KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — A World Bank In contrast, Singapore’s decision to prioritise research, keeping English as the medium of instruction and a merit-based admissions policy have all contributed to the success of the National University of Singapore’s success, according to “The Road to Academic Excellence,” which studies what contributes to a world-class research university. ation has found that standards at Universiti Malaya have fallen and the institution has been kept at a disadvantage because of race-based admission quotas and political interference in university management.
The study also noted that Malaysian secondary school students are not well prepared for tertiary education.
It points out that the Malaysian education system promotes rote learning, conformity and uniformity rather than fresh and creative thinking. The study is led by two scholars — Philip Altbach and Jamil Salmi — while various chapters see contributions from various academics.
According to the study, “at an early stage, the Singapore government realised the universities’ role in sustaining economic growth. “In contrast, after 1970, UM’s institutional goals reflected the New Economic Policy, an affirmative action plan for ethnic Malays and indigenous groups, put in place in the wake of disastrous 1969 ethnic riots that took the lives of hundreds of people on both sides of the racial divide.,” the study found. The authors said that apart from the student quota system, the NEP translated into more scholarships to Bumiputeras, special programmes to facilitate their entry into higher education institutions, and the use of the Malay language in place of English in the entire education system by 1983.
“In UM and in government, the policy “As NUS kept pace with the demands of a growing economy that sought to become competitive internationally, with English continuing as the language of instruction and research, UM began to spiralled upward so that Bumiputera staff members, over time, secured almost all senior management, administrative, and academic positions. inward as proficiency in English declined in favour of the national language — Bahasa Malaysia — and the New Economic Policy’s social goals took precedence.”