SINTOK, Feb 28, 2015:

The quality of local universities in Malaysia is on a par with those abroad, with advantages in terms of value for money, said Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Wira Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak.

He said the “quality at an affordable cost” concept in local universities, which included the cost of living, study and accommodation costs, was among the pull factors drawing foreign students to enrol in local universities.

“For example, at least RM50,000 per year is needed if you want to pursue a master of business administration (MBA) from Harvard University.

“There are no problems pursuing further studies in the country as Malaysian degree holders and academicians are recognised worldwide,” he told Bernama when met in UUM here recently.

Recently, Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh had told the Opposition to stop politicising his comments on local university rankings.

Mohamed said local universities needed time to progress as most of the local universities were still green compared with the world’s top universities.

“Do not compare local universities to universities abroad such as Cambridge University which was founded 800 years ago, Oxford University 1,000 years ago and Harvard University 300 years ago.

“Some quarters in Malaysia are giving negative criticism towards local universities and the expertise of local lecturers.”

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi said a university was not just about producing intellectuals but also contributing to the development of an area.

“For example, Unimas has developed Kota Samarahan in Sarawak through the various research done.

“A university also plays a role as a ‘growth centre’ to enable the local university to reap benefits from it.”

He said local universities needed time and support from all parties to become among the world’s best.

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