelor’s, Master’s and even Doctorates from popular degree “conferring” bodies, among them the American-based Preston Uni-versity and Newport University; Dublin Metropolitan University (DMU) and Irish International University (IIU).

Other dubious institutions which are not in recognised accreditation registries include Connaught University, Pacific Western University, American Northeast State University, Western University, European University, Hill University, Rochville University and Buxton University.

When the Starprobe team conducted a search, including on the Internet, for the “alumni” of these degree mills, the list included prominent personalities in different sectors:

> a Selangor Umno division chief who is also chairman of a local publishing group (MBA, Connaught University, UK);

> a Kedah Umno division head and Umno Supreme Council member who became a self-made millionaire after school (MBA, Preston University, US);

> a Perak DAP state assemblyman (Bachelor of Business Administration, Paramount University of Technology, US) ;

> a retired Royal Malaysian Police department director who is now serving in a government body (MBA, Newport University, US);

> a leading Chinese educationist with three PhDs (PhD, Kensington University, US);

> a celebrity motivational speaker who has set up a private college (MBA and Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA), European Business School Cambridge of European Union);

> a top entrepreneur and chairman of one of Malaysia’s leading manufacturers (DBA, Irish International University); and

> a chairman of a local IT media company who was charged with furnishing false statement to the Bursa Malaysia (Bachelor of Science in Building Construction and Management, Connaught University, Ireland; MBA, North West London University, UK; and Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration, Pacific Western University, US).

The questionable “qualification” is evident in the official resumes of these public figures which the Starprobe team obtained from their offices or official websites.

When contacted, some were genuinely surprised to find out that they had been duped but others evaded questions and refused to comment.

One person with two alleged doctorates did not deny receiving the bogus doctorates but simply urged Starprobe to quote his third doctorate from the Southern Cross University, Australia, which is legitimate.

All the universities mentioned claim to be accredited, but none is recognised by the national accrediting body Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) or its foreign accrediting partners.

The IIU was blacklisted by MQA(then known as National Accreditation Board) in July 2005.

A disturbing trend is that these dodgy institutions offer prominent personalities degrees so they can gain credibility with the “qualifications”.

This is the standard practice for many of these bogus universities, said a senior Irish academic attached to a local private university who declined to be named.

“These institutions go to another country, especially in the less developed and developing world, and offer local prominent personalities doctorates and other degrees. These are not honorary degrees but they don’t ask the VIPs for money either.

“They just invite the important people to put in a 1,500-word essay or write something about themselves, and they ‘award’ them their degrees.

“It becomes an endorsement of sorts — when the institutions get complaints from parents and students, they will simply point out the important people who have their degrees,” he explained, adding that it is prevalent because it is win-win for both parties.

“The institutions get the chance to be set up and the important people get their paper qualification.”

Republic of Ireland deputy ambassador to Malaysia Eoin Duggan highlighted another device for these universities to gain credibility.

They would invite VIPs, including politicians, to their convocations and sometimes confer on them honorary degrees.

“Their presence gives the ceremony importance. Having, say, a junior minister’s name on their list meanwhile would add credibility to the institution’s name,” he said.

For example, IIU’s previous honorary luminaries include a senator who is famous for championing minority rights, the president of one of Barisan Nasional’s component parties and the director of a local think tank.

Although most have wised up and dropped the dubious qualification from their resume, a few still list it in their academic credentials.

Education blogger Tony Pua believes that half of those holding bogus degrees knew that their “qualifications” were not bona fide.

“It lends credence to the university to have VIPs on their list. But if you can get a doctorate without doing any research, it is a fake one. It is impossible to get a credible doctorate via a long distance learning programme, especially if you are studying part-time,” said Pua, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

British Council Malaysia Education and Programmes Director Peter Clack agrees, pointing out that a degree is intended to reward academic excellence and requires hard work and commitment as that is what gives it its value with employers.

“If a degree course sounds too good to be true, then it is more than likely to be a bogus one,” he said.

Unfortunately, there is nothing much that authorities can do to stamp out this fraudulent practice.

Although the respective governments are aware of these dubious institutions, they have not been able to fully eliminate them as many are legitimately registered as business entities or exist mainly in the virtual world.

Many can only advise the public about the “bogus” institutions, like Ireland, which is distancing itself from the institutions claiming to be Irish.

