Archive for the ‘National Professor's Council (NPC)’ Category

Prof Dr Azmi Shariff From UTP Recognised As Top Research Scientist

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 (Bernama) — Professor Dr Azmi Shariff from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) was recognised as one of the Top Research Scientists of Malaysia (TRSM) this year by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM).

UTP in a statement issued here Tuesday said Azmi has the privilege and prestige of being the very first research scientist from UTP to be given the honour.

Azmi is one of the 14 top research scientists recognised by ASM, the statement said.

To date, 110 researchers and scientists are part of the TRSM database, 99 of whom are from public universities, five from private universities and six from research institutes.

Azmi’s predilection and passion for research and innovation was nurtured during his undergraduate years when he was part of the pioneer batch of the Chemical Engineering degree programme at UTP.

“Azmi secured a position as a research officer upon graduation and was plunged into a highly competitive and challenging environment, he eventually went on to acquire his Masters in Process Integration at the Victoria University of Manchester, United Kingdom (UK) and doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of Leeds, UK,” UTP said.

Azmi is now the head of both Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Capture Research and Advanced Process Safety research centres at UTP and is deeply involved in various research projects with a special focus on the oil and gas industry.

He is currently working on two major projects in CO2 management as well as in process and design safety for the industry.

Azmi said the TRSM recognition was truly an honour and he is humbled that his work and contribution had been considered significant enough to meet the high expectations and standards of the ASM.


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Call For Effective Solutions To University Placement Issue

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR:  The issue involving excellent students who failed to secure places in public universities each year must be resolved in an effective manner to prevent recurrence.

National Professors’ Council education and human capital development cluster chief Professor Datuk Dr Zakaria Kasa said this was vital if Malaysia was serious in achieving the vision of becoming international higher education excellence centre by the year 2020.

“How can we take more international students when our excellent ones can’t even secure places in local universities?” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

Zakaria said this in response to the issue where 18,000 excellent students were reported to have failed to secure places in public universities despite meeting all the admission requirements.

On July 15, Deputy Education Minister P.Kamalanathan was quoted as saying that only 41,573 out of 68,702 students who applied to pursue a degree course for the academic session 2013/2014, were offered places.

The following day, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his tweet, advised the students not to give up and feel too disappointed as the Cabinet would discuss and find best possible solutions to the issue.

In this context, Zakaria said the government should consider using a certain mechanism in providing sufficient places, including by giving financial aid to the students to pursue their studies in private institutions of higher learning (IPTS).

“We have to understand that besides being well-established institutions, the other reason for these students wanting to enter public universities is because it is less costly than IPTS, but it is impossible to take them all.

“Hence, we hope the government or any relevant quarters will give them some financial assistance. Make optimal use of the IPTS. We have 20 public universities in the country, but the number of the private ones is much more than that.

“We cannot depend of public universities alone to offer places to these students, especially if it involves critical courses,” he said.

Zakaria, who is Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris vice-chancellor, said such a system had been practiced by the Korean government without any problem.

He also expressed hope that IPTS nationwide would play their roles in helping the government to achieve the target to have 200,000 foreign students pursuing their studies in Malaysia by 2020.

While remaining positive of the chances for the 18,000 students to secure places in public universities, National Association of Bumiputera Private Higher Educational Institutions Malaysia (PKIBM) Professor Emeritus Datuk Abu Azam Md Yassin said the number of IPTS was sufficient to accommodate them.

He said Malaysia has twice the number of IPTS with university college status compared with public institutions of higher learning (IPTA), including those offering critical courses.

“So, I don’t think there is a problem to accommodate them, including in critical courses. Besides, most local IPTS have less students,” he said.

Abu Azam, who is also chairman of Kolej Teknologi Darulnaim board of governors, said both IPTA and IPTS were accredited and monitored by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, and hence the quality of education in IPTS was also guaranteed.

“It’s just that the number of places in IPTA is limited, that is why the government established the IPTS to accommodate the rising number of students in the country,” he said.

Abu Azam also lauded the Education Ministry’s proposal to ask the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) to introduce a scheme to ease students’ burden in paying their fees in IPTS.

by Nik Nurfaqih Nik Wil.


