Friday, June 02, 2006

Why UM Would Fail?

People nowaday spoke of a lot on the declining acaddemic performance of Malaysian public university, especially the 'Universiti Perdana' that boast of 'Tradisi Kecermelangan', that is the one and only University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Much theories and viewpoints had been given but I think most of them missed one very important point. As a member of UM, I think I am qualified to elaborate on that missing point.

UM was the first university in this country that is being awarded the ISO 9001, much fanfare were highlighted to celebrate on its. BUT let me tell you that, it is precisely this ISO things that drive the downfall of the university. Does a university really need the ISO accolade to uphold its reputation? Mind you, how may of the top notch world class university obtained ISO? Anyone who is involved in ISO things in the corporate world can tell you what is this ISO is all about. It boils down to thorough documentation and reporting in every aspect of your organisation administration in hope of streamlining it and standardisation in output quality in its deliveries system.

So, what is a ISOed UM is doing? The admin staff are busying prepare all sort of funny reports and database for analysis, document format were made to way it is look like in corporate world. Lecturers busying prepare documentation for every lecture they are supposed to be given, taking attendance, analysing student flow and response, writing report and preparing a lot decent looking tutorial for uploading into the Internet. Of all the things done, someone forgot to to tell the management that we need to care of upgrading the academic standard of the university as this is not included in the ISO handbook which is meant for management and administration. The lecturers whom are suppose to be researchers as well, are so tight-handed with all sort of funny reports until they have no resource for the academia R&D. Don't forget they also have to look after the ISO of their laboratory. To add salt to the wound, the university will has 2 major ISO auditions every years, one internal and the other external. These audition exxercises took up a lot of resources in the university, as no one will want to become the scapegoat for UM for losing the ISO title.

UM is paying too high a price fot the ISO accolade, and the management of the university must see this and do something, or else UM will continue to falter!