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Help in making
informed choices

SINCE the establishment of Malaysia’s first

university in 1962, the higher education
environment in Malaysia has expanded
With such a large influx of
tremendously. higher learning students both
Based on 2017 statistics provided by the
Education Ministry, there are 20 public
locally and internationally
universities in this country, of which five in Malaysia, it is crucial that
are research universities and four are
technical universities. In the private sector,
universities in Malaysia are
there is a total of 497 institutions: 401 on a par with international
colleges and 96 universities and university standards to provide quality
colleges. These numbers do not include the
94 community colleges and 34 polytechnic education to all students.
schools in the country.
With such a large number of higher
learning institutions established in universities in Malaysia are on a par with
Malaysia, the number of students registered international standards to provide quality
at these institutions do not disappoint. education to all students.
There are 618,180 students in public Therefore, the Rating for Higher
institutions, 524,350 students in private Education Institutions in Malaysia (Setara) The Government has made it mandatory for all private universities to be rated under
institutions, 21,486 students in community were introduced in 2007 to evaluate and MyQuest and Setara, which will help students make better choices for their tertiary
colleges and 89,503 students in polytechnic monitor the quality and achievements of education.
schools. universities and university colleges in
Things are looking up for Malaysia in Malaysia. recognised by the Malaysian Qualifications Incorporating research
how it is drawing international students as
well. In May last year, former Higher
In 2017, the fifth edition of the rating was
released. Seventy-one institutions were
Agency (MQA).
Therefore, in December last year, Deputy
Education Ministry secretary-general Tan evaluated, with eight institutions rated 6 Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said the Knowing how an institution is rated is also
Sri Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur said the Star: Outstanding, 21 institutions rated 5 ministry will make it mandatory for all important, as it defines the substance and
country is targeting to enrol 250,000 Star: Excellent, 29 institutions rated 4 Star: private universities to undergo future credibility of a certain research or rating
international students by 2025. She said Very Good, 12 institutions rated 3 Star: editions of Malaysian Quality Evaluation procedure.
that as of last year, there are 170,000 Good and one institution rated 2 Star: System for Private Colleges (MyQuest) and With the latest Setara procedures,
international students from more than 135 Satisfactory. Setara. institutions are divided into three categories
countries throughout Asia, Europe and It was noted that not all universities in With this new policy in place, students – mature universities with at least 15 years
Africa. Malaysia participated in the 2017 rating, and parents will be provided with a of establishment, emerging universities with
which lets many institutions operate comprehensive rating for all universities. less than 15 years of establishment and
Ensuring quality regardless of the local quality standard.
Because of this, there is the probability of
In addition, this decision acts to prompt
universities to strive for improvement in
university colleges – as opposed to previous
editions where there are only two categories;
With such a large influx of higher students losing out both on their education the education industry, while also upping public and private institutions.
learning students both locally and and money paid if they enrol in a their standards to stay on top of the
internationally in Malaysia, it is crucial that university that has not been evaluated or competition. > TURN TO PAGE 2

Find personal fulfilment through lifelong learning

KNOWLEDGE is the currency of the 21st
century economy. To meet the ever-
increasing need for qualified, higher-skilled
workers, the Malaysian Qualifications
Agency (MQA) has introduced the
Lifelong learners from
Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning all walks of life may
APEL widens access to higher education
access MSU’s range of
for adult learners who have rich work undergraduate as well as
experience but lack academic qualifications. postgraduate programmes
The Accreditation of Prior Experiential
Learning via Credit Transfer (APEL C) and choose from a variety
pathway provides credit transfers for entry of study modes that best fit
into diploma programmes right up to
doctorates. their situations.
APEL C allows the assessment of credits
against matching modules in a programme
of study. Once an APEL C applicant’s Studies, Faculty of Information Sciences and
competency level is determined, the credits Engineering, International Medical School,
can shorten his entire study duration School of Pharmacy, School of Education and
considerably, saving time and money. Social Sciences, School of Hospitality and
An applicant with a Sijil Pelajaran Creative Arts, School of Graduate Studies
Malaysia certification, for example, would and Graduate School of Management.
usually only qualify for diploma studies. MSU offers a wide range of programmes while still keeping the student’s convenience as Lifelong learning is vital for everybody,
However, through APEL C and enough work well as their educational and professional backgrounds in mind. not just the insatiably curious. Make lifelong
experience, it is possible to pursue a learning a part of yourself, advance in your
bachelor’s degree directly. backgrounds in mind. evenings, or virtual learning via video professional life and gain immense personal
Management and Science University Lifelong learners from all walks of life conferences supported by online discussions. fulfilment.
(MSU) offers breakthrough ways for working may access MSU’s range of undergraduate as Technology-driven MSU is steeped in the
adults wishing to further their studies. A well as postgraduate programmes and cultures of research, innovation and social n For a full range of and more information
wide range of programmes are offered while choose from a variety of study modes that entrepreneurship. MSU comprises the on the flexible programmes offered at MSU,
still keeping the student’s convenience as best fit their situations – whether to attend Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Faculty call 03-5521 6868, email enquiry@msu.edu.
well as their educational and professional classes on weekdays, weekends, in the of Business Management and Professional my or visit www.msu.edu.my
2 Setara THE STAR, TUESDAY 30 JULY 2019