However, these “bogus” bodies are experts in evading authorities; further checks revealed that IIU had changed its name to Isles International University. It has even maintained an international office in Petaling Jaya.

The degree mill issue has become such that the United Nations declared a war on this worldwide industry of fraudulent qualifications in June.

Calling it “an emerging academic corruption”, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has issued a guideline for countries around the world to help eradicate these degree mills.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

5th International Conference on e-Learning 12-13 July 2010 Penang

5th International Conference on e-Learning
at the Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
12-13 July 2010

Conference Chair: Rozhan M. Idrus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Programme Chair:Issham Ismail, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

The International Conference on e-Learning (ICEL-2010) invites researchers, practitioners and academics to present their research findings, work in progress, case studies and conceptual advances in areas of work where education and technology intersect. The conference brings together varied groups of people with different perspectives, experiences and knowledge in one location. It aims to help practitioners find ways of putting research into practice and researchers to gain an understanding of real-world problems, needs and aspirations.

The 5th Edition of the conference brings us to the shores of the island of Penang, also known as Pearl of the Orient. A fascinating fusion of the East and West, Penang embraces modernity while retaining its traditions and old world charm. These are reflected in its harmonious multiracial populace and well-preserved heritage buildings which led to George Town being accorded a listing as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site recently. Long regarded as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang also entices visitors with its beautiful coasts and scrumptious cuisines. The conference will be held at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), also known as the University in a garden.

We look forward to welcoming participants from all over the world and I hope that you will be able to join us.

Rozhan M. Idrus
Conference Chair
Universiti Sains Malaysia.

For details:

Important Dates

Abstract submission deadline: 4 January 2010

Notification of abstract acceptance: 11 January 2010

Full paper due for review: 16 February 2010

Notification of paper acceptance (with any requested changes): 19 April 2010

Earlybird registration closes 3 May 2010

Final paper due: (with requestedchanges)17 May 2010

Final author registration date 7 June 2010

Registration News

Earlybird registrations closes on 3 May 2010. Please read the Earlybird condition.

Special reduced rates for Supervisors and Students attending together

Special reduced rates for group bookings

Publication Opportunity

Papers accepted for the conference will be published in the conference proceedings, subject to author registration. The proceedings have an ISBN and ICEL proceedings are listed in the Thomson ISI Index to Social Sciences & Humanities Proceedings (ISSHP) and the Thomson ISI Index to Social Sciences & Humanities Proceedings (ISSHP/ISI Proceedings).

Monday, August 17, 2009

How to convert from a two-tailed to a one-tailed test?

When you conduct a test of statistical significance, whether it is from a correlation, an ANOVA, regression or some other kind of test, you are given a p-value somewhere in the output. Unless you specify otherwise, this p-value (almost always) is for a two-tailed test. But what does this mean, really, and how can you convert this into a one-tailed test?

What is a two-tailed test?

First let's start with the meaning of a two-tailed test. If you are using a significance level of .05, a two-tailed test divides this value in half, meaning that .025 is in each tail of the distribution. While this makes it more difficult to achieve statistical significance, this means that you do not have make a prediction about the direction of the effect. In other words, the effect can be either positive or negative and still be statistically significant.

Converting a two-tailed to a one-tailed test

The easiest way to convert a two-tailed test into a one-tailed test is to divide in half the p-value provided in the output. In the output below, under the headings Ha: diff < 0 and Ha: diff > 0 are the results for the one-tailed tests, and the results in the middle, under the heading Ha: diff != 0 (which means that the difference is not equal to 0), is the two-tailed test. We can look at the output below and see that this is done to create the appropriate p-value for the predicted direction (see bolded portion). Notice, though, that there is no way to get a statistically significant result in the other direction. You need to make the directional prediction before you conduct the test, and if the result goes in the opposite direction, even if it would have been statistically significant with a two-tailed test, it is not statistically significant. To report the p-value in this direction, you would take the p-value from the one-tailed test and subtract that from 1. You can see this in the example below, 1 - .0001 = .9999.

