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Podcast  >  Morning Run  >  The Breakfast Grille  >  Soaring Upwards With Higher Education

Soaring Upwards With Higher Education

Dato' Seri Idris Jusoh, Minister of Higher Education

14-Jul-16 08:05

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Soaring

Malaysia has more graduates now more than ever, but does this make Malaysia a better nation that before? We ask the Minister of Higher Education on what this means for the future of Malaysia, and much more

 

In Malaysia, university enrollment rates are increasingly higher in 2016, almost 40% of those eligible to enrol in universities do enrol in university. This number was actually a far cry just about 40 years ago. In 1979, only 4% of total Malaysians available to apply for universities actually enrol in universities. Because of this importance in the role of tertiary institutions in Malaysia, the government has set up a special ministry called the Ministry of Higher Education to look into this. In the studio with me this morning is Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh, he is the Minister of Higher Education and he is here to tells us how the ministry has been doing, particularly when it was just shy of 2 years ago you were here, Dato. First of all, thank you for your commitment in coming back and defending your track record as the Minister of Higher Education. If you have any questions for Dato’ Seri Idris, you can text us 0162019000 or you can tweet us @bfmradio. Dato’ Seri, let me start off with Selamat Hari Raya and let’s start with the notion of universities getting lesser funds in Malaysia right now. Based on the budget presentation as well as the supplementary budget presentation by the Prime Minister, the Higher Education Ministry is getting less funding this year than it would had last year and this trend will continue on considering the government is getting less in terms of revenue.

 

Interview Transcript


Do you think that the diminishing budget allocation from the government is going to pose a problem for the Higher Education Ministry?

You have to look at our blueprint. Whatever we do at the moment in the ministry is based on our blueprint. Blueprint is based on our consultation, the memorandum that we read, the communication, the open halls that we have with people, focus group, our consultation with UNESCO, World Bank and it’s a global matter. It’s not just an issue. So when we look at the financial sustainability of our universities, we are 80%-90% dependent on the government which is not sustainable.


But this budget has been trimmed by RM2.4 billion. Some of the universities, in fact, 19 out of 20 universities will face cuts as much as 20%. So while we understand that we can’t be over reliant on the government and we never should be over reliant on the government, can these universities cope with these cuts? Do they have lead time to actually find other sources of revenue?

As I said, it’s based on the blueprint has been agreed upon, they understand why it’s being done and from what I see, of course there’s going to be pain here and there. But this is a pain we have to go through to ensure that universities are going to be financially sustainable in the long run. I was quoting to you, I was telling that our Thammasat is only 30% dependent on the government. We’re not saying that it has got to be 30% but we’re saying that we cannot be 80-90% dependent on the government.


So you’re speaking on the pain, that these little bits and pieces of pain that people have to go through, actually is quite serious because, I’m quoting The Sun Daily news here, that over 150 contract professors between the ages of 61-70, they claim and the word that they use is, ‘termination of contracts’ of professors because of budget’s tax cut. Do you think that these professors being terminated is a direct repercussion of the budget allocation being cut to the ministry?

You have to understand that this is not termination, okay. Those professors are above 60 years old so their contract expires when they are 60. So those who are unneeded by universities are going to be continued on contract basis. So it’s not termination, it’s not being  continued because they have completed their contract and again I said, the dean, the senate of the university will look into those whom they think are required to universities and will continue giving them contract to serve universities.


Some of these professors, even though they are quite senior in age, some of them are heavily specialised in their training, particularly professors in the medical field, where you’re gonna see doctors that have specialised in that particular field of medicine for over 40 years. Isn’t it a shame to let them go because of bureaucratic processes?

