30 December 2013

SCHOLARatRISK: Unchained

Scholars at Risk
Dear SAR Friends,

Just two weeks ago, a scholar we have been helping escape threats in Iran finally arrived at a host university in Norway. It took months of work, involving many partners, to identify a campus ready to host, arrange the necessary support, get the invitation, and secure visas and tickets, all while working around restrictions in Iran. Even on his way to the airport, we all knew the scholar was not yet free. He could be turned back or detained at any time before takeoff, as so many others have been. Finally, we got the message that the plane was on its way. It said he was, finally, “unchained.”

Over the last year, Scholars at Risk helped over 250 scholarsescape threats and overcome pressures, including arranging positions at network-member campuses, providing advice, referrals and other services, and advocating for those held in prison or otherwise still under threat at home.  But there is still so much to do.  Right now we have over 200 pending cases of scholars needing our help. 
Will you help us to help them?  Will you please make a gift of $100, $500, $1000 or whatever level to Scholars at Risk today?  Every gift helps us protect more scholars.
Click here ("DONATE now") to make a contribution.   If you have already made your gift, thank you!

Rob Quinn
Executive Director
Scholars at Risk
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17 December 2013

WORLD BANK: Malaysia economic monitor: high-performing education 2013

Malaysia's economy regained momentum but yearly growth is set to decelerate in 2013. Export recovery into 2014 is expected to offset slower domestic demand and lead to a pick-up in growth. Fiscal consolidation is picking up pace with subsidy cuts, sin tax increases, and less generous public service bonuses. The full implementation of the minimum wage in January 2014 will provide an additional boost to households, as will increased cash transfers that are part of the government's strategy for subsidy rationalization and modernizing social protection. Malaysia performs very well with respect to access to education. Enrolments at primary and lower secondary levels are nearly universal and recent gains in pre-primary education have been note-worthy. Among East Asian countries that participated in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Malaysian students only outperform their Indonesian peers, and lag even lower-income countries (including, by a wide margin, Vietnam). Expenditure on basic education is more than double that of other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and the decline in learning outcomes occurred while inputs to education were expanding and the size of the student population was falling. The key constraints to improving the quality of basic education thus relate not to the quantity of inputs but institutions. 46 percent of principals report a lack of qualified teaching staff as a constraint, and Ministry of Education (MOE) admits that in recent years some candidates enrolling in teacher training institutions did not meet minimum requirements of academic achievement at the secondary level. Lifting these constraints entails refining some of the measures recommended in the Education Blueprint for high-performing education system: (1) moving towards school-based decision-making; (2) improving parental involvement and enhancing accountability; and (3) improving incentives and recruitment for teachers. The government may consider piloting fixed contract recruitments with tenure contingent on performance, and tying retraining and up-skilling efforts with certification.

Scholars at Risk (SAR) Academic Freedom Media Review, December 7-13, 2013

Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements.  Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the search results reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Archived media reviews are available at http://scholarsatrisk.nyu.edu/Events-News/Academic-Freedom-News.php

Protecting higher education from attack – Report
Peta Lee, University World News, 12/13

U.S. Colleges Finding Ideals Tested Abroad
Tamar Lewin, The New York Times, 12/11

Ukraine Crackdown Turns Sinister
Inter Press Service, 12/10

Law Professor Fired for “Spreading Political Views”
Sophie Beach, China Digital Times, 12/10

Students 'persecuted for protest', says MP
Hannah Richardson, BBC, 12/9

Egypt govt. takes over Brotherhood-owned schools
Aswat Masriya, 12/9

Egypt puts Brotherhood leader on trial, students protest
Tom Perry And Shadia Nasralla, Reuters, 12/9

A Scholar Is Back Home and Defiant in Hungary
Paul Hockenos, The New York Times, 12/8

06 December 2013

24 November 2013

THE ANT DAILY: Public universities keeping their distance from industry players


"They [universities] are therefore insulating themselves from industry needs. How would they be able to carry out commercialisation successfully when collaboration between public universities and private sector companies is rare?"

16 November 2013

15 November 2013

The Star: Higher Education in flux


"The primary aim of universities today is to build careers and not characters. Education today is for earning, not learning. We have become mistresses to the Qualifying Boards of our professions." 