Two-sample t test with equal variances

Group | Obs Mean Std. Err. Std. Dev. [95% Conf. Interval]
male | 91 50.12088 1.080274 10.30516 47.97473 52.26703
female | 109 54.99083 .7790686 8.133715 53.44658 56.53507
combined | 200 52.775 .6702372 9.478586 51.45332 54.09668
diff | -4.869947 1.304191 -7.441835 -2.298059
Degrees of freedom: 198
Ho: mean(male) - mean(female) = diff = 0
Ha: diff < 0 Ha: diff != 0 Ha: diff > 0
t = -3.7341 t = -3.7341 t = -3.7341
P < t = 0.0001 P > |t| = 0.0002 P > t = 0.9999

Why would you use a one-tailed test?

Many researchers argue that it is very rarely appropriate to do a one-tailed test. However, if it is logically impossible for the result to go in one direction (for example, for the mean height of 5-year-olds to be smaller than the mean height of 15-year-olds) or if such a result is of no practical importance (for example, the experimental medicine is less effective than currently used medicine), then a one-tailed test is appropriate. Also note that a one-tailed test has more power than a two-tailed test. In other words, while the probability of a Type I error is the same (whatever alpha level is used), the probability of a Type II error is reduced. Hence, you are less likely to miss a statistically significant effect with a one-tailed test (assuming that you have accurately predicted the direction of the effect).

Another example

Now let's try an example using a regression analysis. Let's say that we have social studies, math and science test scores from high school students and that we predict that the science scores will positively predict the social studies scores. In other words, we want to conduct a one-tailed test, and we will be using the distribution immediately above. Below is the output.

Source | SS df MS Number of obs = 200
-------------+------------------------------ F( 2, 197) = 46.58
Model | 7363.62077 2 3681.81039 Prob > F = 0.0000
Residual | 15572.5742 197 79.0486001 R-squared = 0.3210
-------------+------------------------------ Adj R-squared = 0.3142
Total | 22936.195 199 115.257261 Root MSE = 8.8909
socst | Coef. Std. Err. t P>|t| [95% Conf. Interval]
science | .2191144 .0820323 2.67 0.008 .0573403 .3808885
math | .4778911 .0866945 5.51 0.000 .3069228 .6488594
_cons | 15.88534 3.850786 4.13 0.000 8.291287 23.47939

To get the p-value for the one-tailed test of the variable science (assuming that the effect is going in the predicted direction, which you can tell by the sign of the coefficient), you would divide the .008 by 2, yielding .004. If you had made your prediction in the opposite direction, the p-value would have been 1 - .004 = .996.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Post Graduate May 2009 Semester Final Exam Time Table

Post graduate students of OUM Perak (MBA, MEd, MIT, and PhD) will be sitting for the May semester final exam semester from Aug 28 to Aug 30 at Perak Learning Center (Jln Lim Bo Seng).

Candidates are advised to come 30 minutes before exam to ensure that you are well prepared mentally. Good luck.

The following is the time table for your reference:

August 28, 2009: (Please click on image to enlarge)

August 29, 2009:
(Please click on image to enlarge)

August 30, 2009: (Please click on image to enlarge)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

QuestionPro University Partnership – Free Access to Students and Faculty

Aug 15, 2009

Over the years, we’ve offered QuestionPro free for Non-Profits and Students (on an individual basis) – Over next few months, we are planning on phasing out the Individual Student License and focus our efforts on the University Partnership.

The University Partnership License is an easy model for both universities and us to engage students and faculty members to collect data and analyze them. With the current belt-tightening and reduced budgets universities can offer their students access to QuestionPro across the board free of charge.

What is the catch?
Nothing is really free – correct – yes. We actually gain two important aspects:

a) Visibility – Students using QP usually after graduation come back to use us in a commercial setting. B-School students often take up jobs as Product Managers or decision makers that need data – Surveys are obviously an easy model to collect data.

b) Cutting Edge Enhancements – We are obviously big believers in “keeping ahead of the curve” and a lot of our enhancements that we’ve done are a direct response to users asking for them. Typically students and faculty members are more inclined to try out new models and ideas for data-collection than commercial counterparts. This allows QuestionPro to be in tune with trying new ideas.

Unique Challenges in the Academic Environment
One of the single biggest challenges doing a human-subject study is IRB Approval. If you’re a student or a faculty member – you know the process and the challenge. We have designed a few specific ideas that help you with the IRB Approval process:

a) Having an INTRO QuestionType with an “I Agree” Checkbox – This is almost a requirement by most IRB’s of Universities that human subjects explicitly agree to the survey process.

b) Standard agreements with some universities for IRB and Data-Collection Standards.

c) Details on Privacy and Compliance – than can be submitted to the IRB’s as part of the approval process.