No, I won’t say it’s bureaucratic. I say again, we give money to give funds to the universities and I said the dean of that particular university or the senate of that particular university will choose whom they think is still fit to teach and they need as a contract professor in the universities. But I do throw a challenge before, if you think there is any particular,as what you said, we don’t want to put it to shame, we want to make sure anybody’s who’s still required or needed in that particular area, give me names. I can look into it, I can talk to them. But also, I said it’s the prerogative of the university but I can still talk to them if you think there are names that need to be looked at. We don’t want to be redundant, we don’t want to be out of the service.


Dato’, it goes without saying that when you fund something or someone, you practically hold that person in your account. Right now, the government is not funding universities as much as they did before. Is this a loss of autonomy from the government or are you seeing this as giving more autonomy to the universities?

This is giving more autonomy to the universities, in the sense that if they’re too dependent on the government, they cannot be autonomous of the government. There’s autonomy only when you can, as I said, in foreign universities there are only 40%-50% dependent on the government and they can have more autonomy. If you generate fund on your own, you can spend the money any way they like. If the money comes from the government, then some restrictions on the way you should conduct yourself. So by collecting more money on your own, you can be more autonomous. You can do more things as you feel right to do.


There’s a tweet by Wan Saiful from IDEAS. He’s asking what are the ministries plans to give universities more autonomy. Can I add on to the question, particularly on their fate in determining research papers. Do you think universities have a more direct say on what research they can do or cannot do as opposed to today where the government practically dictates what must be done in terms of research?   

We don’t dictate what needs to be done. There’s a group that looked at our, which belonged to the professors, I don’t even go through what research they are doing. But this group of professors we looked into, what are the research they are gonna do and they probably have to defend what they’re gonna do and probably look into the relevance of the research that they are doing and we do have this FRGS research fund for them. I don’t even know who gets and who’s not getting it. So these are the group which belongs to the professors among themselves  who decide what should be done and what should not be done.  


Still on the funding aspect on universities, do you think that universities today in Malaysia, both private and public, have the capacity and means and most importantly, the competency to source for more funds out there? Do you think that it’s right for universities to treat its activity as a business?  

Now we’re not saying that universities should treat themselves as business. I’m against a total marketization or financialization of universities because they should be coming with our, if you look at the aim of our graduates we’re gonna deliver holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced graduate. It’s not just GE, it’s not just how much money you make. That’s why the government’s still funding, we’re still funding. And if you look at UM, if you look at UTM, and even UPM, some of them are at the mark of being able to finance 30% on their own of the expenses. We’re giving them a target of around 70% for the time being. They are nearly there, 70% funding from the government. Some of them are nearly nearly there.


Dato’ Seri, do you think that wakaf have a place in terms of finding funds for universities?

Of course. If you look at Harvard, if you look at Oxford, the Malay, they survive on endowment. You look at big universities overseas are mainly based on endowment. In Malaysia, we call it “wakaf” which is Islamic-based kind of endowment. There’s a big potential for it. This is what we are encouraging. In a fact today, today I am launching the playbook for “wakaf” in our universities.


And what does that playbook entails?

Playbook gives you guideline..how should be established...what need to be done...what not...what you shouldn’t be doing...it gives you a guideline how, you should come out with the wakaf fund.


And this is to be launched today?

Launch today. Afterwards at 10 o’clock.

Okay. Right after the grille.


Dato’, do you really believe, Malaysia has World Class Education. This is coming from a text from a listener, and also from my heart right now. Do you think we really have World Class Education?

We say….we’re saying what we’re saying is that..we are….sorry- we’re improving all the time. That’s why I made the commitment to come back again after last two years of being here, to say that - my commitment. I said in that Grille saying that Malaysia should get the best education that should get in Malaysia.

But of course, when I said that I can proof by, by looking at our..ranking. QS ranking..if you look- if you look at it-

Alright. So right now what I have in my hand right now is a booklet, a bio of ministry, entitled “Addressing Future Challenges in Higher Education”. It says here, that some of the local universities are outranking international universities. And this is by our QS education- sorry QS Rankings. First of all, for those who don’t know this ...ranking, what is it, what is the qualification of this ranking.

