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M’sians slam politician for questioning the number of PhD graduates from local universities

Getting a PhD is no easy feat and it takes a lot of time and hard work to achieve it.

However, some had argued that our local universities had been graduating too many PhD students.

According to Malaysiakini, PKR’s Information Chief and Hang Tuah Jaya MP, Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin have raised a question about Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) recent graduation ceremony that had as many as 398 PhD graduates.

“I wonder why so many people are awarded PhDs at UPM whilst foreign universities that rank higher in the Times Higher Education list, for example, do not award that many PhD degrees in a year.” he was quoted saying by the local news portal.

He also question how the university evaluates its PhD students and their quality of education, adding that a person who has a PhD is considered fit and competent to perform work in accordance with his or her expertise. 

“If the quality of the PhD is compromised then the work done will risk the organisation that hires them,”

“I urge the Ministry of Higher Education to monitor local universities that produce so many PhD graduates in a year and scrutinise their PhD production methods, before the ranking of Malaysian universities declines internationally.” he said.

Meanwhile, a PhD holder Dr Syahr Musafir has responded to the politician’s view through his Facebook account and said “At first I thought nothing of Shamsul’s views. However, after I have seen so many people criticise UPM and other Malaysian universities, I felt trigged.”

“1st of all, you have to see who has prompted the issue. It’s not an academician, professor or lecturer. But a politician,”

“2ndly, it has clearly been announced that Malaysia aims to produce 60,000 PhD graduates by 2025. These lecturers work hard to achieve the target, but when they managed to produce many PhD graduates suddenly politicians complain?” he said.

Syahr then asked Shamsul to provide evidence on his remarks that said a leading university produces less than 10 or 20 PhD graduates yearly.

“Check out the Harvard website, on 27 May 2021, 1 school or 1 faculty, namely the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences awarded 572 PhDs. This is only from 1 school or 1 faculty. Not 2, not 3, not 4, not the whole university,” he explained.

In addition, he questioned why the need to compare our local university with Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, as if our universities are of lower standards.

“Actually it is more puzzling why there are so many politicians and MPs in Malaysia.”

“If you want to question, ask, or criticise, as a politician, do use the proper channels instead of issuing a public statement which has led to the public to pick on the credibility of UPM,” Syahr added.

In the comment section, many agreed with Syahr’s opinions and slammed the politician for making such comments.

Do you think it is easy to get a PhD in Malaysia? Share your thoughts!

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