Monday, January 17, 2011

Local private colleges to be rated on MyQuest this year - The Star


PUTRAJAYA: Local private colleges will be rated this year through the Malaysia Quality Evaluation System (MyQuest), said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

The move, he said, was necessary as universities and university colleges were already evaluated through the Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education (Setara) and it would be “incomplete” if Malaysia’s 402 private colleges were not rated.

“It is important to know where our many colleges stand and we cannot compromise on quality,” he said at a press conference.

“We hope to come out with the results at the end of the year as the rating will assist students when it comes to choosing a college.”

Mohamed Khaled launched MyQuest after delivering his New Year’s message to the ministry at the Putrajaya International Convetion Centre on Monday. Under MyQuest, private colleges will be classified into six tiers.

They are Tier 6 (Excellent), Tier 5 (Very good), Tier 4 (Good), Tier 3 (Satisfactory), Tier 2 (Poor) and Tier 1 (Very poor).

My Quest employs a 40-30-30 breakdown: 40% of a college's score comes from its Input (students and facilities); 30% from Output (Recognition of a college's courses and graduates); and 30% from a college's quality management system.

Developed since the end of 2009, MyQuest is able to generate three different evaluation reports - college-based, cluster-based and international student-focused.

To qualify for MyQuest, colleges must have at least one matured programme running, with at least one batch of graduates.

Mohamed Khaled said that polytechnics would also be rated under a system known as PolyRate and the results would also be announced at the end of the year.

He added that this year’s Setara exercise would include universities that offered open and distance learning programmes as they widened access to higher education and promoted lifelong learning.

Three new research grant schemes were also announced to complement the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS).

They are the Long Term RGS, the Exploratory RGS and the Prototype RGS.

Mohamed Khaled said that over RM700mil would be disbursed through the schemes over two years.

Explaining the move, Mohamed Khaled said that research was multi-faceted and the nation could lose out if everything was spent on fundamental research.

“Some forms of research may take a long time and if we lack this specific type of grant, few would be motivated to undertake such efforts,” he said

Thursday, January 6, 2011

OUM PhD pioneer graduates invited to the first Staff Assembly

The OUM's pioneer PhD graduates were specially invited to attend the first staff assembly for the year 2011. The letter of invitation were specially prepared and signed by its President and Vice Chancellor, Emeritus Prof. YBhg Tan Sri Dr Anuwar Ali.

Photo with President of OUM. From left: Dr Baljinder, Dr Wong, Dr Lum, Tan Sri and Dr Aminah

It was a very special occasion both for OUM and the graduates. The guest of honor was Dato' Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar, our Malaysian first astronaut. It was special because this was the first time OUM has invited graduates to attend its Staff Assembly, which happened to be the first assembly for the year 2011. Among the graduates present include Dr. Baljinder Singh, Dr. Sia Mal Kong, Dr. Wong Siaw Ming, Dr. Lum Heap Sum, Dr. Aminah and Dr Richard Ng.

Tan Sri Anuwar presenting the meritorius award to Dato' Dr Sheikh Muszaphar

For the graduates, it was an opportunity to meet in person our very first astronaut and to hear him sharing his personal experience through his talk entitled "Having the Right Attitude towards Excellence". According to Dato' Dr. Sheikh, his achievement culminated from his years of hard work, passion, dare to take risk and fear of nothing except God. He explained how he was selected from among 11,425 applicants and later shortlisted to 4 and finally became the first astronaut.

Dr Richard and Dr Aminah with astronaut, Dr Sheikh

It was his passion and his dreams. To him dreams are possible if you can overcome fear. It was a very interesting talk with video clips shown on his 12-day stay at the International Space Station.

The book autographed by Dato' Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar

Dr Lum receiving a souvenir from Tan Sri President

To the graduates, this occasion is considered a home coming event and get together session after their convocation held in November 2010. They met the faculty members and also the top management of OUM. They were also treated to a brunch attended by all staff and our astronaut. The President of OUM then presented each and every one of the graduates an OUM Jacket, a CD and a book written by our astronaut.

Dato' Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar then signed the autograph of his book of each of the graduate.

The pioneer PhD graduates having discussion on future plans before their departure

To the management of OUM especially to the President of OUM, Tan Sri Dr. Anuwar Ali, we are grateful for the invitation and appreciation shown.