Say...the most popular ranking...in the world for universities, is this QS Ranking. Of course, we have THE, we have ARWU..of course. Well, I’ll go into the most popular ranking if you look at UM - three years ago it was 167 in the world. It has go up to 151, and it has gone up to even 146. We have broke - UM have broken 150 barrier. So is USM from 355 to 309 to 289, and UPM from 411 to 370 to 331.


Right. Now I’m quoting The Star here. The question that was posed, in this ranking, includes, if money wasn’t a problem, where would you study medicine, would you send your kids to Ireland, Cardiff, Dublin, or Universiti Malaya, and the reason here is that many of them don’t see Universiti Malaya to be in the same league, as all these other- you know universities that I’ve mentioned. Why is that the case?

Malaysian has always been skeptical with our education system - probably we’re not doing as well before. But- we are improving as time goes on. If you look at these three or four universities, I’d say you’d put - I’d say what you said put Royal Surgeon - Royal College of the Surgeon Ireland, Cardiff Universities and Trinity College Dublin - and none of these universities scored above 82...82 points as academic reputation in medicine and life sciences. UM..UM does.

Yeah okay so, so UM outranks Royal College of Surgeon Ireland, they outranked Cardiff, they outranked Dublin- Why is the perception there? I mean you were mentioning that the Malaysians are skeptical about our own quality of our education of world class status. Why is the skepticism still there?

Probably we’re not doing as well before. We were-we were not doing as well before. That’s why I’m here to tell that we are improving.  I’m here to tell that we are sorry - that’s what we are saying. We’re telling the public that we are improving as we move along.


Let’s take this a little personal, not the public. There’s a text from a listener called Ravinder, “Dato’ Seri, where do you and other ministers send your kids? Do you send your kids to public schools, or private schools?”

Yeah my - my kids , my eldest daughter - went to public school and she had her first degree from - UIA , so…my second...son went to UITM, my third son also went to UIA...so they are from public schools yeah.


Yeah okay, this is something exceptional in terms of ministers sending their own children to public schools. But many of your colleagues...they send their kids to private schools both at education- school going level as well as tertiary level. Why is it that your colleagues are doing such? Don’t you think as ministers of the cabinet, they should be emblematic to the public of Malaysia and send their kids to public schools?

Again, it is an issue of perception. I was saying, I was saying we are here to correct the perception saying that we are not as good-

But but but that isn’t it difficult to set the perception on the ministers themselves. Not you yourself, but the ministers in the cabinet themselves don’t say your work, as commendable because they are still sending their kids to private schools.

Many other ministers are sending their kids to the public universities and public schools. They may be some that do send to the private universities but you cannot say that all ministers sending their kids to the privates school and public- private universities I mean, I’d I’d say otherwise you know


Alright. Dato’s Seri let’s move on to the story of the quality of graduates right now. We believe that the employability of the graduates is under question. Do you think that Malaysian graduates can find jobs after they leave school?

Of course if you look at the graduate employability….percentage, which is now 76.1%...this year, which is 1% better than last year, which is not good enough. I do understand that...once we send our kids to universities we make sure that they get employed. The effort is being done in the, in the universities at the moment. That’s why we do have - we looked at a few areas. We do have the CEO Faculty Programme, we do have the 2u2i Programme - 2 years in university, 2 years in the industries. We look at ICGPA Programme: we’re the first in the world to introduce that, to make sure that students are more holistic. When I say CEO Faculty Programme, we do invite CEOs from Air Asia, Azman from Khazanah, CIMB, Shell, Motorola, to come to the universities and lecture, and not only lecture but to look at the curriculum we have to make sure they are relevant. When we introduced 2u2i, we are the first in the world to do that, whereby you spend 2 years in universities and 2 years in industries - nothing to do with 2U(laughs) - so that they know what is happening. Especially UPM, we doing in plantation, where you spend 2 years in universities and 2 years in plantations. Universiti Kelantan doing entrepreneurship. This makes sure that there’s no issue of not being employed. Another one, very important also, we’re the pioneer in the world for Integrated CGPA, where we don’t just look at your CGPA, we look at your communiciation skills, your entrepreneurship skill. We look at practical skills and other skills, rather than just academic to make sure that you are holistic.


