Monday January 3, 2011
Conflicting reports on commencement date throw universities off guard
PETALING JAYA: Conflicting reports about when the new academic calendar will start this year have thrown some universities into a state of confusion.
However, the university authorities were making adjustments to accommodate the Government’s decision to move the academic term to start in September instead of July as the practice had been.
Although most universities were positive about the move, there were conflicting reports about the commencement date.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) vice-chancellor Tan Sri Prof Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin welcomed the Government’s decision to adjust the academic term.
“It is good for local IPTs to synchronise their academic calendar with universities from countries in the northern hemisphere, taking into account the fact that most universities in the world are located in these countries,” she said yesterday.
Prof Sharifah Hapsah said students entering UKM’s medical faculty would start in July instead of September.
However, it was later clarified that only existing medical students would start the term in July while new students entering varsities this year would start in September. However, even this had not been confirmed.
Prof Sharifah Hapsah said the new date for the academic term would not pose an issue to the university, adding that it had been making preparations to adjust to the changes.
“Some students may encounter problems as they have already bought their tickets to return to campus in July and the university will look into ways to help them,” she said.
It was reported yesterday that the academic term of public and private institutions of higher learning would start in September and not July to align the term with that of universities abroad.
A Universiti Malaysia Sarawak professor said he was told by his department head that students would start the new university term in July.
“But from July until September, students will have to attend English language courses. They will only start on their faculty studies in September,” said the professor who declined to be named.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah Prof Datuk Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon said he had been informed of the move.
Universiti Utara Malaysia vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said he received a notice on the change in the academic term about a month ago.
Currently, there are 443,745 students in public universities.