Lately most of the articles have been rather serious, especially with the political instabilty after the March elections.
But the news in malaysiakini that the USM picked as Apex university shows that the government is still able to make some good decisions without political overtones.
OK I don't know if there were any political factors but Penang is an opposition state and it is good that the Higher Education Ministry was able to make this decision. I think USM started off as a teacher's training college the MTC as some of my school-mates were trained there as teachers.
Perhaps being far away from the political center has enabled the USM to develop more as an academic centre compared to UM that has more political activities.
This should be a good lesson for UM and perhaps UiTM to improve. The former is taking up the challenge as UM not deterred, to strive for global status .
The NST article mentions that
"One of the initiatives taken in this direction was the setting up of a RM30 million fund to send local UM students on foreign exchange programmes, she added.
"Our aim is to send 1,000 students a year supported by the fund." "
I always thought that to upgrade a university one needs quality lecturers and good teaching methods to attract better students. I think the money would be better spent to send some good lecturers overseas to improve their skills and then bond them for say two years for each year of study and a defined career growth path.