Dato’, there are two texts coming in. One of them is Aril Ratnam, also another one from an unknown text-sender. They are asking: Do you think there is a competitive advantage for employability if a child goes to a private school, instead of a public school - this is because private schools are perceived to have better holistic education, better English education. Do you think there is a competitive advantage?

If you look at English, maybe. But not all private schools are good. We have some very good public schools. But I’m not going to talk about schools today, because I’m the Minister of Higher Education.

Of course, if you look at the ranking, we forget - we were saying just now about medicine - but if you want to send your kids to do engineering, and if you’re given a choice: University of Malaya, Yale, Edinburgh, King’s College, Cardiff, and McMaster, if you look at the ranking, University of Malaya stands at #54. All the others, even Yale, stands at #65, #73. Again, it’s perception. I would request Malaysians to look at the figures, look at our ranking, look at our reputation, because we do have, in some areas, where we’re the top 100 in the world. We’re doing better than some of the so-called reputable universities throughout the world.


Dato’, there’s a tweet by an individual named Hasiff Murad, he is asking if we still need universities for bumiputeras only. If I recall, one of your child actually goes to UiTM, and UiTM can be classified as a bumiputeras-only university. Is there still space for that?

Current say that Malaysia still have this Act 153, which protects bumiputera at the moment. So, UiTM serves the constitution need of the country at the moment.

The question is: Should we have it. The Constitution is there, of course. The question is: Should we have it.

I think we still need to have this bumiputera affirmative at the moment. Depends on how you look at it, depends on how it is being carried on. It’s still there, the Constitution is still there. And UiTM serves the Constitution that we have at the moment.

Dato’, let’s move to another story here. There’s a text from a listener, asking you, How is the Ministry dealing with local and foreign students particularly in extremist activities and ideologies. Now, this text echoes the big question of rising Islamic extremism. Dato’ Seri Zaid Hamidi, the Deputy Prime Minister, also the Home Minister, have also addressed this publicly, but we would like to hear it from you, on how to tackle this in universities.  

Of course this is a serious issue. The moment I come back from Raya, right on Sunday - on Monday itself, at 3pm we call a meeting, we have a meeting with the police force, we have meeting with the immigration, with KDN, you know. We have to look into it, and we do believe that we have to be more stringent in taking in foreign students to Malaysia, is more stringent measures, to make sure that those activities, those foreign activities are not going to absorb into, not going to be our students and...


What are  the concrete measures to deal with this? Because, even a small issue of teaching the required course, called TITAS - or Tamadun Islam Tamadun Asia - there’s a controversy here, where a lecturer in UiTm actually took things into his own hands and basically inflamed the entire population of Malaysia in the way he taught this subject at that school. , at that university. Do you think that, Number One: TITAS should still be around? Number Two: Do you think that, you know, these rogue lecturers, teaching stuff that is not part of the curriculum, is going to endanger the livelihoods of Malaysians in general?

Okay. TITAS is required. But what happened in UiTM is, he went out of the way, and is not using the curricula that is provided with the Ministry - it has got to be fully understood. But, we’re serious about it. And, I’m telling BFM - I’ve not said this to anybody as yet, I’ve not said to the press as yet - that lecturer has to be fired. Wé’re serious about it, and we have to take stringent action against him.

Now, you said you would leave it to the management of the university to do it. So, was it the decision of the university to fire him, or was it directed by you…

No, no, no, no. The university, they are autonomous at the moment. They hire lecturer. They have the right to fire him.

Okay

And I was being told yesterday that he has been fired. 


