Ministry targets 1.6 mln tertiary students by 2010
The Ministry of Higher Education will offer 1.6 million places for new students by the year 2010 at a ratio of two Diploma or certificate students to one degree student. According to Universiti Malaysia Sabah Vice Chancellor Lt Kol Professor Datuk Dr Kamaruzaman Hj Ampon, the move is part of efforts towards capacity building and promoting access to higher education opportunities. Kamaruzaman was speaking during the “Akujanji” ceremony for new students in the 2008/2009 intake at the UMS Chancellor Hall here yesterday. “In line with global developments, we are moving towards making the country the regional centre of educational excellence,” he said. He added that the country’s public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) would require 27,000 academic staff by the year 2010, including some 20,000 lecturers with PhD and similar qualifications. “The University will also give emphasis on research, development and commercialisation, where the IPTA target is to have 90,000 students at higher degree level in 2010 as well as creating a Government Research Institute in the university environment to promote cooperation between both institutions,” he said. Another IPTA focus, Kamaruzaman said, is fundamental research, for which a RM200 million allocation has been applied for in the Ninth Malaysia Plan. “We will also promote internationalisation, with international students in private institutions of higher education (IPTS) targeted to rise to 95,000 by the year 2010 and IPTA allowed to enrol international students in first degree, non-competitive courses, subject to a maximum of five per cent,” Kamaruzaman said, adding that this will require a good marketing and promotion strategy. He added that UMS would give more emphasis on research and development in order to be recognised as one of the country’s international-standard research universities, the criteria for which are being established. During the ceremony, Kamaruzaman also reminded the new students to defend and fight for their identity, traditions, culture and values, saying this would help them meet the challenge of becoming successful graduates with a first-class mind and able to contribute to the nation and society. “Competition nowadays is no longer at the State or country level. It has become global and without knowledge, it is very hard for students to face the challenge. “Therefore at this early stage as UMS students, you should have the determination and drive in order to become part of the quality human capital in the future,” he said, adding the “Akujanji” will hopefully spur them to achieve their goal of becoming excellent students.