“Apex” USM still in the doldrums


Looks as if USM isn’t making much headway among the major league universities, if the THES ranking is anything to go by.

Not to be obsessed with those rankings, but I can’t help wondering where the big apex (more popularly known as ah pek) budget is going to and what kind of results it is yielding.

All those courses and workshops in hotels aimed at improving standards don’t seem to be filling up the academic “silos” of USM.

Perhaps USM is hoping that the “incubators” it plans to set up in its property development project in Bukit Jambul might bear some fruit. That’s where it hopes to establish a research park (“sains@usm”) and attract RM20 million in capital investments from local companies. (In 2008, USM bought a 12.4ha plot there for RM59 million from IJM Properties.)

The research park (otherwise known as a “science and arts innovation space”) reportedly will include a boutique hotel, convention and exhibition centre, performing arts centre and arts colony, retail space and apartments…

Don’t hold your breath, though. I am not quite sure how dabbling in property development is going to improve academic standards.

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What’s the fuzz about? I am seriously thinking to teach in one of the universities in Malaysia. ..The pay is kinda low though .. 60% less than what I am earning now .. even with full professorship (bummer) … any thought on why I shouldn’t go back?


I certainly hope that you guys are not thinking that I am a professor-type simply because I write in Malay. I write in Malay with some emphasis in English because I think this is the first step for all those who are not competent in English to emulate. Over time these people would gain courage to properly write English. I had in my primary school the benefit of two very good English teacher Ms Joyce Ponnudurai and Mrs Phang ,the headmistress who were patient and yet fastidious on every item of grammar. Luckily for me I could pass down what… Read more »

Gerakan K

I believe Karma never study in any Malaysia public university when he did comment as such. Any rational people will not believe any/all/most of our profs are english illiterate. Is that so hard to proficient in english? I consider Karma comments are nonsense with purpose to degrade BN government.


Dear Gerakan
I’ve no intention to degrade anybody. It’s just my sincere view.


Dear Gerakan I’ve many friends among politicians. They share my views but they say nothing much can be done to improve the academic standard we are facing now. At the end of the day, it’s the employers – not the universities – that will decide the quality and competence of a graduate. Going through a university education and obtaining a paper qualification is not enough and is also unreliable. Let the employers decide the quality of a graduate. I remember at one time, an oil company had to bring in engineers from India to work for them as they found… Read more »


MOHE should look into the non-functioning and non-productive professors and associate professors. If they are not productive, strip off their titles. With titles of this nature they are cheating students. Only in this country they have professors by “chair”. And many are just appointed by virtue of positions they hold. Some individuals are given prof and assoc prof titles on the platter and not based on their competence and writing. It is injustice to education to see those with these titles write basically nothing. ENGLISH? This is a foregone conclusion. Just talk or listen to our prof, assoc. prof and… Read more »


I fully agreed with what have been written by Karma – absolutely true..to add insult.., so many the so-called prof or associate prof (Prof Madya) at our local universities / IPTA were found unable to write / speak in English properly & fluently not only for lecturers in social science, education fields but also for the enginering and many other professional fields. Can you imagine how could this situation goes unchecked by the MOHE ?? They all dump… They are infact among the biggest money wasting institutions in our country…wasting money by paying the most unproductive workers in the country… Read more »


How to have good researches when even “scholars” in Oxford and Harvard have been caught for plagiarism. Alas, graduates these days do not cherish genuine or authentic research. It’s all plagiarism, cut-and-paste work and many people out there are doing brisk business writing papers and theses for graduates these days. This has become a million-dollar business. Outsourcing of academic work by graduates is a real business today. I came across in KL last summer a part-time taxi driver who graduated from an unknown college who handed me her business card. She said that she had the prowess to write papers… Read more »


This ranking business is wasting taxpayers’ money. A lot of money given to the university is wasted on dubious research. Papers are superficial and most are shrewdly recycled. Universities should grow at it’s own pace. One scientific breakthrough is enough to make a university well-known, never mind if it is not listed top 100 or 200. Do we need to spend millions at these cost centres to keep up with the Jonesses? As it is, Malaysian academics are not prolific. A single research product is put into many papers under different titles. And they claim to have come up with… Read more »


nampaknya penyokong mu yang happy happy pasai mu dapat masuk tangga top 200 tak baca surat kabar internasional. Yang terjerit jerit pasal ranking ni apa pentingnya. especially yang keluarkan ranking ni adalah hanya sebuah syarikat aje. Kalau esok malay mail pulak nak buat ranking private colleges atau pprivate university college dengan ipta pun bolih dan statusnya hanyalah bragging rights di pub pub untuk member yang bisa ke pub atau karaoke. What have we learned about colleges atau universities this week? Graduan woolwich [bunyi woolish ] politeknik telah mendapat nobel prize fizik. Sekarang lihat pulak di mana letaknya woolwich polyteknik. Tak… Read more »

Andrew I

If you can’t beat them, join them. Why spend hours in the library when you can be a property tout? You can spend your days looking for financial loopholes, like the recently reported case of obtaining cheaper credit card cash loans disguised as purchases.

Abba’s hit, Money, Money, Money is a hit with the tweenagers these days. Hey teacher, leave them kids alone. I want my iphone now, not sometime in the cosmic future.