Now, this individual is emblematic of the system itself. Does the government have a system in place where lecturers don’t become rogue and start teaching extremist ideologies?

We’re telling that, lecturers have to be in line with government policy. And again, this is not - we’re talking about issue of Daesh, issue of IS - they’re not even Islamic. So this is what we have to be doing, to be telling the students and the lecturers that they should understand what Islam is all about and what Jihad is all about, as well as understanding what Bay’ah is all about.


Dato’ Seri, with all due respect, by you telling them that these are not, Daesh or IS, are not the true Islam, we still see a lot of Malaysians, particularly Malay undergraduates signing up for ISIS, they’re flying themselves into Syria to be freedom fighters. Do you think that your work is not working?

We are starting. We are looking at it seriously because the issue of Daesh is a serious issue, it’s  real, so we’re making sure that we’re meeting with the Vice Chancellor, we’re making sure that we have to tell the students and lecturers. We have to look at it and we have to tackle it seriously.

Nordin Mat Top and Professor Azahari, these are bomb makers, they are lecturers as well. Are you worried that university lecturers are going to become -

I’m worried, you’re right. I look at it as a real and serious issue, that’s why we’re meeting the Vice Chancellor, we’ll make sure that we have to tell the students and lecturers what is meant by the right Islam. Islam has got to be taught in the right way, and has to be understood properly. 

Up next, we will be talking about the rebates in PTPTN fully, that will improve lives of the many graduates in Malaysia. This is BFM 89.9


On the Breakfast Grille this morning we have Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh the Minister of Higher Education. Dato’, let’s jump straight into it. You have mentioned very recently that Malaysia has now over fifty six thousand students in higher learning institutes, including foreign students. This puts us in the league of, say, United States in terms of foreign students, as wells as above Vietnam. Do you think that Malaysia is truly becoming an international hub for foreign students to come here?

Of course. Even two weeks ago, we had dinner with the British High Commissioner, and according to a survey by the British Council, Malaysia together with Germany, as far as our open policy towards internationalisation of students, even compared to the UK, Australia and USA.


Do you think we’re attracting students from the right countries, particularly when these 56 thousand students that come in, almost a fraction of it only is from the first world countries like US, UK, even Singapore?  

Well, it’s going to take time. As I said, we have to do more summer programs, a lot of them do come for the summer programs. We have to do more short term, bring in some of the flying professors, we have to increase our perception to the Americans and we have to do more engagement. I think it’ll bring more of the students from the first world countries to Malaysia.

Because we have about 60 thousand foreign students in Malaysia, how many of them are truly students -

We have 122 thousand at the moment actually -


Alright, 122 thousand. So how many of them are actually truly students, and how many of them are abusing student visas here?

There are  students, I have to say *laughs*. Some do have problems, we have problems some of the foreign students before. That’s why we introduce EMJS, the Education Malaysia Global Services two years ago to ensure that those who come here are really students so with the introduction of EMJS, we can control the so called who are students, who are not students.


Now, first half of this year saw vice being cracked down by the Ministry of Home Affairs, and they say that a substantial amount of those being caught or arrested, they have student visas. Particularly those who are sexual workers, they have student visas. How do you think ties in with your statement that many of them are actually students?

If you look at some, some do go to colleges and universities. We don’t have much problem with those who go to colleges and universities, because we have to scrutinise the finan- the education background, we have to scrutinise the capacity, the financial capabilities, as they come in. But we do have issues with those who come for short term - two to three months, under language centres. So, we are making sure that, again, that they really are students.


Still on foreign students, there’s some protests in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur, in Puchong and elsewhere, where they protested against foreigners in the country, who they claim to be foreign students. Do you think that Malaysia is becoming increasingly intolerant of foreigners, particularly when they live amongst us, in the suburbs?

