1. UKM is the only public university to receive an increased allocation in the 2016 Budget. Its estimated allocation will be increased by 5 per cent from RM488m to RM512m in 2015. All other public universities, including UTM, which is the highest ranking Malaysian university, have had their budgets trimmed, leading to concern among many that next year could see university tuition fee hikes. The above image is an excerpt from the 2016 budget allocations. What makes UKM so special?
2. UKM was given the mandate to develop, implement and monitor the implementation of the PERMATApintar programme, which was launched in 2009. Apparently, UKM is the only centre tasked with the responsibility of identifying gifted and talented children from all over Malaysia.
3. The Permata Division under the Prime Minister’s Department has just signed MOUs with four universities to act as implementing agencies for the Permata programme to “enhance collaboration in the academic, research and service fields”. One of the four selected is UKM.
4. A RM606m UKM Permata Children’s Specialist Hospital, to be built at Hospital UKM l in Cheras, is expected to be ready by 2017. It aims to be in the same league as “the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne”.
6. Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin stepped down as UKM vice-chancelleor in 2014. She is now senior consultant to the Prime Minister’s Department.