Wednesday August 30, 2006
Mustapa: Recruit non-bumis
By LEANNE GOH, SIMRIT KAUR
KUALA LUMPUR: Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed wants to see a greater representation of non-bumiputras in academia.
He has asked public universities to recruit more non-bumiputra lecturers, attract the best brains, and develop a vibrant academic environment.
“I hope more non-bumiputras will come into the universities as we need everyone to be involved. I have askedthe vice-chancellors to look into hiring more non-bumiputra academia.”
He was asked if meritocracy would be practised in the promotion of staff at public universities.
The minister acknowledged that the percentage of non-bumiputras, especially in promotional posts, was low.
In Universiti Malaya there is only one non-bumiputra dean among 20. In many of the other universities, there is none.
“Yes, we are aware more needs to be done but things take time,” he said. “We are already putting in measures to foster a more exciting academic environment and to strive for world-class institutions, especially in the area of research.”
For a start, he is now holding monthly meetings with vice-chancellors,empowering universities with greater autonomy and cutting down bureaucracy.
“These things are happening; if you talk to some of them, they will tell you there is more engagement. I engage a lot more with them and they are quite happy. They can provide input as stakeholders and they know that it is taken into account,” Mustapa added.
Citing some examples, he said the universities were being consulted on terms and conditions of service, scholarships, PhDs and contracts for retired staff.
“Previously, if a lecturer wanted to be retained on contract (after retirement), it could take months.
“I think there is a new mood in universities as I am empowering them. There is greater delegation of authority now,” he said.
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