Contribution by UKM to Government’s MyBrain15 programme

BANGI, 18 April, 2011 – Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) hopes to produce at least 5,000 PhD holders by 2015 as part of its contribution towards fulfilling the government’s  MyBrain15 programme which aimed at producing 60,000 PhDs by 2020.

In line with this, UKM has mapped out various strategies including offering five fellowship programmes, reforming some of its faculties and setting up off-shore centres for postgraduate studies.

Director of the Centre for Graduate Management, Prof Dr Aini Hussain said the MyBrain15 programme is one of the critical agenda of the government to achieve Vision 2020.

As part of that agenda the government  had drawn up its various transformation plans including the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP). Through ETP a new economic model with emphasis on innovation is targetted.

Under the MyBrain15 project the Ministry of Higher Education is offerring  the MyPhd, MyMaster, PhD Industry and Academic Training Scheme  IPTA (SLAI) programme.

It is part of part of the nation’s critical agenda which aims at producing a group of high knowledge work force who will act as catalysts to spur research and innovation.

“In line with this, UKM has targeted to have 15,000 registered post graduates by 2015,” she said.

Prof Aini said as part of its plan to contribute to the government’s effort, UKM is offering five fellowship programmes made up of the UKM Fellowship, UKM Premier Fellowship, Research University Fellowship, Research Grant Fellowship and the OUP (Research University Operations) Fellowship. A total of RM5 million has been allotted for the fellowships this year.

“The UKM Premier Fellowship  was accepted by the University’s Senate recently and will be advertised very soon for the 2011/2012 intake, she said.

For the fellowship schemes, all full-time students can apply and it covers all fields of study with emphasis given to the eight research niche of UKM.

Prof Aini said UKM will be also be transforming a few faculties which will focus on post graduates programmes.

“The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs) and the Centre for Graduate Management have identified three faculties that will be transformed. They are the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Education and Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment.

“The faculties needed to have a registration target of 70% post graduates against 30% first degree students. The undergraduates will become feeders for their post graduate programmes.

“The other faculties must set a target ratio of 50%:50% graduate and undergraduate students by 2015. To date UKM  have 14 institutes and the Graduate School of Business (GSB) that only cater for post graduate studies.

On the formation of the off-shore studies centres, she said the programme comes as part of the university’s Education Co-operation Agreement (ECA).

UKM has thus far succeeded in forging a few education co-operation with universities in Indonesia involving the Faculty of Education, Faculty of Science and Technology and the Faculty of Economics and Management.

The Faculty of Law has recently signed a co-operation agreement with Hunan University of China.

UKM currently have 3,160 PhD students and she believes that the plans were realistic and achievable.

For the MyPhD and MyMaster programme the terms and condition set by the Ministry of Higher Eduction applies.  Candidates targeted are unemployed graduates without permanent incomes, staff from the private sector as well as lecturers from the Private Institutions of Higher Learning.
MyBrain15 aims to increase researchers to spur innovation and research
The MyBrain15 Programme is a programme under the National Higher Education Strategic Plan (PSPTN) which aims at developing a pool of knowledgeable human resources to spur innovation and research.

It is seen as a vital step to ensure the Government’s effort in developing an innovation-based economy succeeds. Under this programme, the Government targets to achieve a total of 60,000 PhD holders among Malaysians.

The programme offered by the Ministry of Higher Education is MyPhD which is opened to all eligible graduates as well as private sector employees.

The objective of the programme is to increase the number of domestic professional workers who are knowledgeable and highly-skilled based on innovation and creativity and to also encourage innovations in the economic sector and local industries.

The MyMaster programme acts as a feeder to the MyPhD programme for PhD-level studies. Its objective is to encourage high-calibre graduates to continue their studies at a higher level in various critical fields consistent with the national development agenda.

The third programme offered is the PhD Industry which focuses on producing innovation and increasing competency among professionals and industry practitioners through industry-based research. This programme is the government’s incentive to encourage knowledge-sharing among industry practitioners and academicians in producing knowledgeable professionals.

Under the Academic Training Scheme IPTA (SLAI), focus is given to efforts aimed at improving the quality of teaching staffs at public higher learning institutions consistent with the objective of PSPTN that is to empower higher learning institutions.

In the 10th Malaysia Plan (RMK-10), the Government aims towards achieving 75% of lecturers in a research university to have a PhD qualification, while 60% for other higher learning institutions. This programme is only open to lecturers/tutors/fellows from public higher learning institutions.

The Ministry listed 14 action plans that must be taken into account by the university. They are:
· Encouraging research collaborations between Malaysian and international students in a research university.
· Offering PhD programmes in the fields of science and technology besides focusing on indigenous-based research.
· Creating a non-conventional PhD programme mode such as applied research programme based on industry.
· Making it compulsory for supervisor-PhD student ratio to be at 1:5.
· Requiring a PhD student to have experience doing research in an overseas lab (for relevant fields of study).
· Attempting a partnership with industries as a way to give experience to academicians so that their research can go hand in hand with the need and focus of the industry.
· Building collaborations between universities and commercial research labs in the private sectors as well as research institutes.
· Giving incentive to academicians who successfully commercialize and patent their products.
· Ensuring PhD supervisors to be highly competent.
· Enrolling top students from all over the world for PhD programmes in Malaysian higher learning institutions.
· Employing top professors from all over the world as university staffs to encourage more top students to pursue their PhDs in Malaysia.
· Setting a clear target on the number of PhD students, patents and commercialized products.
· Giving significant emphasis on refereed publications and research outputs that can be patented and commercialized (in relevant disciplines) as a condition to get promoted.
· Funding high-impact researches that can produce important findings and innovations as a step towards obtaining prestigious prizes such as the Nobel Prize after 2020.
Even though the government, through the Ministry of Higher Education, The Public Services Department (JPA), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) and MOSTI, have allocated scholarship and funding for postgraduate students in Malaysia, the input indicator for research and development (R&D) showed that we are still behind other rival countries.

For publications in the Science and Technology field in refereed journals, Malaysia is last-placed compared to Taiwan, Korea, Finland and Singapore, with a total of 993 publications.

Malaysia is also last among those countries in terms of the number of patents, in which only 98 patents were awarded in 2006.

Thus Malaysia intends to be a pioneer in critical fields such as biotechnology, biomedical sciences Halal Hub and Islamic Finances.

In view of this, the Ministry want to increase the number of PhD holders in the country, especially that the 8,000 PhD holders we currently have are not enough to support the nation’s needs towards developing those critical areas. 


monolog diri: adakah aku boleh menyumbang dalam projek mybrain15 ini? antara peluang dan halatuju, sepertimana misi pertama saya semasa first year iaitu ilmu sumber kebahagian.. carilah ilmu selagi ada masa dan tenaga. moga-moga kita menjadi insan yang dahagakan ilmu dimana jua.. 




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