Title: Erosion of the Academic Dogma in Malaysian Universities: Drifting in the Abyss of World-Class Quest
Speaker: Dr. Wan Manan (Visiting Research Scholar, CSEAS, Kyoto University)
Date and Time: July 3 (Monday) 16:00 – 18:00
Venue: Tonan-tei (Room No. 201), Inamori Foundation Memorial Building, CSEAS, Kyoto University
Moderator: Tsukasa Iga (CSEAS)
Knowledge can be an end to itself or it can lead to utility. Striking the balance between the esoteric and the practical application of science and arts is the challenge of the university. Modern day universities are very much different the traditional universities of yesteryears, contemporary universities are confronted with many other issues and are no more protective havens. Today, universities are open places market of ideas, research centers, sports, student demonstrations, political manipulations, and host of other activities that were never anticipated by university founders of previous centuries.
In the Malaysian context, universities have played a major role in the democratization of higher education, even though there are still pockets of exclusiveness and elitism. The quest for a place in university ranking and world-class pursuits led universities to ignore the academic dogma. Intellectual honesty, academic freedom, university autonomy and good governance were sidelined to achieve maximum key performance indicators (KPIs) scores.
In the context of ASEAN, except for Singapore, the growth of universities and upgrading of universities from colleges or technical institutes to universities, particularly in Malaysia and Thailand, they have not made much impact at the world or regional level. How can Malaysian and ASEAN universities rise up to competitiveness and attain a world-class status?
About the speaker:
Wan Manan was a professsor in Universiti Sains Malaysia. He has been actively involved in academic activism in Malaysia for the last 30 years. He was the Chairperson of the Malaysian Academic Movement, the President of the Universiti Sains Malaysia Academic & Administrative Staff Association. He has written articles, book chapters, and paper presentations on academic freedom and university autonomy.