Do stars have substance?

> FROM PAGE 1 Go with recognised names
Starting at the top
The rating instrument is based on a seven- With efforts by the Government to unify
step methodology that takes into account the standards of education and initiatives The Setara rankings released in 2017 institutions with 5 Star: Excellent status.
national and international benchmarks, by institutions to ensure their overall recognised eight mature universities with Here is the list of Malaysia’s top
stakeholder engagement, pilot runs, data education standards and services are 6 Star: Outstanding status and 21 universities.
verification and sensitivity and validity excellent, parents and students should
analysis. The criteria are divided into four not slack on researching which one to
main categories: general (institutional enrol in. 6 Star: Outstanding
profiles), teaching and learning, research This is because every university has its
capacity, and services and income pros, cons and niche specialisations that International Medical University Universiti Putra Malaysia
generation. feed into different fields. Besides that, it is Monash University Malaysia Universiti Sains Malaysia
Each category carries a different crucial for these universities to be
weightage depending on the age of the accredited by the MQA and respective Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
institution, as shown in Table 1. Table 2 is a boards of practice should the student University of Malaya Universiti Teknologi Petronas
breakdown of the judging criteria. want to procure a job in the future.

Instrument Category
5 Star: Excellent
Mature university Emerging university University college
Curtin University Sarawak Campus Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
(≥15 years) (<15 years)
Swinburne University of Technology Universiti Teknologi Mara
General 40% 40% 40% Sarawak Campus
Teaching and learning 30% 40% 50%
University of Nottingham Malaysia Universiti Tenaga Nasional
Research 20% 15% 5%
International Islamic University Malaysia Universiti Utara Malaysia
Services 10% 5% 5%
Universiti Malaysia Perlis Taylor’s University
Table 1 Asia Pacific University of Technology and Universiti Malaysia Pahang
General: Teaching and Research Services and income
International Centre for Education in Islamic Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
Institutional profiles learning capacity generation Finance
- Student quality and - Capacity of academic - Critical mass of - Income from
Management and Science University Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia
diversity staff researchers commercialisation
- Lecturer capability - Student satisfaction on - Research income of ideas Sunway University Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
- Academic staff teaching and facilities - Quantity of - University social
recognition - Quality of graduates publications responsibility and UCSI University Lincoln University College
- Quality management - Internalisation of - Quality of knowledge transfer Kolej Universiti Sains Perubatan Cyberjaya
system academic programmes publications partnerships
- Financial stability - Programme recognition - Education and Legend:
- Institutional training programmes
reputation - Other sources of Mature universities Emerging universities University colleges
Table 2
THE STAR, TUESDAY 30 JULY 2019 Setara 3

A university by the
WHEN Universiti Tunku Abdul
Rahman (UTAR) was founded in
2002, it aimed to be a premier
university aspiring to achieve

