Swinburne Sarawak rated 5-star under Mature University category

Professor Ajay Kapoor

KUCHING: Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus retained for the fourth consecutive year its 5-star rating, according to the Ministry of Higher Education’s latest Rating System for Higher Education Institutions (Setara) 2017, this time under the Mature University category.

In the results announced by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) in Kuala Lumpur this morning, Swinburne Sarawak joins the rank of other universities with 5-star rating namely Curtin University Malaysia, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Malaysia Perlis and International Islamic University Malaysia.

Swinburne Sarawak’s acting deputy vice-chancellor and CEO Professor Ajay Kapoor said this is a great achievement for the university.

“The latest award is a reflection of and testament to the high quality education we continue to provide at Swinburne Sarawak. As we celebrate its 25th anniversary as a university this year, this achievement could not have come at a better time,” he said in a press statement.

Recalling that Swinburne Sarawak had been awarded 5-star in 2009, 2011 and 2013, he congratulated all those involved in the Setara exercise for this milestone, and thanked them for their dedication and commitment.

The Setara 2017 methodology covered areas such as desktop review, expert group discussions, stakeholder engagements, pilot run and validation, calibration and benchmark settings, site audits and data verifications, and analyses and ratings.

Swinburne Sarawak also maintains its 3-star rating awarded last year by the Malaysia Research Assessment Instrument (MyRA) for research, making it the first private university in East Malaysia to achieve a 3-star rating.

The university consistently boosts its research capacity to produce real world impact through the launch of two research centres – Centre for Digital Futures and Transport Innovation Centre – and collaborating with organisations such as National Institute of Biotechnology Malaysia, Wildlife Conservation Society, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, X-FAB Sarawak Sdn Bhd, Bachy Soletanche and National Oceanography Institute Southampton.

For the first time this year, Setara 2017 comes under the purview of MoHE. Previously, Setara was handled by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), a statutory body set up under the Malaysian Qualifications Act 2007 to accredit academic programmes provided by educational institutions.

While the past Setara rating system focused on teaching and learning, Setara 2017 is a more holistic instrument that covers four criteria including General: Institutional Profiles, Teaching and Learning, Research Capacity, and Services and Income Generation.

The new rating system is in line with the Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint, a 10-year strategic plan to create a higher education system that ranks among the world’s leading higher education systems and enables Malaysia to compete in the global economy.

A total of 71 higher learning institutions were rated under Setara 2017 via three categories: university college, emerging university (15 years or less) and mature university (16 years or more).

The framework requires university colleges and emerging universities to consolidate institutional profiles and teaching, while mature universities are expected to engage in more research and service activities.

The new rating system included site audits for on-site data verification.

A total of 26 universities were ranked under the mature category where eight and nine institutions achieved 6-star and 5-star rating respectively.

Seven institutions scored 4-star and two obtained 3-star.

For more information about Swinburne Sarawak, email Marcella Gider at [email protected] or visit the university website www.swinburne.edu.my or Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter page (@Swinburne_Swk) or YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).

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