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Academic and professional bodies rise to the challenge.

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

WORLD – CLASS: Our professional and academic associations nurturing paradigm pioneers.

ASSOCIATIONS become strong with visionary leadership and practical teamwork. In an era of numerous fora, seminars and conferences by many kinds of organisations and institutions, there is fierce competition for resources as well as for conference participants.

In the 1960s and 1970s when there was only the University Malaya and the newly established National University, Universities of Science, Agriculture and Technology, conferences organised by professional organisations were reputable and were well attended.

In the education field it was the Malaysian Association of Education’s (MAE) national conferences which were awaited by all levels of educational leaders.

The MAE journal, Suara Pendidik, was one of the main media for academicians to publish their works. Seminars organised by the National Union of Teachers, the Consumers Association of Penang and similar organisations were also the medium for academic contribution.

Four developments challenged the dominant influence of professional and academic associations like the MAE. First was the establishment of universities and within them faculties, schools or centres of educational studies.

These began to run their own conferences and publish their own journals. Second, with the advent of Information Communications Technology (ICT), digital libraries, online conferences and online journals, academicians have more avenues for their collegial engagements and publications.

Third and more current is the demand that academic works be published in international journals with citation indexes such as the journals in ISI and Scopus.

Fourth are the weaknesses of professional and academic associations themselves which did not see the signs and were not ready for such turning points. Also, associations had a tendency to depend on patronage and sponsorship and were not self-sufficient.

Having experienced the decline of influence and financial decline, currently, professional and academic associations have begun to rediscover their strategic mission and functions.

They have begun to realise that many university-organised conferences tend to be faculty-based, parochial, exclusive or over-specialised. Often too, conferences organised by a faculty or department may not have the support of other departments or faculties or other universities.

by Datuk Dr. Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid.

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Scholarly contribution

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

THE National Professors Council (NPC) met for the first time recently to nail down the specifics of how they can contribute to the nation’s development as representatives of the scholarly community in Malaysia.

Launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in April, the council was formed to tap into the expertise and knowledge of the 1,426 professors in public universities around the country.

“The formation of this council comes at the perfect time to help strengthen the national economy, as well as social development,” said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin at the council’s strategic planning meeting held at a hotel in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Among the activities he hopes the council will undertake are gap analyses between more successful nations and Malaysia, and being proactive in offering opinions on matters related to the 14 clusters under the council.

Said Mohamed Khaled: “We realise that our Government leaders have said that the era where the Government knows best has ended, and we must ask the public for their input.

“For example, the New Economic Model (NEM), the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST), the removal of subsidies … you should describe, analyse and offer your opinions on these matters as scholars, and I am sure the community will then have high regard for your opinions,” he said.

The council’s main committee members include council chairman and national science adviser Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid, deputy chairman Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, secretary Prof Dr Raduan Che Rose and the heads of the 14 clusters within the council.

The 14 clusters are:

-        Economy and finance

-        Politics, security and international affairs

-        Medicine and health sciences

-        History, heritage and socio-culture

-        Social development and welfare

-        Education and human capital development

-        Industry and innovation

-        Information technology and communications

-        Science and mathematics

-        Natural resources and environment

-        Engineering and technology

-        Governance, law and public administration

-        Pharmacy and applied science

Mohamed Khaled said: “The council will be a special body under the Higher Education Ministry.

“Administration-wise, the ministry will be the secretariat, and the council will report directly to the Higher Education Minister.”

He added that the Cabinet had already approved an initial allocation of RM2mil to start off the council, and subsequently, RM3mil a year for its budget.

The minister also said that a few academicians from private institutions had approached him about setting up a parallel council for private university professors.

“We will see if this (the NPC) works first, only then will we know if it has the support of the professorial community. Once we’ve gained their support and acceptance, we can bring in the IPTS (private higher learning institutions) professors,” he said.

He added that the council itself had suggested that IPTS professors be invited to join their activities on an individual basis.

Mohamed Khaled also presented credentials to the deputy chairmen and secretaries of each cluster, as well as the 25 pro-tem committee members of the council, during the event.

The main committee members had already received their credentials from Najib during the council’s launch in April.

by Tan Shiow Chin.

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