13 October 2016

The Star: Rankled by ranking exercises



Ranking exercises measure the measurable. They ignore many in­tan­­gibles that should be at the heart of university education like the infusion of ideals and values, the building of character, and the in­­volvement of the staff and students in community service.

As all public universities in Malaysia receive the bulk of their money from Parliament, this is the oft-given justification for tight political and bureaucratic control over them. But in law, public universities are not government departments but independent statutory bodies.
Their separate legal personality is written into their parent law and must be respected by the federal education bureaucracy.

There is clearly a need for more university autonomy. This suggestion is not novel. In the pre-university and University Colleges Act (AUKU) days the existing law for the University of Malaya allowed the university wide latitude for self-government. We need to return to the pre-AUKU days.

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