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Varsities told to go for quality, not quantity

 | February 10, 2017

JobStreet says local institutions of learning need to raise the value of the degrees they confer.

Chook-Yuh-YngPETALING JAYA: An employment agency has urged local universities to be strict in demanding academic excellence from their students, saying this might result in a more favourable perception of the degrees they confer.

Addressing the issue of unemployment among local graduates, JobStreet country manager Chook Yuh Yng said employers generally considered graduates from overseas institutions as superior to their counterparts who studied at local universities.

She said this could be due to the general impression that it is easy to graduate from local universities.

“In some other countries you can actually fail your university exams,” she said. “And when you fail, you have to repeat until you are able to pass; otherwise you won’t get a degree.

“This is something we need to look into because we need to control the output and the quality of our graduates. We have to make sure all our graduates are ready to compete in the job market.”

There are 661 tertiary institutions in Malaysia, and the stiff competition has seen some private institutions lowering entry requirements as well as the requirements for passing a course.

Noting this, Chook said the competition should be in producing quality instead of quantity.

P Kumanan, a business development manager at an international recruitment agency, said students entering tertiary institutions would have to be serious in planning their future. He said they should pursue degrees that were in demand instead of settling for just anything easily available.

He also said employers tended to demand proficiency in the English language and that they found graduates of local public institutions wanting in this respect.

“That’s the reason they prefer graduates of private local universities as well as those who graduate from overseas institutions,” he said.

Last year, former Universiti Malaya vice-chancellor Ghauth Jasmon said more than 400,000 Malaysian graduates were unemployed, and warned that the number was set to rise.


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