World Bank: M’sian varsities a poor show

Patrick Lee | November 21, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

Malaysia spends a lot on tertiary education, but its universities are not as good as others in Asia and many of its graduates are not equipped for the job market.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has little to show for its universities despite spending more money on tertiary education than do many other countries.

Malaysian universities lag behind many counterparts in Asia, including those located in neighbouring countries like Thailand and Singapore, according to a World Bank report released today.

“While Malaysia spends slightly more than most countries on its university students, leading Malaysian universities perform relatively poorly in global rankings,” said the report, entitled Malaysia Economic Monitor: Smart Cities.

Citing the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2010, it noted that Universiti Malaya (UM) was ranked 207th worldwide and 29th in Asia.

It also quoted a US News and World 2011 report on the World’s Best Universities, which put UM, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia at 167th, 279th, 335th and 358th place respectively.

Even more worrying, the World Bank report observed, was the “increasing gap” between Malaysia’s and Singapore’s universities.

It compared UM with the National University of Singapore (NUS), which QS cited as the leading university in Southeast Asia.

“The gap between UM and NUS has been high and generally increasing, especially in the sciences,” the report said.

According to the report, UM and NUS were on par when it came to science and technology in 2005. However, UM has lost out to NUS over the past six years.

The report also said many of Malaysia’s university graduates did not seem to have the skills that would help them get employment.

Lack of R&D

It said that 18% of university graduates were reported to be unemployed 18 months after graduation.

“There is substantial evidence of mismatches between the skills produced by Malaysia’s universities and the skills demanded by the labour markets.”

It appeared that graduates lacked proficiency not only in technical and professional areas, but also in information technology and the English language.

Research and development, the World Bank said, also did not seem to play a big role in Malaysia’s universities.

Not even added funds for R&D under the 2007 National Higher Education Plan and “sophisticated programmes” seemed to have helped.

“For many years, Malaysia pursued a policy favouring commercialisation and applied research over fundamental research and development,” the report said. “Results of the reforms have yet to show in data.”

It said Malaysia’s gross expenditure on R&D was only 0.64% of GDP in 2010, compared to Singapore’s 2.52%.

Malaysia had 372 researchers and 44 technicians per million of its population, much fewer than Singapore’s 6,088 and 529, it added.

  1. #1 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 6:19 pm

    Ask Muhyidin, our world-famous Minister of Education whose buffoonery and flip-flops is legendary.

    Moooo….what say you? World Bank says you tak ada standard-lah.

    Maybe, you would like to tell World bank to mind their own business, eh? After all, Malaysia is as you think an island of itself. tak payah bergaul dengan seluruh dunia. BN boleh jadi jaguh kampung. After all, M’sia can produce 15 A’s SPM, PMR7A’s, UPSR 5A’s and so on…but university graduates cannot get jobs-lah!

    Moo…. apa macam-lah.

  2. #2 by dcasey on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 7:02 pm

    Our Higher Education minister says no need to worry about all these rankings lah because it only serves to syiok the foreign universities. So long as our gomen can keep on hiring these graduates passing out from our local universities year after year, then semua ok what!! In Malaysia all our universities have top ten rankings one, that’s why Jibby says he must up the game and keep conniving to make more business unusual for his members to rev up the pace.

  3. #3 by richiee on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 7:07 pm

    Mooo..stahil under dipercayai! Cara cara yang di gunakan oleh world bank dalam laporannya memang tidak sesuai untuk negara kita. Mengikut analisasi kita universiti universiti kita memang bertaraf antarabangsa.


  4. #4 by DAP man on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 8:16 pm

    Please lah World Bank. Which country in the world has a researcher better than Riduan Tee who can transform from a Chinese into a Malay?
    He had even researched that Hudud can be forced down our throat.
    Anyway, Malaysia does not bother about world ranking since they are all manipulated by Zionists and Jews. And maybe the Chinese.
    Wait till we start the World Muslim Countries’ University Ranking. We will be tops.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 10:58 pm

    Even World Back experts and Malaysians know…and our so call “1Malaysia” PM does not know.
    They will say World Back opinions are not valid.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 11:03 pm

    The cow in Malaysia can jump over the moon and live in a RM10 million condominium.
    World Bank experts want to teach Malaysian government how to manage a country?

