Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Star Should Be Applauded For Publishing This...

People may say that I seldom give credit to the mainstream media. But I believe 'credit given when credit due'. I applaud The Star for publishing this open letter to Mustapa (and although I am very sarcastic at most times, I really meant it this time):

An open letter to Mustapa

You may not believe that my one purpose in writing to you is the improvement of our institutions, but let me assure you, we true academics (as opposed to wannabe politicians in lecturers’ clothes) don’t have hidden agendas.

Over the past few years, there has been this mantra chanted by the Government and university leaders: “We want our universities to be world-class universities.” Unfortunately, this mantra does not have any explanatory notes, so we don’t really know what “world-class” means. However, let us assume that a world-class university has the following:

1. Graduates who are employable, not only here but also abroad;

2. Academic staff who are respected worldwide;

3. Research and publications that are recognised by reputable international journals/publishers;

4. An academic programme that is recognised worldwide;

5. An academic atmosphere that can attract quality national and foreign students and staff.

If we accept these criteria as valid, what then can be done to achieve it?

It is very worth the read after the brokeback back-breaking effort to bring up this matter by Kit and also Tony P.

Therefore, I sincerely urge The Star (dunno whether they are reading this or not) to think twice before deciding to put up a headline like this in their paper to live up to point no.3 as suggested above, in the effort towards a world-class university. Instead, you may want to consider publishing something like this.

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