I don’t think so. As you said, what they thought to be foreign students. This is something that we have to look at, probably. Because, all the time when you see some foreigners, we have the impression that they are students - they may not be students. That’s why once we have the EMJS, they (the students) will be carrying a card. The student card will identify whether they are really students or not. We’re doing a crackdown on some of the colleges to make sure that it’s not going to happen. So, hopefully, by having the EMJS, where we can track where the students are, where we have to produce their cards, we have to make sure that what’s being said is not going to happen.


How are you going to track the efficiency of this EMJS program? Do you think that there is some quantitative measurable output where we can actually deduce that this is indeed working or not?

Sure. Students who carry the student card, you can use a system, a tracking system, we know where they are, exactly where they are. For workers who come to Malaysia, you know where they are. For anybody who come to Malaysia who gets the student card, we can track where they are, which you university or college you are in, we can even track which country you come from, and we can track how many from that particular country. How many are there, in this country. So, it’s quite a complete system to track the students.


Shifting our focus away from the nitty gritty stuff on foreign students, can I ask you, these foreign students in Malaysia, how do they feed back into the Malaysian economy into the Malaysian system? Are we going to be able to make use of their talent or do they just go back home and requisite their talents in their home countries?

The majority would be going back, but some do stay here some become lecturers, and contribute to our publications and citations. The good ones who want to stay here. Some are absorbed in the workforce with international companies,


Do you have a measurement of those who stay back and feedback into the economy?

The numbers are not that many but there are some. I wouldn’t have the exact numbers at the moment but some do stay back but the majority as I said would be going back to their own countries


I am speaking to Datuk Seri Jusoh, the Minister for Higher Education. Datuk, part of your portfolio also covers funding and PTPTN which is also the government scholarship and loan sourcing program. Do you think PTPTN is currently solving its problem of students not paying back?

Yeah, with the introduction of a new method called CCRIS, more and more students are paying back because of the attitude of students saying it is government money so they don’t have to pay back.


Now this is an assumption that you are making here. Could it be perhaps that students just don’t have money to pay back? Even a hundred bucks when you are earning two thousand ringgit in KL, that’s already what, 5, 10% of your total income. Is it because of them having a nonchalant view that they don’t want to pay back because of government money or just because they simply can’t?

You have to understand that PTPTN is very flexible. When I say they are not paying back, those people who never come back to you for the past three, four, five years. I mean what I am appealing to the students that if you cannot pay back, do come to PTPTN and tell them you can’t afford to pay. If you can’t afford to pay a hundred ringgit, or two hundred ringgit, just pay fifty ringgit to the PTPTN saying that you are serious about paying back and I keep on, I told PTPTN never, ever make it tough on Malaysians, ok, but the problem we are having now is that they don’t even appear. We have those who are earning ten thousand, those who are earning fifteen thousand not paying. We will locate them. We will not disclose who they are but these are the issues that we are facing in PTPTN. Now I would say things are improving. That was the past, now we see that normally, in the past one year, past two years, PTPTN has collected fifty million a month. Now they are collecting over two hundred million a month. So PTPTN is doing good now, Malaysians are paying, thanks to Malaysians, that was before but with the improved way in how PTPTN is conducting themselves, more Malaysians are paying but again i want to repeat myself: if you cannot pay, do come to PTPTN and tell them that you cannot afford to pay and if PTPTN is not responding - do come to me. I want to make sure that PTPTN is not going to going to, in Malay , “menganiayai” anybody


And there you have it, a personal plea by the minister himself. Datuk, let’s move on to another subject. There’s another tweet by a Ahmad Suhaimi asking “ What are your plans for the future” and perhaps we can segue into this topic of this Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCS where these individuals can just go online and study there. Is this a big thrust in the ministry of higher education?