06 November 2013

MOVE welcomes corporate membership

MOVE membership is now opened to corporate membership of academic and professional organisations. Each corporate member can appoint a representative to the executive council of MOVE and be involved in the running and activity of MOVE.

Membership fee ranged from RM100 to RM500, depending on membership. Please refer to Fasal 20 Perlembagaan GERAK. Application form can be obtained here.

Please make the collegiality and the voice of the academics stronger at national and international levels by being a member of MOVE, either as corporate or individual member.

Keahlian GERAK dibuka kepada pertubuhan akademik dan professional

GERAK mengalu-alukan permohonan keahlian dari pertubuhan-pertubuhan akademik dan professional sebagai Ahli Koperat. Setiap ahli koperat boleh melantik seorang wakil ke Majlis Kerja GERAK dan boleh terlibat dalam pengurusan dan aktiviti GERAK.

Yuran ahli koperat adalah antara RM100 hingga RM500, bergantung kepada bilangan ahli pertubuhan. Sila lihat Fasal 20 Perlembagaan GERAK. Borang permohonan ahli koperat boleh didapati di sini.

Tolong tingkatkan kesepakatan dan suara para akademik (awam dan swasta) Malaysia diperingkat nasional dan antarabangsa dengan menjadi ahli GERAK samada sebagai ahli koperat atau ahli individu.

14 October 2013

Ready for retirement?

While older faculty say they’re financially prepared for retirement, few have planned for it in detail, according to data released today by Fidelity Investments. Younger faculty are less confident about retirement and less prepared for it financially, and greatly value employer-sponsored health care benefits.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/09/study-older-faculty-members-feel-financially-ready-retirement-dont-have-detailed#ixzz2hfZEc2ng
Inside Higher Ed 

30 September 2013

Inside Higher Education: Too quick to suspend?


“When a professor is suspended for expressing controversial ideas, it violates the rights of students to hear those ideas, and the rights of everyone on campus who must live in a climate of fear about freedom of expression.”
“A faculty member’s expression does not lose protection, nor is it punishable by a state university, simply because someone might find it offensive (even highly so).”
"Does the faculty member’s exercise of his or her rights violate anyone else’s?"

29 September 2013

7th Education Iinternational Asia Pacific Regional Conference


 Pembukaan oleh Dato' Mary Yap, Tim. Menteri Pelajaran

Wakil GERAK: Sdr Aznijar Yazid, Sdr Rosli Mahat, Sdri Sharifah Sophia

24 September 2013

The Star: Poser over results and rankings


The results of the World University Rankings are in, but can the respondents’ lack of familiarity to the Asia-Pacific region affect the standing of Malaysian institutions?

23 September 2013

Hazman Baharom: Universiti dan pengiktirafan: Ke mana keghairahan kita?


Mencatatkan sesuatu rekod — melakukan sesuatu yang belum pernah dicapai orang lain — sewajarnya merupakan suatu kebanggaan yang akan dikenang. Namun, kita perlu bertanya semula, adakah pencapaian yang dicapai itu benar-benar cocok dan layak dengan makna serta iltizam sebuah institusi ilmu? Atau dibuat hanya sekadar menjadi rekod Malaysia sahaja?

11 September 2013

NATURE: Scientist cleared of libel in Taiwan court


A Taiwanese environmental engineer sued for suggesting a link between a petrochemical company's emissions and cancer rates was today cleared of libel by a court.

30 August 2013

Pensyarah turut mohon berpolitik


Majlis Persatuan Pegawai Akademik Malaysia (MAAC) meminta kerajaan memperluaskan kebenaran untuk bertanding, dilantik dan memegang jawatan dalam parti politik, kepada kira-kira 20,000 pegawai akademik di institusi pengajian tinggi awam (IPTA) seluruh negara. 

Nota: GERAK bukan ahli gabungan MAAC

23 August 2013

Too many universities in Malaysia?

They can continue operating as long as their revenue overcomes the marginal cost of providing the education. Which means that we have a large number of colleges around producing an uneven quality of education.

Once education becomes a commodity, problems arise, including the management of quality.


25 July 2013

DORA: The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

The Journal Impact Factor is frequently used as the primary parameter with which to compare the scientific output of individuals and institutions. The Journal Impact Factor, as calculated by Thomson Reuters, was originally created as a tool to help librarians identify journals to purchase, not as a measure of the scientific quality of research in an article. ............... Do not use journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist's contributions, or in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions.