What participants have said

“QuestionPro survey builder is much
easier than other products I have tried, and the level of support was
quite impressive. From creating the survey to analyzing the data, QuestionPro made the process simple yet professional.”

Bret Roark

Director of Assessment

Oklahoma Baptist University

Getting On-Board with the University Partnership
We’ve also streamlined the on-boarding of the partnership. If you are the dean or a faculty member (or if you are a student – please ask your faculty member) please see:

All the details are there. You can apply for it online and we’ve also a dedicated Point of Contact for all University Partnership Requests – You can email Naeem Shaik – naeem.s [at] surveyanalytics [dot] com – he can guide you through the process and answer any questions.

Additional References:

1. University Partnership Details
2. FAQ on University Sponsorship
3. Partnership Inquiries:
naeems [at] surveyanalytics [dot] com


Thursday, August 13, 2009

ICI9 International Conference for Information in KL begins - Part 1

August 12 2009,

Seated from left: Prof. Mansor (Senior VP of OUM), Tan Sri Anuwar Ali (President/VC of OUM), YB Khaled Nordin (Minister of Higher Education Malaysia), Dr. Zoltan (Hungary) and Mr. Ihab (Egypt)

The 2-day conference hosted by Open University Malaysia (OUM) begins today. It was held at the Legend Hotel in KL. More than 200 participants from 10 countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, China, Egypt, Morocco, India and Sri Lanka converged to learn more about Open and Distance Learning.

The Minister of Education presenting the Meritorious award to Keynote Speaker, Tan Sri Gajaraj Dhanarajan of Wawasan Open University

The conference was officiated by Minister of Higher Education Malaysia, YB Dato' Seri Mohd Khaled Bin Nordin. The conference was chaired by Prof. Dr. Mansor Fadzil, Senior Vice President of OUM. Several distinguished speakers were also present to deliver their keynote addresses. Among them include Prof. Tan Sri Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Vice Chancellor of Wawasan Open University Malaysia and Prof. Jeremy Dunning of Indiana University, USA. 40 presenters will be presenting their papers over the two days.

Panel discussion session chaired by Prof. Tan Sri Anuwar Ali (2nd from left). Members of the panel from left. Prof. Tan Sri Gajaraj, Prof. Atwi Suparman and Prof Jeremy Dunning

One of the presenters seen here presenting his paper during the conference on day 1

The conference is a yearly affair rotated among founding members which comprised of Open University Malaysia, Eszterhazy Karoly College (Hungary), Universite Cadi Ayyad (Morocco), and Delta Univesity for Science and Technology (Egypt).

Video clips on the launch of ICI9 by the Minister of Higher Education Malaysia:

During the opening ceremony, the Asean Journal of Open and Distance Learning was also launched, This journal is the brainchild of OUM, Open University of Philippines, and Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University of Thailand.

The video on the launching of the Asean Journal for Open and Distance Learning is as follows:

The Day-1 session ended with a keynote address from Prof. Jeremy Dunning of Indiana University entitled: "Back to the future: What E-Learning must do to reach its potential"

ICI9 International Conference for Information in KL begins - Part 2

August 13 2009

Day 2 of the IC9 conference started at 9am. The keynote speaker was Prof. Zoraini Wati Abas of Ope University Malaysia. The title of her presentation was: "Fostering learning in a mobile world". It was a very informative presentation where participants were shown the insight of some of the tools available in the Internet as well communication equipments that can enhance mobile learning. She also shared with participants the experience OUM has undergone with its OUMH1103 course.

Prof. Zoraini delivering her keynote address

The following is the video clips of Prof. Zoraini's keynote address:

From 9.50am to 10.30am, the second parallel session began with 8 more presenters presenting their papers. I was slotted for the first slot and my presentation is entitled: "OSI Model: An alternative model in the learning of Mathematics" Participants were shown how the model works and some sample video clips.

Video clip on Richard Ng's presentation Part 1:

Video clip on Richard Ng's presentation Part 2:

Participants were given a half an hour tea break before the 3rd parallel session began from 11am to 12.30pm where another 15 more presenters presented their papers.