people, for the people

excellence in the advancement
and dissemination of knowledge
and expertise and the holistic
development of its students.
In 2017, UTAR, as a then
15-year-old university, was
awarded 5-Star: Excellent rating
under the “Emerging University”
category under the Rating for in various fields. With a high responsibility projects and initiatives Village Community Project, Orang education, Chinese studies, creative
Higher Education Institutions in employability rate of between cover a diverse spectrum of Asli Community Project, Langkawi industries, digital animation,
Malaysia (Setara), signifying its 95% and 97% six months after activities, rooted in its core values Project and many more. multimedia and design, engineering
excellence in the areas of graduation, UTAR graduates are and reflected in its voluntary UTAR is one of the fastest growing and built environment, information
teaching and learning, research highly sought after for their services in support of the people and private higher education institutions and communication technology, life
and development (R&D), social competence and capability. the community. Activities range in the country since its inception in and physical sciences, and medicine
responsibility and knowledge UTAR’s programmes are from consultation, training, 2002. From only 411 students, the and health sciences.
transfer. In the same year, UTAR widely recognised by local and conferences, talks and seminars to university now has about 24,000 UTAR’s Open Day will be held
was awarded self-accreditation international professional voluntary community services in students in its campuses in Kampar, this Saturday and Sunday and on
status by the Malaysian bodies, including the Board of New Villages and rural areas, health Perak and Bandar Sungai Long, Aug 24 and 25 at its Sungai Long
Qualifications Agency. The not- Engineers Malaysia, Association campaigns, gotong royong, free Selangor. UTAR has graduated over campus and Kampar campus. UTAR
for-profit private institution of of Chartered Certified health services, awareness 61,000 students since its inaugural will also extend its counselling
higher learning’s social Accountants, Chartered Institute programmes, financial aid and convocation in 2005. The university hours at both campuses from 9am
responsibility initiatives also of Building, Board of Architects scholarships, leadership and youth currently offers more than 110 to 5pm (daily, except public
earned it the CSR Excellence Malaysia, Royal Institution of camps and teaching and learning programmes in the fields of holidays).
Award at the Sin Chew Business Chartered Surveyors, Society of support. accounting, business, finance and
Excellence Award 2017 under Actuaries and others. Another UTAR has reached out to various economics, actuarial science, n For more information, call
the Corporate Social step to ensure the quality of communities in need across the mathematics and process 05-468 8888 (Kampar campus),
Responsibility category. education was the appointment country by organising purposeful management, agriculture and food 03- 9086 0288 (Sungai Long
of prominent faculty members projects such as the UTAR New science, arts, social sciences and campus) or visit www.utar.edu.my
Teach and research from educational institutions
worldwide as external
excellence examiners to ensure impartiality
in the evaluation of academic
Among the feathers which standards and benchmarking of
UTAR added in its cap included programmes.
being ranked 501-600 in the
Times Higher Education (THE)
World University Rankings 2019
Giving back to the
and 111-120 in the THE Asia- community
Pacific University Rankings
2019. It is also ranked 188th in A university founded with the
the QS Asian University bedrock principle of “by the
Rankings 2019. people, for the people”, UTAR is a
UTAR prides itself as a higher higher learning institution with
learning institution which has the community’s interests at
produced over 61,000 graduates heart. The university’s social

Abode of
your dreams
AFTER receiving your SPM results, decide if you want to live on
it is now time for you to enrol in or off campus. Both choices
university. However, not everyone have their pros and cons in
is lucky enough to have a home
located near their university of > TURN TO PAGE 4
choice, so before your classes
commence, do some house-
Choosing the wrong place to
live can affect your quality of life,
including your studies and mental
health, so it’s important to assess
your accommodation options

Make a list
House-hunting may sound
overwhelming and time-
consuming with so many details
to look out for, but it can be
made easy with a checklist:
l On
campus or
off campus
First and
foremost, you
have to
4 Setara THE STAR, TUESDAY 30 JULY 2019