  7. #7 by thomasseah on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 12:16 am

    lts not fair to compare NUS to UM.
    Cos they are not in the same league.
    One has joined the World Cup, while the other is still struggling with Malaysia Cup and sadly , could be relegated soon
    Ha ha ha ha

  8. #8 by k1980 on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 5:49 am

    New universitiesnext year–

    1. Universiti COW (club of obedient wives) Malaysia

    2. Univershitty National Feedlot Malaysia

    3. Universiti Hudud Malaysia

  9. #9 by SENGLANG on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 8:27 am

    Money may be allocated for education but not spend on education but fell into the corrupts pockets.

    Standard of the U entries lower as the pre U standard was low to accommodate the quota system

    No systematic and clear guideline in the rewarding of scholarship to those wish to studies at local U, again mainly due to quota system

    Many many young achievers have been snapped up by Singapore under its Asean Scholarship

    Many self financial U student chose to studies overseas on obvious reason because local U are not up to the mark. This will have the recycle effect in no uplift the local U standard as most of the good students are no in local U

    The low standards of English contribute to the low standard of learning.

    last and the most important factor is that the BN government refuse to admit that the local U standard is inferior and have not courage to make changes. Most of the education policies are still short sighted and race based.

  10. #10 by dagen on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 9:00 am

    Pls remember ppl and you too mr world bank (btw, wat odd name you have!). To question the standard of umno’s universities is to be anti-agung, anti-sultan, anti-islam jenis umno, anti-melayu (actually umnoputra), anti-gobermen, unpatriotic, ungrateful, communist, terrorist etc etc; and it is an ISA-able conduct.

    Dear mr world bank look here. Malaysia has much fewer researchers and technicians you said. Do you anything about our Tun Tan Sri Dato Seri Dato’ Datuk Datuk Wira Professor Dr Apapunboleh bin Similanciaopunok? We have several hundreds of them. Each of them is equivalent to 100s of singaporean researchers and technicians rolled together.

  11. #11 by cseng on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 11:18 am

    Muyyuddin said “That’s why we are doing away PPSMI”

    Something for Muyyuddin to learn;

    The perception of ‘bangsa’ lies on their culture, what mold the culture is the literatures/books they read, Why they read such literatures/books is because their education, what drive the education is the operational resources, what drive the educational resources is the teachers…

    It is the teachers & literatures that determine the future of ‘bangsa’.…. If public service still an employment dam policy (no job, let’s get them in), nothing can help.

  12. #12 by k1980 on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 12:48 pm

    Let’s face facts: For PPSMI, which is easier to memorize,

    nine times nine equals eighty-one


    sembilan darab sembilan sama dengan lapan puluh satu?

  13. #13 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 2:18 pm

    Best, 九九八一

  14. #14 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - 2:22 pm

    九九八一 short n sweet n simple, all done b4 1 can say “sem bi lan da rab” mah
    Y would 1 want 2 remember multiplication tables in BM? Sigh!

  15. #15 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 - 2:49 pm

    At the moment, the more we concentrate at our Unis, the more glaring is the fact that BN or UMNO has screwed up the expectations of the next couple of generations. There is no doubt that we have to begin all over again right from year one in school. To start with, we need quality teachers with not only the right temperament but correct attitude about the ever changing world. If we need preachers, the parents will look for one but based on what I heard from friends who still have children in schools, this seems to be their concern in the national type schools. It is easy for some to advocate a single type of national schools to create the 1 Malaysia Concept but looking at the approach adopted by some schools or teachers, this is rather disturbing. Without the basic, all our plan at university level will be a non-starter! We have advocates at University level holding the perception that it is okay to have student pursuing engineering courses without a minimal mathematics ability! So why should our university performances be so depressing? It can be the only result available!

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