Another presenter from Hungary

The closing ceremony by Tan Sri Dr. Anuwar Ali began at 12.30pm until 1 pm. He thanked each and everyone who have made the conference a success. The best paper award went to Dr. Nagarajah Lee of Open University Malaysia.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

ICI9 Conference for Information anjuran OUM

August 6, 2009

Ucapan Aluan YBhg Tan Sri Anuwar Ali, Presiden/Naib Canselor OUM

Dear Distinguished Colleagues and Friends,

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Open University Malaysia (OUM) will be hosting the Ninth International Conference on Information (ICI9) this year. Our co-organisers are the Esterhazy Karoly College, Eger, Cadi Ayyad University Marrakech, Morocco and Delta Academy of Science, Egypt. The conference will be held in Kuala Lumpur from 12th to 13th August.

The nature of open learning, as we know, is dynamic. It involves using the latest and cutting-edge knowledge and technology to impart information to recipients in the best possible ways. Knowledge itself is rapidly evolving, with what we knew yesterday becoming obsolete today.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon providers of open learning to constantly innovate and explore new technologies. This is where we hope ICI9 will play a significant role. This is our platform to share ideas, views and experiences in introducing, using, sustaining and innovating new technologies for open learning. This leads to our theme for the conference – “Learning Innovations in Higher Education.”

The wisdom and knowledge garnered from this sharing are of great potential benefit to open learning institutions. These could be used to improve our current programmes, policies and service delivery. We can also improve our collective strength through mutual collaboration and synergetic cooperation.

Thus, I look forward to welcoming you in August 2009.

Professor Anuwar Ali
President, Open University Malaysia

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kontroversi baru: Penyelewengan tesis PhD Jab Pengajian India - MStar

5 Ogos 2009

UM juga terkejut jumlah luar biasa penerima ijazah kelas pertama


PETALING JAYA: Isu dan kontroversi pelantikan ketua Jabatan Pengajian India, Fakulti Sastera dan Sains Sosial Universiti Malaya (UM) nampaknya tidak berakhir di situ semata-mata apabila siasatan mendapati berlakunya penyelewengan ke atas urusan pemeriksaan tesis calon ijazah doktor falsafah dan juga penganugerahan ijazah sarjana muda dengan kepujian kelas pertama pada jumlah yang sangat luar biasa.

Hasil siasatan yang dijalankan oleh Pejabat Naib Canselor juga mendapati, ini tidak pernah berlaku pada mana-mana jabatan lain di UM.

Pejabat Naib Canselor melihat kejadian ini sebagai "suatu perkara yang tidak boleh diterima dalam urusan penganugerahan ijazah.

"Ia telah berlaku sekian lama dan nampaknya pihak Fakulti tidak berkemampuan untuk memperbetulkannya.

"Setelah menilai keadaan yang berlaku di Jabatan ini, saya telah membuat kesimpulan bahawa jabatan ini dengan kepimpinan yang ada pada masa ini tidak mampu untuk memperbetulkan keadaan yang tidak munasabah ini," kata Naib Canselor UM, Datuk Dr Ghauth Jasmon dalam laporan bertulisnya kepada Menteri Pengajian Tinggi baru-baru ini.

Dalam laporannya itu, mStar Online difahamkan, Dr Ghauth telah menyenaraikan lampiran statistik jumlah calon yang memperolehi ijazah sarjana muda di Jabatan Pengajian India pada jumlah yang tidak munasabah iaitu melebihi 50% daripada jumlah calon yang dianugerahkan ijazah sejak sesi pengajian 2003/04.

Malah bagi sesi 2006/07, jumlah calon yang memperolehi kelulusan dengan ijazah kelas pertama melebihi 64%.

Ekoran daripada penganugerahan ijazah kelas pertama pada jumlah yang sangat luar biasa itu, Dr Ghauth telah mengarahkan pihak fakulti supaya melakukan proses pembetulan ke atas sistem akademik di Jabatan Pengajian India untuk memastikan perkara-perkara yang kelihatan tidak beretika tidak berulang lagi.

Sementara itu, Dr Ghauth turut mendapati pada awal tahun ini, telah berlaku satu penyelewengan dalam urusan pemeriksaan tesis calon ijazah doktor falsafah (PhD) di jabatan yang sama.

