KUANTAN, Sept 11 (Bernama) - Universiti Malaysia Pahang vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Daing Nasir Ibrahim has refuted the claim made by Prof Dwight H. Perkins from Harvard University that Malaysian universities have failed to produce graduates who can drive the field of innovation and research.
Daing Nasir said Dwight made the statement despite not having accurate information and data on the achievements of universities in this country.
Dwight made the allegation in his paper titled 'Policy Imperatives to Drive Future Growth' which he presented at the Economic Seminar organised by the Jeffrey Cheah Institute-Malaysian Economic Association (JCI-MEA) in Kuala Lumpur recently.
"His statement which said the failure was caused by problems within the universities such as the appointment of the presidents, rectors and vice-chancellors being decided by the government, clearly shows that he has no knowledge whatsoever of the process of these appointments.
"In fact, he also does not understand that the chief executive of a university in Malaysia and other countries does not stand alone but is supported by an administrative team which is solid, has integrity and is effective.
"In this context, the university administration differs between countries, but are also similar in many ways including concerning the university senate, the board of directors and certain committees which look into the academic, research and financial development," he said in a statement to the media, here, today.
He said Dwight's claim that the weaknesses of universities in this country were caused by political interference was also baseless as universities in Malaysia practised the merit system in student intake.
"The opportunity to get sponsorship such as from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is open to almost all students, while the intake of lecturers is also based on merit and qualifications, whether they are local or foreign," he said.
Daing Nasir said the capability of Malaysian universities in research was proven in the number and quality of documentation produced, as well as research collaborations with almost 180 countries, resulting in an increase in the number of intellectual articles of high impact.
He added that the study report by the World Economic Forum also ranked Malaysia at 25th place in the Global Competitive Index of the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR).