Wednesday, October 12, 2011

OUM PhD Students Monthly Gathering - Oct 23, 2011

Posted by Bee Ching:

Dear All,

We live in a multi-racial, multi cultural and multi-religious society. Last month,our Muslim friends celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri , this month we will have our Indian friends celebrate their Deepavali festival on the 26th of October. Hence the normal scheduled last Sunday meeting has been put forward a week early to 23rd as to allow members to enjoy the festival of light without interruption.

October meeting, we are glad to invite our ex-Doctoral Seminar facilitator and now Director of Student Management Center, Assoc Prof Dr Santhi Raghavan to give a Talk on Developing and Administrating of Survey Questionnaires.

We are looking forward to listen to Dr Santhi's timely expert guidance on how ,where, what and which survey questionnaires are to be selected, adapted and adopted for our research proposal.

Besides the Talk, we have invited our first batch of pioneer PhD(BA) graduates Richard Ng, Lum Heap Sum,Wong Siaw Ming and Patrick Wong to come and join us and share their(lonely) research journeys with us.

At the point of writing this message, Dr Richard Ng, has replied he would be working on the day . Dr Lum and Dr Wong Siaw Ming have just replied that they would be happy to join us. As suggested by Zulkifli, during our dialogue session, we hope to listen to some mentoring tips from Dr Lum and Dr Wong. They said they would be happy to answer questions raised from the floor. Please have your questions ready.

By the way, I have forwarded three files on PhD September briefings prepared by Dr Rosmah to members in the loop. I realized the file size is very large and many mails sent to members' company addresses have been returned and have to be resent again twice to limit the files size. Please download the 50 ppf slides, and keep the information for future reference. The one on Estimated to complete PhD time table is most useful .

Below please find the 23rd October Program Agenda

9.00-9.30 - Registration
9,30-10.30 - Developing and administrating survey questionnaire( Part 1)
10.30-11.00 - Morning tea break
11.00-12.00 - Developing and administrating survey questionnaire( Part 2)
12.00-1.00 - Sharing by Dr Lum and Dr Wong .
1.00-2.30 - Lunch

Venue : GA01 Beside Theatrette & Library, OUM

Cost : nil

For those intending to come, please confirm by email to or
sms to 0173402968 so that Dr Santhi will know the number of notes to be prepared as well as the lunch to be ordered

Thank you and see you all there to listen, to learn, to meet and to network.

Happy studying and writing

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Post-grad student boost - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Students will have a chance to continue their studies at international institutions through the newly-launched Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

The Prime Minister said the grant, open to Malaysian post-graduate students between 22 and 35 years old, would be introduced next year in disciplines like education, arts, sports, community and social work, environment, health, and science and technology.

“The youths are our future and it is important that we guide and provide them the opportunities and facilities to pursue their interest,” he said at the Merdeka Award ceremony at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas here last night.

The grant will allow students to engage in short-term collaborative projects at selected, internationally-recognised host institutions to develop their expertise.

“One grant will be offered in 2012 and two each in subsequent years,” he added.

At the function, Najib presented awards to Datuk Dr Kenneth Yeang, Prof Datuk Dr Goh Khean Lee and Prof Dr Mak Joon Wah for outstanding work in their respective fields.

Yeang received an award in the environment category for his contributions to developing ecology-related designs for buildings and in environmental conservation planning while Dr Goh and Dr Mak were joint recipients in the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement category.

Dr Goh was awarded for his contributions to developing research and practices in gastroenterology and hepatology in Malaysia to the global level.

Dr Mak is recognised as a global expert on filariasis and malaria by the World Health Organisation after being appointed consultant in at least 17 different cases.

Dr Goh said: “It is an honour to be chosen and I am extremely happy to share this prestigious award with a well-known scholar like Dr Mak.”

Each category offers a RM500,000 prize money, a trophy and a certificate.

The joint recipients of the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement category will share the award equally.

Also present at the ceremony were previous Merdeka Award recipients, the Prime Minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Merdeka Award Board of Trustees chairman Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas

The Merdeka Award was established by Petronas, ExxonMobil and Shell on August 27, 2007 to recognise and reward individuals who had made outstanding and lasting contributions to the nation in their respective fields.

