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Sunday, March 12, 2006

The cynic strikes again: Tertiary education standards

A big applaud to editors of The Star which published this open letter directed to the Minister of Higher Education.

Photo from

The letter was written by Dr. Azmi Sharon, an associate professor from the Law Faculty of UM. It seems that the message being conveyed by this 'true academic' warrants some change in local universities.

Being a student from a local varsity, let me give my two cents worth regarding the decline of tertiary education standards in our country.

Dr. Azmi says: "Over the past few years, there has been this mantra chanted by the Government and university leaders: “We want our universities to be world-class universities.” "

That is true but are we really worthy of world-class standards? There's been nothing but talk about being a 'world-class uni' or 'world-class faculty' but that's just TALK ffs. I don't see anybody taking any initiative to make the situation better. From a student's viewpoint, I would definitely say that the world-class thing is CRAP. Mediocre at best.

Dr. Azmi says: "Universities are not hampers."

Another political blah that aims to coerce the people to vote for the ruling party. The result (that I foresee): shoddy institutions run by bureaucrats who don't give a damn about quality.

Dr. Azmi says: "Universities are not fast food joints."

I say local unis are part of a big franchise chain that even McDonalds can't match up to here. What Dr. Azmi is trying to advocate, I think, is the implemenation of meritocracy when it comes to university admissions. Well, thanks to the Malaysian version of meritocracy, I had to appeal my ass off when I didn't get an offer for a degree course (but was offered a diploma course instead). 10As don't give you much of an advantage when you're chinese/indian/non-bumis.

Dr. Azmi says: "If you love your universities, you must set them free."

Freedom of expression? Now that's something students aren't used to (or should I say aren't permitted to). We can't even wear what we want to classes for that matter. No wonder the varsity I'm in is famous for producing so-called 'freedom fighters' aka bomb experts. They must have had a bad experience during their tenure here.

Dr. Azmi says: "Universities need Mandelas."

Since the appointment of our new VC, I've seen no obvious change whatsoever to the university except for higher fees. Oh, and security's much tighter nowadays, you can't even get into campus without being stopped for a short interrogation by the guards. Yeah like we're planning to blow up the masjid or something. I hope this guy doesn't stay up there for long...but hey, I'm graduating in two months time anyway.

And that concludes this episode of My Two Cent's Worth. Tune in next time for another cynical experience.

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