PETALING JAYA: A think tank has urged the government to consider recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), saying it would help plug the brain drain from the country.
In an interview with FMT, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) chief operating officer Ng Yeen Seen pointed out that many top universities around the world had accepted the UEC. She said Singapore, Taiwan and China were in fact welcoming UEC students with open arms.
Universities that recognise the UEC include the California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Oxford University, University of Cambridge, University of Toronto and the National University of Singapore.
“If we do not appreciate our own talent, others will and this talent will move elsewhere and settle in those countries,” Ng said.
If there were concerns over UEC graduates’ mastery of Bahasa Malaysia, she said, then the government could make an SPM pass in the language a prerequisite for recognising the certificate for scholarships as well as jobs in the public sector.
Ng also urged the government to consider benchmarking the SPM to international standards in order to produce competitive talent.
In recent times the UEC has become a contentious issue, especially during elections. Political parties tend to use it for political mileage. Supporters of UEC say Malaysia stands to lose out by not recognising the certificate while critics say it isn’t in line with the National Education Policy.
An FMT report on Saturday quoted Ng as saying that the Malaysian Chinese population was shrinking due to emigration and declining birth rates.