Khaled: Local unis missing THE 400 research criteria - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Local universities did not feature in the recent Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings as they lacked the research expertise needed for a placing, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Khaled Nordin explained today.
“We know that if we participated, we will not even make it into the Times top 400 university rankings because we are new, we need to wait until our research really matured,” Khaled was quoted by Bernama Online today.

“It’s not that we have been assessed and disqualified... [but] our elements of research are just too young and immature [to make the list].”

Times’ World University Rankings is a grades the world’s top 400 universities.

The California Institute of Technology — or Caltech — secured top spot in this year’s rankings, followed by Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Princeton.

The World University Rankings first appeared as a supplement in The Times of London, are now published by the Times Higher Education magazine.

The weekly is regarded as the UK’s leading higher education publication.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

ICDE 2011 Conference - 2 - 5, Oct 2011 in Bali

The ICDE 2011 conference in Bali has just concluded yesterday with a free trip to several locations.

According to conference organizing chairman, Tian Belawati, the bi-anuual conference has attracted 602 participants from 49 countries with 230 presenters. The conference was officially open by HE President Bambang of Indonesia.

Several prominent speakers were invited to speak at the 24th ICDE Conference.

The following are some short video clips of some of the papers presented:

Video Clip of Richard Ng - Part 1:

Video Clip of Richard Ng - Part 2:

... more to come

24th ICDE World Conference media release: The power of education to transform lives - access, investment and development

The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) held its 24th biennial world conference in collaboration with The Open University (Universitas Terbuka), Indonesia from 2-5 October 2011. The conference, which looked at new approaches to learning, took place on the island of Bali and was attended by over 600 delegates representing 49 countries.


The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) is a network of educational institutions and associations worldwide. The organization enjoys formal consultative relations with UNESCO and works to promote open and distance learning, and provide opportunities for exchange of educational best practice between countries and regions.

The importance of creative solutions for education

In opening the conference, the Minister of National Education of the Republic of Indonesia Muhammad Nuh praised Universitas Terbuka for its work in overcoming challenges in the provision of access to education: “We have to be creative – open and distance learning has to be used as widely as possible to narrow social gaps”.

A personal story about educational opportunity

Hal Plotkin, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of Education, United States Department of Education drew on his own life story to highlight the opportunity that distance education can bring to underprivileged sections of society. On the verge of losing the family home, 17-year-old Plotkin left high school to work as a waiter until a newspaper article about school dropouts provoked him to write a reply, the beginning of a career as a writer and journalist. His formal education came through the US community college system which has no requirements for previous formal education: “Only 5% have real opportunities to enter higher education and among the other 95% could be geniuses capable of finding the cure for diabetes and solutions to the world’s economic challenges – open education is the only tool to unlock talent and capacity and to extend economic growth”.

Investments in access to education

Plotkin reported on massive investments in open education being made by the Obama administration in the United States through the federal Online Skills Laboratory, an initiative to build open resources for learning. The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program (TAACCCT) will invest $2 billion over the next four years in initiatives including free to access materials.

Keynote speaker Duk Hoon Kwak of the Korea Educational Broadcasting System (EBS), a public television network dedicated to lifelong public education noted similar investments planned in Korea for 2012-2015. All Korean students will be provided with digital textbooks by the end of this period.

Access challenges in developing countries

Onno W Purbo an IT evangelist from Indonesia spoke of how 6 million children enter school annually, but only 600,000 graduate from higher education. While learning materials are ever more freely available, the predominance of English language creates barriers, though Google translate is widely used. Students and teachers use USB memory drives to overcome the problems of slow internet connection, while kitchen utensils are used to extend the range of Wi-Fi hotspots.

From a Brazilian perspective, Stavros Xanthopoylos spoke of the challenges to creating and distributing free educational content when quality education is only available through private universities and colleges: “the value chain is based on profit and this goes against what they are about”.

Academic perspectives

Lawrence Lessig, lawyer, activist and founder of Creative Commons, an initiative to provide certificates for the licensing of scientific and educational materials spoke passionately about the injustices of commercial scientific publishing which restricts access to knowledge to the most privileged: “copyright is 18th century rules in a 21st century world”.

Respected academics working with open educational resources including GrĂ¡inne Conole from the University of Leicester, UK, and Rory McGreal from Athabasca University, Canada spoke on the role of technology in learning. McGreal advised colleagues to create educational materials for mobile devices first: “a third of the world’s population can only access the Internet from mobile devices”.