Nature: China needs workers more than academics

Same problem of unemployed graduates and shortage of skilled workers in Malaysia. University education is valued but vocational education is held in deep and wide contempt. 


04 July 2013


This year, Education International celebrates its 20th anniversary. Since its founding in 1993, EI has grown to be the voice for the teaching profession worldwide, representing today over 30 million educators, from early childhood to university, through about 400 member organisations in 171 countries.  EI advocates for quality education for all and for improving professional standards, and the status of teachers and their rights. EI also advocates for human rights and equality for all girls and boys, women and men.

As we celebrate Education International’s 20th Anniversary, we are pleased to announce an EI study fellowship for PhD or post-doctoral scholars. The study fellowship will be funded through the Mary Futrell Scholarship Fund, which was created in honour of EI’s founding President. 

The study fellow will undertake research investigating education and teacher policy and practice worldwide with a focus on an assessment of Education for All (EFA) and education Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including achievements and challenges, with a view to informing the post-2015 development and education agenda. 

A scholarship stipend of up €40 000 will be offered to a PhD candidate or post-doctoral fellow enrolled in a recognised higher education institution for a period of up to two years. The study fellow may spend part of their time at the EI headquarters in Brussels and be attached to the EI Research Institute and/or the Education and Employment Unit. EI’s official languages are English, French, Spanish and German. The working language of the EI Secretariat is English.

Successful applicants will have a successful research record and demonstrated competence in one or more of the following areas:

·         International comparative education
·         Education management, policy and planning
·         School and teacher leadership
·         International development and education

Interested candidates who meet the above criteria should submit their CV along with a covering letter detailing their qualifications and research experience to:

Education International
Attention: Mr Dennis Sinyolo, EI Senior Coordinator, Education and Employment
5bd du Roi Albert 11
1210 Brussels

The closing date is 15 July 2013. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

11 June 2013

Inside Higher Education: Scrutiny of QS Rankings

Many educators question the value of rankings and argue that they can measure only a narrow slice of what quality higher education is about. QS’s methodology seems to be particularly controversial, however, due in large part to its greater reliance on reputational surveys than other rankers. Combined with a survey of employers, which counts for 10 percent of the overall ranking, reputational indicators account for half of a university’s QS ranking. By comparison, a university's teaching and research reputation, as gauged by an invitation-only survey of academics, accounts for a third of the Times Higher Education ranking; the ARWU doesn't use reputational surveys at all, relying instead on objective metrics related to citations and publications and the numbers of alumni and faculty winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals. Reputational data are "cheap and easy to collect, especially if one is not worrying too much about how respondents are selected ...........

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/05/29/methodology-qs-rankings-comes-under-scrutiny#ixzz2VvIN0cQm

Inside Higher Ed, 29 May 2013

27 May 2013

Varsity reform - returning academia to the people

Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi
Malaysiakini 27 May 2013
There is no honour any more. Just numbers and rankings and labels and the perpetual race of vice-chancellors outdoing one another to please the political ‘masters’ for their own selfish greed. In turn, the deans and deputy VC would also try their level best to outdo one another to please the VC. 

13 May 2013

A future without tenure

With increasing proportion of non-tenured academics, are Malaysia universities heading in this direction too?

Read the outcome of an earlier, similar attempt:

The Potential of Late-Career Professors

Are late-career faculty a financial burden for institutions and a barrier for aspiring faculty who are prevented from entering the academic profession by aging professors who increasingly postpone retirement?

Read more: 

24 April 2013

NATURE Special: The future of Publishing

Nature 23 April 2013
Scientific publishing is being thrust into a fast-paced online world. Our extensive coverage in this special issue looks at the questions raised by the appearance of cheap open-access journals, including some that may be on the dark side – or even scams that impersonate real journals. Other articles look at how libraries are trying to keep up with the changes; at objections raised about the Creative Commons licences; at the next push to hasten open access; and more.