You have to understand that education has changed over the past many years. Education is becoming more flexible. Education is no more rigid. You can get your education anywhere. With the online information, you can learn anywhere, anytime. Anyone, you want. Education is becoming more flexible, so that’s why MOOCS are becoming more important. You can learn online. That’s why you can even get a degree by learning online nowadays


And because of this, are you worried about the quality of these online degrees. Do you think there could be counterfeit, there could be lesser quality in terms of say, face to face learning versus online learning?

Of course online learning  has to be accredited by a QA. There is no such thing as ‘no accreditation’ but online also needs to be supported by face to face and that’s why we call it ‘blended learning’ rather than just online learning. Even though the online learning we have now is blended not totally online


One of the best globally recognised MOOCS program is called Khan Academy, it’s a non profit organisation created by Sayed Khan with the aim of providing a free world class education for anyone. Is this where the direction of MOOCS is going to be? Something like Khan academy?

MOOCS is going to be cheaper to run because you don’t need as many classrooms. You don’t need lecturers present all the time. They will reduce the cost of education in the country but as I said, education is becoming flexible; its’ going to be a combination of MOOCS and normal classroom learning. That’s why we are serious about it. That’s why Malaysia is becoming the only country in the world who put things together as a country. Others do, other universities do on their own but in Malaysia, we put all the universities together. We have a consortium of universities that we do MOOCS together and recently our lecturer , Professor Amin MB won the educators award from the open education consortium ; which is one of the biggest open education network in recognition to what we have done so far


Datuk, in the UK, they partnered the department of higher education with the department of science and technology. In Sweden, they have this triple helix model where they have companies like Volvo, IKEA, Scania working hand in hand together with Universities to jointly collaborate research papers and build practical uses for research. Do you think Malaysia has practical uses for our research papers?

That’s why we are not talking about triple helix, we are talking about quadruple helix. We are talking about collaboration with industries whereby we have this CO faculty program when they come to university, it’s not only to lecture but also to look at the curriculum that’s why i told you we have the CEO 2u2i faculty programme whereby they work in the industry. There’s a greater collaboration with industry not only in research but also in designing the curriculum how university is being conducted. Some have even made universities as their foster university. Air Asia has adopted UPM as a university that they will work closely together. CIMB is working together with UUM and many other universities are working. Samsung is working with UTM in Melaka. So there is greater collaboration now with industries.

The problem I have with research papers in Malaysia, I fear that the blood and sweat and tears that is being poured into making these research papers is going to be lost into the ether because of the non-practicality uses of it. Do you think it’s a real concern that I have or do you think most research papers in Malaysia have practical uses for it

You have to understand once you’re in research is first the difference between fundamental research and commercialization of research. Before you can even commercialise the research, research are mainly fundamental research. It took at least 10 years for you to get the research to get commercialized. That happens throughout the world. And the success of commercialization is only 4 - 5% which is world standard. But again, we have PPRN in Malaysia whereby small companies can go to universities and say you have problem with the product, you have problem with your kuih,  a bus company you have problem with your bus. Small business have problems. You can go to University for researchers to become a realisation within a year or six months that would help small businesses. That is the real commercialisation on that small stage


Datuk, you were here two years ago and there were two cabinet reshuffles since. Do you think you’ve done a good job?

I don’t want to. I’m humble with the cooperation I get from my staff, the universities but what i can say is that we are soaring approach as we go along for the last two years


Final question, why soaring upwards? Why these very interesting terms?

If you look at again, it’s always been the perception when i became the minister two in the ministry three years ago, we are nowhere. The perception towards education is bad. Now three years down the line, I see we are improving, our ranking has improved, our research has improved, and our citation has improved. On the global stage, we are getting recognition throughout the world and as I said, Alhamdulillah , we are improving. That’s why the words ‘Soaring Upward’ keep coming in

I have been speaking to Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, the Minister for Higher Education, thanks for being on the grille and thanks for keeping your word in coming back and Selamat Hari Raya,Datuk

(Chuckles) You want to see me back next year?

(Laughs) Inshaallah. I’m Ibrahim Sani, for 89.9 the Business Station


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