"Hasil siasatan yang dijalankan oleh Dekan Fakulti Sastera dan Sains Sosial akhirnya telah mendapati berlakunya perkara-perkara yang tidak beretika dalam pengurusan pemeriksaan tesis calon PhD tersebut oleh pemeriksa luar daripada dua buah universiti dari India," kata sumber tersebut kepada mStar Online.

Malah siasatan itu juga mendapati, salah seorang pemeriksa luar yang dilantik oleh Jabatan Pengajian India UM untuk menyelia tesis pelajar PhD tersebut telah "dipaksa" untuk menyiapkan laporannya dalam tempoh tiga hari.

Dan oleh kerana terdapatnya beberapa keraguan dalam Laporan Pemeriksa Luar dan isu kerahsiaan pemeriksaan yang tidak terjamin, maka pihak fakulti yang menjalankan siasatan tersebut telah mengesyorkan supaya laporan oleh pemeriksa luar dan juga pemeriksa dalaman bagi calon PhD yang terlibat ditolak.

Sebaliknya mereka telah mencadangkan supaya tesis calon berkenaan diperiksa semula oleh Pemeriksa Luar dan Pemeriksa Dalaman yang baru.

Monday, August 3, 2009

MPs criticise university degree standards - Malaysian Insiders

LONDON, Aug 3 — Universities are failing to safeguard standards leading to a rapid rise in top degrees, a committee of MPs said in a report yesterday.

The committee said the system for safeguarding quality was out of date and inconsistent and said they was complacency in leadership.

Universities rejected the accusations and said the report was “ill thought-through”.

The Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee said it was unacceptable that vice-chancellors could not give a straightforward answer to whether degrees awarded at different universities required the same intellectual standards.

“The public purse supports higher education to the tune of £15 billion (RM88.57 billion) and it is essential those studying at higher education institutions are awarded degrees that measure accurately and consistently the intellectual development and skills that students have achieved,” the report said.

Last year 61 per cent of degrees awarded were either first or upper seconds, while the proportion was just 53 per cent in 1997.

“We are extremely concerned that inconsistency is rife and there is a reluctance to address this issue,” said Phil Willis, the committee chairman.

The report said the body which oversees standards needed radical transformation and should be transformed into an independent body with a specific remit to maintain academic quality.

“Maintaining standards is absolutely vital but we reject the suggestion that the way to improve the system that protects standards is to create some super-quango,” said Diana Warwick of Universities UK.

“The raft of centralising recommendations appear to us ill thought-through, disproportionate to the scale of any problem identified, and made without supporting evidence.” – Reuters

Rosmah honoured for work in childhood education - Malaysian Insider

Aug 3, 2009 By Adib Zalkapli

Honoured: Tuanku Mizan presenting Rosmah with the honorary doctorate at UiTM yesterday.

SHAH ALAM, Aug 3--Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was conferred an honorary doctorate in education by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) for her efforts in improving childhood education in the country.

The wife of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received the award from the university's chancellor Yang DiPertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

In her acceptance speech, Rosmah said she was touched by UiTM's recognition.

"It is still fresh in my mind... almost four years ago I was with several professionals, professors, teacher, medical specialists, artists, police officers, retired government officers and practitioners of early childhood education, together we discussed the importance of early childhood education," said Rosmah.

"Thank God, our views were accepted by Datuk Seri Najib who was then the deputy prime minister, and adopted by the government in the National Early Childhood Education Policy," she added.

Rosmah's contribution to early childhood education includes improving access to improved childhood education, especially in rural areas, through an organisation that she helped found — PERMATA.

"Datin Seri Rosmah's passionate drive to advance early childhood education has moved the country to formalise policies in this direction," said UiTM vice chancellor Tan Sri Ibrahim Abu Shah.

He added that Rosmah's efforts have made Malaysians more aware of the importance of childhood education.

"Today, we are honouring Datin Seri Rosmah for her passionate belief and her tireless efforts in ensuring that our children, our most precious gems, our hope for the future, will be on a much surer path to individual success in school and as able adults in the global economy," said Ibrahim.

"For her vision and noble work, we also honour Datin Seri Rosmah for being the gem that she truly is," he added.

Earlier, Rosmah was welcomed by Najib, Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin and senior academics of the university upon her arrival.