Preparing for IR4.0

AS early as 2020, 22% of Malaysia’s 3D (dirty,
dangerous and difficult) jobs could be
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, often
called Industry 4.0, will see the increase of
intelligent systems that can work longer
hours than the humans they replace. Yet the key driver of development. These more efficient solutions
challenge for Malaysia is not the lack of jobs, universities drive development by l Sound ICT literacy – Not only know-
but lack of skills necessary for jobs of the partnering with industry and other how, but also skills to analyse the strengths
future. Thus, universities play an important stakeholders in the country. and weaknesses of existing systems The Fourth Industrial
role in nurturing the high-skill talent the “Universities are not only suppliers of l Good technical skills – To operate Revolution, often called
country needs for sustainable economic talent for the workforce but are at the across multiple systems and diverse
growth. forefront of solving problems for industry industrial sectors Industry 4.0, will see the
Prof Mahendhiran Nair, vice-president of and the community,” he added. A university l Communication skills – To articulate increase of intelligent systems
research and development at Monash must become a “one-stop” knowledge centre creative ideas clearly and persuasively
University Malaysia and chief executive for firms, industry associations, the l Sound multidisciplinary/
that can work longer hours
officer of Monash Malaysia R&D Sdn Bhd, Government and community organisations. interdisciplinary knowledge – To have than the humans they replace.
shared the following insights in his keynote
presentation at the Finance Accreditation
“Perhaps this is what educational
institutions should be nurturing amongst
depth within a discipline and a breadth of
knowledge in other disciplines
Yet the challenge for Malaysia
Agency’s Institute of Higher Learning Forum future graduates. Give them the context, l Learnability – Ability to pick up new is not the lack of jobs, but lack
in Kuala Lumpur. expose them to the tools of inquiry that
enable them to solve problems and create
skills quickly
l Strong power of association – To
of skills necessary for jobs of
The role of universities in the new systems to improve the socioeconomic combine different ideas and create value the future.
wellbeing of people around the globe,” he through innovation (recombinant
new economy said. innovation).
What skills can universities nurture to l Opportunities for experimentation – analytics, AI design, IoT engineering, game
Universities need to adjust to global prepare graduates for the new economy? Ability to try different things and and app development, robotics and drones,
changes by “updating their programmes to Prof Mahendhiran described the creative troubleshoot current practices (fostering a environmental science and precision
ensure that next-generation talent meets the worker as having these 10 skills: culture of risk-taking) farming.
needs of firms of the future.” l Critical thinking – To challenge the l Leadership skills – To be a dynamic “We may not have control over the
Prof Mahendhiran observed that in many norm, find alternative ways of doing things, leader who is a “purpose maximiser” not a technology revolution,” he said, “So we
pacesetting countries, universities are the and work under constraints that lead to “profit maximiser” should focus on what we can do to support
l Fostering problem-solving and students and professionals alike by
observation skills nurturing, upskilling and preparing them to
be more agile in the changing economic
The role of universities is not merely to landscape.”
usher graduates into current jobs but
develop employees of the future and enable n Monash University was placed 58th in
some of them to power next generation the QS World University Rankings 2020.
industries. For more information on programmes
Prof Mahendhiran cited examples of job available at Monash University Malaysia,
areas that may grow in demand: market visit www.monash.edu.my

Choose your options wisely

> FROM PAGE 3 everything else seems to be. Last January,
there was an uproar in the news because of
aspects such as pricing, location, privacy, a nightmare housemate who left her room
opportunities to make new friends, full of cockroaches, dog faeces and rubbish
activities and rules and regulations. Most for her two housemates to find and deal
universities recommend living on campus with. Where possible, try to meet up with
for your first year at university, as it potential housemates and have a thorough
provides you with more opportunities to discussion about each other’s expectations
meet new friends and familiarise yourself before deciding if they are a good fit for you.
with the university’s surroundings before l Contracts and rules – Read through
you move out in your second year. the fine print of your housing contract
l Location – Sometimes, paying a little before signing with a landlord or the
more for a place in a better location can go university administration. Some things to
a long way. If your place is near the look out for are contract duration, contract
university, you will not only save on cancellations, deposits and penalties, house
transportation, but also on sleep and time. rules and extra or hidden costs.
A quick commute to class, the college l Trust your gut – Regardless of
library or group meetings can provide some everything else, safety should still be your
flexibility to schedule in additional study main priority. If you feel uneasy or unsafe
time or social gatherings. in the area when viewing your potential
l Price – Budget is a major factor for house, chances are your gut is right. Follow
most students. When browsing rooms, your instincts when choosing your place,
make sure you have your budget set and even if it’s feelings of discomfort towards a
ask about extra and hidden costs. Besides potential housemate or landlord.
allocating money for rent, you will need to
know if the money you fork out includes If you still feel unsure after checking off
charges for Wi-Fi, utilities and this list, ask for opinions from your parents,
maintenance, which can actually set you seniors, lecturers or university staff.
back a few hundred ringgit if you aren’t Even if you do happen to make a mistake
careful. in choosing a place, fret not. Learn about
l Roommates and housemates – your needs and wants from this experience.
Disrespectful housemates who have no Know that you are allowed to move out to
qualms about noise or cleanliness should another place if you deem the current place
disqualify the location, no matter how great unliveable. Good luck!