12 April 2013

Ratings at a Price for Smaller Universities

The New York Times, December 30, 2012

For a certain kind of European, Asian or Latin American institution, the release of the world university rankings each autumn is an exercise in humiliation. Though often long established, and with good local reputations, these schools lack the endowments, research facilities and sheer size needed to compete with U.S. and British powerhouses like Harvard, M.I.T., Cambridge and Stanford.
So when Quacquarelli Symonds, the London-based company behind the QS World University Rankings, announced “a new initiative that gives universities the opportunity to highlight their strength” by paying a fee for the chance to be rated on a scale of one to five stars, the business case was obvious. But so, say critics, was the potential for conflicts of interest. The fees were announced in 2010, though the initiative was not introduced fully until this year.

11 April 2013

Conference Report

EI 8th Higher Education and Research Conference, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 25-27 September, 2012.


U-Multirank, a new university ranking system

U-Multirank, a new university ranking system, is being launched under the Irish EU Presidency in Dublin today by Ruairí Quinn, TD, Minister for Education and Skills and European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou. This new system marks a radical departure from the traditional methods of grading higher education institutions which tend to focus mainly on research performance. 500 universities worldwide are expected to sign up.
Given the increasing global demand for a ‘knowledge society’, public interest in the performance of higher education institutions (HEIs) has never been higher.  However, the current systems of global university rankings do not reflect the needs of all stakeholders – including students, business and governments. 
U-Multirank is addressing this by measuring the performance and excellence of HEIs across a variety of dimensions.  Five areas are measured: reputation for research, quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer (such as partnerships with business and start-ups), and contribution to regional growth.

21 February 2013

Share My Lesson


Brussels, 19 February 2013

Re: ‘Share My Lesson’

Dear Colleagues,

At EI’s annual conference for our affiliates in the OECD member countries, the American Federation of Teachers and its British partner, TES Connect, hosted a reception at which the new, online teacher resource and collaboration platform, Share My Lesson was presented.  I want all of our affiliates to be introduced to this innovative use of technology to support the professional development of educators.

This is not an ordinary web based classroom tool. These are resources that have been designed by teachers for teachers and have a proven track record.  And unlike many commercial offerings, they are free.  See for yourself. Go to www.sharemylesson.com  now and register.  Teachers in more than 50 countries are already using Share My Lesson.

EI is a content partner with Share My Lesson and the classroom materials we have developed such as Building a Gender Friendly School Environmentand the Leadership in the HIV and AIDS Response toolkit are available on the web site.

Delegates from our OECD affiliates who attended the demonstration session held by the AFT and TES Connect in London came away with an appreciation of the real benefits to teachers from online collaboration tools like Share My Lesson.  We would like for all of our affiliates to have the same opportunity, and we encourage you to visit SML at www.sharemylesson.com .  We also hope you will put up a link on your web site so that your members can also visit SML.  AFT staff are available to answer questions about accessing SML, providing a link for your members or any other issue.  You can reach them at lspecht@aft.org.

Yours sincerely,

Fred van Leeuwen
General Secretary



22 January 2013

Beall's List

Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers and journals


20 January 2013

Persatuan Kakitangan Akademik Universiti Malaya (PKAUM)

EXCO Sesi 2012/2014

Azmi Sharom, Fakulti Undang-Undang

Rosli bin Mahat, Jabatan Fizik

Asma Ahmad Shariff
Jabatan Matematik, Pusat Asasi Sains

Aznijar bin Ahmad Yazid
JKRP, Fakulti Kejuruteraan

Por Lip Yee @ Por Khoon Sun
Fakulti Komputer Sains dan Teknologi Maklumat

Azuddin Mamat
JKRP, Fakulti Kejuruteraan

Rose Ann bt Abd Rahim
Pusat Teknologi Maklumat

Rancangan Pengajian Gender, Fakulti Sastera dan Sains Sosial

Roy Anthony Rogers a/l Peter Rogers
Fakulti Sastera dan Sains Sosial, Universiti Malaya.

JKRP, Fakulti Kejuruteraan

Fakulti Sastera dan Sains Sosial

Shakila Parween binti Yacob
Jabatan Sejarah, Fakulti Sastera dan Sains Sosial,

Hanizura binti Mohd Haniff
Pusat Teknologi Maklumat

Syed Mohd Hamdi Said Ali
Pusat Teknologi Maklumat

Root cause of Bawani-Sharifah Affair

by Prof. Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi

09 January 2013

Sex charge an academic persecution of law professor?