28 August 2007

English for apex universities

The Star

PUTRAJAYA: It is logical that English be more widely used at apex universities as 20% of their enrolment will be open to international students, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.

“Although Bahasa Malaysia will remain, it will be logical that English be widely used at these universities. We have to go forward as these are to be international universities,” he told The Star after the launch of the National Higher Education Strategic Plan and National Higher Education Action Plan 2007-2010 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Mustapa said the apex university concept was very exciting as the country needed to compete against the best in the world.

“Unless we put in more resources, both financial and human, it is going to be tough for us to make it to the ranks of top universities in the world,” he said.

On Abdullah’s statement that more autonomy would be given to universities, he said this started a few years ago.

“Now that it is government policy, we have to step up the pace of change.

“Although more autonomy is given to the universities, it will also be linked to certain conditions such as funding,” he added.

Mustapa said the ministry had held discussions with all stakeholders in producing the plans.

“There was a clear consensus from all that radical change was needed to re-energise higher education,” he said.

“The action plan is about actions which are required now to lay the basis to trigger the education transformation,” he added.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who was present at the launch, said both plans were in line with the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010, particularly in terms of equity and access as well as autonomy and benchmarking against the best.

No comments: