Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Top 5 Reasons Why University of Malaya Can Only Be The Best in Malaysia, But Not In The World

In year 2016, Malaysia has established 20 public universities, 34 polytechnics and 94 community colleges all around the country, which is a huge leap in the numbers compared to the 1960's. In early 2016, University of Malaya (UM), being the leading university in Malaysia, is ranked 27th in Asia by QS ranking.

But the question remains: Despite all the statistics and results in paper, are we really that good?

Before I proceed it is necessary to inform you on how a university is being ranked by the QS ranking:

1. Academic Reputation - 40%
2. Citation per faculty - 20%
3. Student to faculty ratio - 20%
4. Employer Reputation - 10%
5. International faculty ratio - 5%
6. International student ratio - 5%
(Source: http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings-articles/world-university-rankings/qs-world-university-rankings-methodology)


Disclaimer: This article is not written to cause any kind of personal insults to any students, lecturers, or the management of the university, but rather a healthy food of thought to you that are reading this article. With this in mind, lets proceed.



#5 Exposure - We Are Lack of It!



2 years in University of Malaya, involving in big and small events in the campus, I have come to realize that the students in UM have very limited exposure to the outside world.


In other word, we are way too comfortable staying in UM, and while we thought we are the best in the country but we forgot to look onto the outside world. We take pride for the way we organize activities and events, we take glory for our culture (MHS, Cheers etc etc) and we are the best breed of students because we are studying in UM.

However, the truth is, looking out from the books and our annual events, we are actually not that good. It's easy to test how well exposed a student is: just ask them something about the real world, be it a company's name or what's the new stuff happening around the country. I have come across a peer of the same faculty as me do not know who is Tan Sri Zeti (ex BNM Governor), and some peers in the business/accounting/finance faculty that do not know what a start-up is.

Events organized by respective societies have also bottle-necked, with little content value and breakthrough in terms of takeaway value for the participants and committees. With all due respect we have several societies that are really good event organizers, great multech and logistics, but we are lacking behind in terms of the content of the events held. Everything we've learnt and passed down are from the seniors and it becomes a culture as times goes by and we tend to forget to ask: Why Are We Doing This? What Is The Purpose of This Event?

While we are busy passing down 'cultures' we forgot to look out there and when we realize how events out there excel not only in terms of organization but content, we are way too late.


#4 Finance - Why So Many Undergraduates Face Bankruptcy and Debts Nowadays



While our ministers claim that our education system is one of the best, if not among the finest in the world, our system has produced a society of young undergraduate full of debts. To make thing even worse, they are unable to pay off the debt, leading to serious bankruptcy issues among young people aged 18 - 35. (source: http://www.malaysiandigest.com/opinion/488936-debts-among-us-young-malaysians-are-going-bankrupt.html)


Yes, we are going up the rank in the region and world, because QS Ranking do not include the level of financial education in the ranking criteria! A very wrong perspective of UM students is to think that it is normal to have little to no knowledge about personal financial management and financial knowledge just because you are not from the economics/finance/business/accounting background. Oh my, this is the reason why Malaysia youngsters are getting into financial trouble.


Junior: "Yi Xuan, I have no idea about financial management and investment at all even I'm an economics student."



A reply from a junior when I asked about her knowledge in personal finance and investment. 



From the above conversation, even an Economics student do not know about investment and personal finance management, because we are not taught about them! We are taught about the theories of economics and of course basic finance, we are taught on how to score an A in the 14 weeks of lecture, but we are not taught on how to generate income in real life using the knowledge and manage our own money even as an economics student.


As cruel as it might be, the best university in the country is producing what is considered the best slaves to money, working the heck out of our life to pay off debts due to lack of financial knowledge.

#3 Usage of Tech - We Are In Ice Age


How I wish QR Rankings set a usage of technology as one of the ranking criteria. Being the leading university in the country, UM is way behind in terms of usage of technology. One significant example is the usage of Microsoft Powerpoint during lectures and tutorials. May I ask, why is this ice age software still being used in the best university in Malaysia? In renown universities in UK such as Imperial College London, software such as Microsoft Sway has been taking over PPT as the primary presentation tool, making presentation much more interactive and lively. Why are lecture recordings being uploaded in NTU while in UM we are still struggling to use our phone to record what our lecturers say?


Not only the university is slow in bringing in the latest tech to enhance teaching and learning experience, students are pretty slow in getting update in tech as well. Very little people will know what is virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) - these are technologies that can help improve and enhance learning experience in near future.

This is worrying, because with university bringing in technologies way too slow, and students' knowledge in technology way too little, our teaching and learning process will forever stick in, well, the ice age.

Oh, did I forgot to mention about WiFi in the campus? 

#2 Language - English Level Is Average At Best

Initially I thought this is only an issue for the students from the arts background, but after 2 years studying in UM, I come to a conclusion: There are a lot of room of improvement for the English proficiency of UM students.

While it is acceptable that UM students come from different background and places around the country and hence differs in English proficiency, it is NOT acceptable that UM students not trying to improve themselves in English. 

But sadly this is what exactly happening right now: UM students can write to near perfection, but when it comes to speaking and communicating, we are way behind competitions out there. The irony is, UM students take too little effort to brush up their communication and English presentation skills, there are too many events to be joined out there that speaks on our native tongue and we comfortably forget that if we do not speak good English, we are just a person with knowledge and ability but cannot convey ideas properly.

To make things even worse, UM's English programs are bad enough and in need of urgent refinement and restructuring. 3 hours of English class a week is a terrible arrangement and long hours of class makes it awfully boring (my important electives are only 2 hours OMG), and classes such as Presentation at Workplace and Technical Writing have outdated modules, with presentation classes that asked us to randomly pick on a topic and present on it rather than training students on effective idea pitching in workplace (which is way more relevant), and writing classes still teaching us on how to write a letter (I thought letter is a tech of the Barbarian era?) instead of focusing on teaching us how to write a proper and effective email.

In short, UM students needs to realize the importance of English, and work the heart out to improve on it, because without proper English, we can't even talk about competency at workplace (unless you work for government *pun intended*.

#1 Culture - The Bad Ones

UM has one of the best culture among the universities in Malaysia. We are allow to dress freely as long as it is appropriate (unlike certain universities in the north), we have really good campus life with lots of different events and societies to join, you name it, we have it. We are at the center of the country, which in return offers various opportunities that other universities do not provide.

However, several unhealthy cultures are bringing us down, and it will be costly for the future. First, being the most important of all, is the interaction between races in the campus. UM has by far the most diversify races and culture that contains different ethnic of students all over Malaysia, but interracial interaction is still a challenge to be overcome in the campus. The common sight you will see is that Malays will still sticking with Malays, Chinese with Chinese and so on. This is worrying, while we have a well balanced race diversification in UM, we do not have a strong interracial bonding in the campus, which can be reflective on the community that we will be living in the near future, which this can be easily manipulated by politicians in the future elections.

Lack of reading, albeit seems unimportant, it is the core of knowledge learning for a person, and UM students have serious issue in general knowledge. Students are too focused on their events, and are taught to finish up tutorials and assignments and before we even realize, mid-terms are around the corner. In the midst of all the madness, UM students tend to forget to equip themselves with knowledge through reading. Learn all the soft skills that you can through events, but without constant improvement in knowledge, one's growth will be stunted at a certain stage in life. 

Conclusion

So there you have it, the top 5 reasons why UM can only be the best in Malaysia, but not in the world. What I've mentioned above are more on the issues that really affect the competency of UM students in their future workplace through my observation and interaction with different students from different ethnics and faculties throughout my 2 years involving in various big and small activities in UM.

While we are studying in the best university in the country, but lets not forget that there are much more better talents and institutions out there that are constantly evolving day by day, and we cannot stop improving ourselves. 

To end, dear friends, please remember: The day we stop learning and improving, is the day we die. 

Cheers for staying with me throughout this article! Do comment below if you have any other inputs or opinions!











76 comments:

  1. Well said!!! However some are still too stubborn to face this harsh reality..... #banana&co

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  2. Well said sir. Any idea on how to improve interracial relationship?

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    1. Not in short period. Things need to be improved bit by bit. Baby steps. Start by having a common medium of communication within campus regardless of race: English.

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    2. Communication is not a problem. The problem is tolerance and acceptance.

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  3. Haha UM might not even be the best in Malaysia with all the fast growing University within the country. It's one of the oldest. and thats reputation and resources. But as times goes on, it will be less significant.

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    1. Totally agree! UM is no longer the best in Malaysia. If it was in 1980+, yes it was. But now 2016, no it's not. It's a funny thing for UM management, when the ranking is up, then they are happy and keep saying their ranking is up this year. But when the ranking is down, then they will say it's not correct and not precise to reflect the university's status.

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  4. Hello Yi Xuan,
    It's great that you have honest thoughts about what is going on in UM. To summarise all the points that I have read in your article which I personally do agree with, we, as UM students in general are lacking in "living in reality". We are too focused on what education system in UM wants but not what the country and globalization need. This is an uncomfortable truth. Anyway, this post is worth the time to read and shared. Thanks and congratulations for bringing us these thoughts.
    Justine, Year 1, Microbiology, Science Fac.

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    1. Thanks man! Lets do our best for a better future! :)

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  5. I guess what you've mentioned up there can be extended to our education system in secondary or even as far as primary schools... The difference is that in a university, you would expect students to be exposed to the 'real world' more than they should be during previous stages of education... We need an overhaul, and there will be loads of changes to make to do that... But sadly to say, we don't seem to be moving towards that direction, if not going the opposite way... As someone who is around your age, I'm glad that there are people like you who are willing to be self-critical of our education experience, I hope there will be more... Good luck =)

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    1. Thanks! May all youngsters be the change they wish for the future world. :)

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  6. Well said truth

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  7. Hi Yi Xuan, I'm a Malaysian studying in Peking University (China). Sometimes late in the midnight, I do have some thoughts on why education in Peking University can only stand out in China itself,but not the world. After reading through your summary, seems that there're a few eye catching points that literally corresponds with what my university (no,in my humble opinion,most) is/ are facing now, thanks for the insight :)

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    1. You are certainly welcome ting yew! :)

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  8. UM students can write in English to near perfection? I doubt it, not with the number of grammar errors in this post

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    1. Opps, thanks for spending your time to check out my grammar errors! :)

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    2. As a president of a certain course,I tried my best to include everyone regardless of their races in our activities;interaction week,outings,bonding activities,sports,you name it.this is of course,to strengthen our bonds and stuffs.however i found out tht my dear chinese friends,most of the time,were reluctant to join.however when i see their fb profile,they were alwys going out tgether,having good times and all.it was peculiar actually,why so?where did i go wrong?i alwys wnted us to b tgthr really,as coursemates.but it seems like i cn nvr get them to do so. Is the problem more fndmntal than i think it is?i dnt knw.of course,this is nt to b extnded to all chinese,it would b unfair.but the case remains true and the question remains unanswered.from your point of view,cn u tell me what seems to b the cause here?its jst your opinion im askg,so dont wrry about being seen as insensitive,i cn accpt criticism if u choose to do so.that being said,im a Malay,nt tht it is imprtnt,haha cheers

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    3. Hey hey! Well,leading PEKUMA for a year I can totally understand your feeling and effort. while you are convincing the Chinese to take part in your activities, me and my team tried our very best to include Non-Chinese in our events.

      PEKUMA is a society opened to all races but there's a perception that it is only got Chinese (given that majority committees are Chinese). However, we have Malays and Indians and even Bumis as our committees and I would say even with this we have hard time engaging Non-Chinese in the faculty to join our activities.

      After our post mortem and discussion, I've come to realize that it is a culture problem that causes all these to happen. Non-Chinese that felt their presence make little difference will pass down the mindset to their juniors and this bad cycle goes on,hence the weak interracial bonding.

      Second,activities held are not giving the people a sense of presence. I have Malaysia friends that reflect to me on this issue,even we held activities for all regardless of races they still felt their presence small as Chinese, being the majority that are active takes little initiative to communicate with them.

      Language barrier is also a problem, with everyone speaking their native tongue With their own races and this make interracial interaction even rarer to see.

      These were my experience when I were running PEKUMA and I believe you can relate to what I've said.

      The solution? Hack the culture and change it from the very core. English speaking is definitely the first step.

      Hope it helps. :)

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    4. Oops apologies for some typos there ya

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    5. Well it is hrder to rlate as in my case i really did meet them personally n invite them face to face.aftr all,we r coursemates,we spend most of our time tgether in class.we knw each other,we r close yet we r so far.it saddens me bcause in this multiracial settings tht we hve,sme ppl r trying their best to bridge n reach out,but bcause of this attitude,they might get discouraged n stop doing so.if u undrstnd wht i mean.hwever thnks for your view.appreciated it
      :)

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    6. I think we are pretty much facing the same challenges, you can check out what is PEKUMA all abt then you'll can relate what I've say to your contexts. :)

      https://www.facebook.com/PEKUMA.UM/?fref=ts

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  9. Overall, I love this article. Good job. I agree with three points you mentioned (i.e. language, tech and exposure). Those three points would be the same if applied to UNIMAS (University of Sarawak).

    As a 2nd year medical student, I realised that even the medical students have a range of shockingly wide gap of English level, with a handful of good English speakers (covering speaking, writing, reading) to a whole bunch of poor ones (grammar always makes me want to kill someone especially during presentation). The worst thing is that the university is trying to give English Prep classes for those who have MUET less or equal to band 3, while the Asasi students were exempted. This is bad given the fact that most poor English speakers are Asasi students.

    Exposure is very limited in UNIMAS, probably even lesser than UM, seeing how most people still think that UNIMAS students have no lights/WiFI/basic needs. Medical students are a losing in a way that most of our lecturers are foreigners from Myanmar and some inexperience lecturers (not saying that there are really good lecturers and professors, just we need more).

    I wouldn't even want to talk about technology in UNIMAS. Pretty sad. Similar to UM, I really don't feel like a 21st century university student. Honestly, I learn more stuffs in YouTube and Google than in class.

    However, the good thing I really love about UNIMAS is the diverse culture and harmony. I heard rumours about the racial issues going on in UM, but as someone who comes from Semenanjung, I really could see a difference in UNIMAS. There is minimal racism in UNIMAS, with so much tolerance, acceptance and understanding among the students. So much to the point I actually was afraid I'm delusional. If there is one thing good about UNIMAS, even better than UM (I'm confident to boast about this), it's the harmony among races in UNIMAS. There would always be a gang of same race together, but the majority mingles around. Take me for example, for someone who never friend any race except Chinese while I was studying in Semenanjung, I have bumi friends sitting around me in class, indian fiends as housemates, Malay friends in the same team, and so much more.

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    1. Hi dylonix, what a pleasant surprise to see you here Hahaha~

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  10. Thank you for shedding some light unto this to this matter! I do agree pretty much with your assertions. P.s Gotta start reading more! Kudos to you, you're impacting lives. At least for mine. :)

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  11. Some of your points might be true but what I dislike about you is that you were generalizing the students. It’s not that everyone is good but at least not everyone of us is like what you said. Our reputations are gone just because of people like you.
    You wrote “students are pretty slow in getting update in tech as well. Very little people will know what is virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI).” This only proved that you are not well-exposed to the students around the university and you wrote this based on your own limited knowledge. FYI, we even have artificial intelligence courses in FCSIT. Please don’t generalize every student because of just those few around you. Btw, recently, the Wi-Fi is pretty good. At least I can download files at 2Mbps most of the time. Don’t envy because you are staying in those over crowded colleges.
    You said “The common sight you will see is that Malays will still sticking (WTF? Don’t judge others’ language if you are not good too) with Malays, Chinese with Chinese and so on.” You are generalizing us again. Sometimes, it’s because we have some culture constraints that limit us. Just to give you an example, when the non-Muslims wanted to go for non-halal food, the Muslims can’t join. Will you give up the tasty Char Siew that you have been wanted to eat since n months ago just to eat with your Muslim friends? But sometimes, we do eat together in the cafeteria during lunch hours. We sometimes study together in the faculty’s student center too. What you wrote again prove that you only mix with those racist group of people.
    “Lack of reading, albeit seems unimportant, it is the core of knowledge learning for a person, and UM students have serious issue in general knowledge.” One of my lecturer didn’t even upload any lecture notes on the Spectrum for this whole semester and he was teaching me 2 subjects. He only posted links to some good articles, notes, videos and research papers to read. Isn’t him encouraging enough? I feel like giving him a f*cking award. And sometimes I f*cking envy those geniuses around me who read too much about those too advanced knowledges. (Doesn’t prove that I am not reading but they are just far better.)
    PEKUMA president, huh?

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    1. Woah so salty you can make a block of belacan out of this comment

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    2. Don't mind him. Just another UM Aiesecer talking nonsense here. They have bad reputation anyway.

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    3. LOL..I am really salty about what he said. It's not that everything he said is wrong but when he generalized people which might create a stereotype on the students, us, I was like wtf? So so so pissed when he said "students are pretty slow in getting update in tech as well. Very little people will know what is virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI)." Dude! I am from the Computer Science and IT faculty. We are invisible or what? Just another katak di bawah tempurung. I guess he is generalizing us based on himself.

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    4. I always heard people said "do not generalize" , the fact is , when there is 90% of people who do not speak good english , while 10% speak very good english , the conclusion people gonna make is that "they do not speak english" , it is commonsense man , how should you expect the writer to write ? Give you statistics that how many % who speak good english and how many % who do not speak english ? So does this mean when writer do that , he does not generalize ? You say one of your lecture only post article in spectrum to increase exposure to real world. My advice to you is do not generalize, not every lecture do that too , in fact most do not ! So you want to say now I generalizing ? Go ahead !

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    5. "Very little people will know what is virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI)." The writer come from FEA , he is sharing his opinion based on his perspective , while I am from FBA , I agree the fact that most people in my faculty have little knowledge on this. To put you into perspective , only 3-5 people in 100 really know about tech. You are from FCSIT , ofcourse your exposure will be more. But in UM , there is so many faculty , if we combine , then we will roughly know that there is really "little people" know about it. That is why the writer said "VERY LITTLE" NOT "EVERYONE" , so do you still think the writer is generalizing ? Can we just appreciate what the writer would like to share instead of being so offended and salty ? Please ?

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    6. I am afraid if based on your definition of Generalizing , almost most articles on the internet have the mistake of "Generalizing". Maybe you would get angry because people said AFRICAN SKIN COLOUR ARE BLACK because you think that 1% of people in AFRICAN ARE WHITE and people are generalizing AFRICAN people ! OMG ! Get some medicine would you ?

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    7. He is generalizing to some extend. Blame his language and the way he wrote if you may. Don't be too salty. Chill. I believe every reader will have the ability to judge what he said.

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    8. Indeed he is. I am salty just because his article might somehow jeopardize UM students' reputation. We all know what happened in the university. We all know some students are indeed not performing well. Just do our best. No need to tell the world and amplify how bad it is. Let say an employer is reading this article, well, good luck to the writer too. He is also one of the "good" UM students.

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    9. Don't bother about that reply trying to argue with nonsense. Provide statistic if he may. Those are his beliefs. Untrustworthy. He didn't really mention "LITTLE". He sometimes used "STUDENTS".

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    10. Agree! Thanks for backing up.

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    11. And I did say some, not everything he said. I said some I am so pissed because he generalized. Don't use the language example. I didn't mention about generalizing that. He said "Lack of reading, albeit seems unimportant, it is the core of knowledge learning for a person, and UM students have serious issue in general knowledge." See! UM students.

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    12. If it's not based on all the faculty, then don't say UM students. Don't judge a fish by its ability to climb.

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    13. Some people are easily get offeded. Get a life please

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    14. Yep , agree , keyboard warriors everywhere

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    15. Wow , only now I realise you cannot be self critical , because if you do , your employer may see that as a weakness. How pathetic student nowaday!

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    16. My argument is non sense to you. Is it ? Or you really cannot think of any better arguments? You cannot say British want to leave EU , because only 51% want to leave , 48% want to remain, so if you say so , you are generalising the British nations. Go to any news website , you named it marketwatch , bloomberg. They are generalising british nation , omg ! Hahaha

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    17. Dude! Leave him alone...lol. I am somehow offended by this article too. I have graduated and currently working in an HR departments. All this rumors from the students themselves really affect our department on hiring the students from UM.

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    18. Sometimes tiring defending them. Good luck to those who continue telling how bad UM is unless you got a job and you don't care.

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    19. To the author, I ended up reading your blog post when I was searching for potential candidates at LinkedIn to fill certain technical job positions at our company. This post has been distributed widely at LinkedIn. I have shared your opinions with my colleagues. I regret to say that we do not agree with your opinions. At least in our company, we will not consider candidates like you, should you apply a job with us. You are certainly very disrespectful.

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    20. Hi sir/madam! It is sad to hear this, I wish your company the best in getting the talents you all need! :)

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    21. Hi to above HR people who say you would not hire the author , just asking if the author really give a **** about it lol , the author does not even asked to be employed , atleast for now. So, stop your arrogant attitude , if you do not agree , present fact , if not , leave.

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  12. Gopinath Thevar28 June 2016 at 20:22

    To the writer, it is a good read. But when coming to the language and other skills classes like what you said, presentation and writing, it might be outdated but outdated doesn't mean it is not good. Even if it is outdated, some students are unable to adapt the language . Even if it is improved, do you think that students would be able to improve their languange and those skills that you mentioned? In my opinion no. I am a semester 6 student, studying in UUM. Yes, the northern university (we wear formal everday to class). I can see still those senior students can't even present properly. In this case, I won't blame the system wholely, but partially because students should be responsible as well. It is a goid article actually once again.

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  13. And my dear friend, you only realised this after 2 years studying in UM? You are slow too!!

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  14. Just 2 years already talking nonsense. Talking about being exposed to the real world, sometimes it's really about you. It's easy to criticize what the university didn't provide but you take other opportunities from the university for granted. They even allocated RM4000 for YOU. Yes, YOU! RM4000 to go for an exchange programme. Err...Maybe not an exchange programme, it's exchange programmes. I had been for exchange twice. If you want to say the students are not good enough, you are just one of those too :)

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  15. So much bias. What the f*ck?

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  16. I am a final year medical student who has just graduated. One thing I must tell you is you have got only 24hours. You are given at least 4years (well some unfortunate 3years) to mould yourself into a better person. You can set up goal as to what you want to achieve in your university years. It is stupid to say that all the students in university must equip themselves with economics knowledge in university. This is because it is not a priority for everyone in university, but it will be a plus point for those who learn it. As long as studens willing to learn things extra than the academic ones. It would already be sufficient. The learning of economics has no value and will forever not a criteria in QS ranking. And you spoke about technology. You think UM got a lot subsidised by government? The government is at debt now, how are they going to fund the University. Even the canteen in each hostel which is more important to me, has been closed down 3years before.
    Final word:think wisely before commenting.

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  17. Correct me if I'm wrong, I heard from my law lecturer that recording lecture/tutorial is actually not allowed, not sure under which rule coz I did not focus on that... It is only meant for students with disability.

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  18. From the view of an outsider, this article not only slap hard to the face of UM students but also to the author himself. When comes to hiring, we HR might have prejudgement or prejudice on those who are from local universities.

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    1. Hi there! Thanks for your interesting POV, but I believe experienced HR will know how to observe beyond a public/private uni background and evaluate on more detailed aspects. :)

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  19. Hmm.....
    Your article is quite good and accurate when we see all of these things in general. But, in specific, some of the fact might not be so accurate. So, just get more information (better, right?).
    Last but not least, there are some grammatical errors and some words used are seemed less appropriate in this article. I won't say which one, just keeping find out by yourself and you will see them. Have a nice day!
    ***An anonymous from faculty of science

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    1. Thanks for pointing out my grammar issues anonymous from science fac! :)

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    2. Hey .. hi .. thumbs up to you bro first .. For the great concern of yours .. :)
      But anything about your University ( you are a student in it ) .. you have to keep it to yourself right .. you can't expose everything to others .. Then , what will be their perception on UM ? Hmmmm ..
      .. Things will get right at the right time .. Be Cool Bro ..
      Cheers kayh .. haha .. You have done a great job btw .. thumbs up again.. :)

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  20. Well Bro, people will hurt and stop you. Criticizing your knowledge about IT, saying that you're generalizing, your grammar and whatever fuck is that. Keep writing what you like and feel. This is the site for you to share your feeling ya. That's your thoughts man. Keep it up.

    "Speak with heart, Listen with thought, Write with passion."

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  21. My workplace accommodated an intern from UM recently, and based on our personal experience with said intern, what you said is completely... spot on. The intern was THE embodiment of the problems you wrote - communication in English was so-so, social skills were bad, writing skills and basic etiquette needed a lot of guidance - it was frustrating! It's actually quite worrying. I also heard that exam papers were bilingual? Of course they'd choose Malay over English. Then how will they ever improve? I don't think it's always a matter of university and how sheltered one is, it's also a matter of personal improvement. If the effort isn't there, one will never grow.

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  22. I know this might sound arrogant of me, but I'm quite proficient in terms of English and you write quite good articles but your grammatical mistakes and misuse of vocabulary really kills what you are trying to convey. What I'm trying to say is if you are willing, you can send me a copy of your articles before you publish them so I can help you proofread them and possibly we could discuss on ideas and opinions of such. Just a fellow writer to another, trying to help and better one another for a better world :) Just let me know and I'll drop some contact information. Please ignore my blog entries they were written years ago I'm no longer very active in blogging but I'd love to help someone who is. Cheers and all the best :)

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  23. It is true that students of our country need to improve themselves certain aspects, but thing looks much saddening when some of the students don't even realise where has gone wrong.

    When reading through the comments, I found out (which could be wrong, just solely my 2 cents), some students have been blaming the third parties for their own weaknesses. For example, lack of tech knowledge = universities do not have enough subsidy. Oh well, and then lack of english proficiency = problems of current education system.

    Well, it could be true that our system has flaws, and not a perfect one. But, is it the correct attitude to blame our own weaknesses/problems on the external factors? Besides, does criticism mean to attack or lower down the reputation of a student/university? Listening to the criticism, understanding the course behind it, and accepting it with open mind (given that the criticism is constructive), these are what matured and well-educated undergrad/postgrad would do. But, some students seem to behave overbearing, and take the pride of being the students of the top university in Malaysia.

    Being the student in the top university in the country doesn't mean to blame others, to be ignorant, or to make all of the current problems invisible to you, just because you want to protect the fame of being a student in the top university. In fact, I think that aforementioned behavior only protect the little pride of the egoistic students, but not the reputation of the university. To contribute to the university, to protect its reputation, is to work together, solve the problems we have here now, and to make it a more well-established place for studies.

    Well Regards,
    Anonymous

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  24. Hi Yi Xuan, after reading your piece I think you will do pretty well for yourself eventually.

    I was a lecturer at a badly run private college a long long time ago and among the academic staff we actually felt sorry for the students who attended the place. But the group that held out the most hope for us was this "special" group of students whom we knew will succeed regardless of the environment they were in.

    They all had 1 common characteristic - they were AWARE of the situation around them. They knew they were in a bad situation and were willing to work hard to get out of it. Needless to say, we also worked harder to help this group of students.

    Sorry I don't have anything more encouraging to say to you. Keep blogging and keep striving. Be the best you can be.

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  25. Dear Yi Xuan, I believe that you, as the owner of your personal blog, have all the freedom and right to express your views based on your experience and observation.

    However, I would also like to point out to all readers who think that this article represents the whole truth and reality that there isn't a single data or statistics from a more thorough and systematic research to back up all the claims that the author has made. There is a possibility that some of the statements are biased and nothing more than just generalizations. I urge everyone to read and judge more carefully before drawing conclusions, especially if most of us here are the students of the above mentioned university. :)

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  26. Hi Yi Xuan,

    Most of your opinion is true in certain aspects. The fact that students inherit the culture is negligible. I also came to realize that some event in university somehow doesnt really give a lot of impact. I can easily say but no to judge people thinking can be see from the way they treat social media, what kind of post etc.

    Besides, there's a lot of student being like this when their asked about other course fact,
    eg: 'do you know what causes pain', 'i'm not a science student, don't ask me'

    I think it has became a stigma to the students community and the only thing to change it by the way they reach their epistemology. Let say social media. It's the best way to educate people nowadays. In other way, it is less effective because it can provide short-term motivation.

    In my opinion, we need to change ourselves to change the world. Because we are part of the world. Don't wait for tomorrow because tomorrow is the rise of other generation, if you let it happen it will affect others like not to mention how elders thought us not to do this and that which is coming from their past misdeeds.

    Its been a while since I hear story from people like you. Hope that there is more person like you these days.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed this is very true. Lets be the change that we wish to see for our future world! :)

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  27. Hi Yi Xuan,

    First of all, I have to tell you that I am nothing but another current public university undergraduate. I can see that you have some really good points here. However, I will not say that most of the phenomena you mentioned above are limited to UM, nor the UM management or cultures are to be blamed. Instead, in my opinion, education system and attitude are the roots to the problems.

    As a student that has gone through the 13-year Malaysian education (6-year primary education, 5-year secondary education and almost 2-year Sixth Form education) system, I cannot deny that I am being sickened, day by day, by how the pathetic exam-oriented education is aiming to turn everyone of us into nothing but exam-taking robots. However, as we can do nothing about it, we play along it by cramming ourselves with lots of only-exam-related knowledge in order to ace the exams. Why? Because it is the only way for some of us to get scholarships and study at top-notch universities overseas. However, along the way, some of us go astray. Some students and parents view acing the exams, getting into universities, graduating first-class and getting a good job as the only important things in life. To them, learning outside of their professions is pointless and time-wasting. And this happens due to the closed mindset and their refuse-to-change attitude.

    Sharing a story of a friend of mine with you: My friend was attacked by social bully due to his persistence on the importance of English, with the reason "You have to respect Malaysia by using (ONLY, he might have forgotten this word, as it is not like my friend was refusing to do so. No one was ever.) its official language". My friend was dumbfounded because, according to his logic, he must be multilingual as he is going to learn every official language wherever he goes! See now? It is the attitude that inhibits one from improving. (Worse still, he was refusing to accept others' opinions.)

    As the education reformation is not expected to be done overnight (never expected too much), what we can do is acknowledge our shortcomings and change our attitude. Lastly, I must say I totally agree with you that we have to constantly improve ourselves through lifelong learning. This is one of the life principles that I uphold.

    Good luck to you!

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