BINTULU: Lecturers and researchers of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Bintulu campus are challenged to raise the bar and be the best in their respective fields of studies.
“We must do better in whatever we do in UPM. If you have been publishing regional journals before, now I expect you to go for the top journals.
“You have to bring the story of Sarawak to the whole world. We want the best brains to come into the system,” said chairman of UPM Board of Directors Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon.
He added the extra effort was vital for UPM to remain competitive and to be in the top 100 global universities within five years.
Ghauth, who was appointed to the job about six months ago, believed the time has come for UPM to move up another level and become a true global player along with Universiti Malaya.
He said this during the opening ceremony of a conference on ‘Asian Linguistic Anthropology 2020’ (CALA 2020) here yesterday.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah officiated at the event.
Ghauth said UPM had set up the Pehin Sri Adenan Satem Research Chair, which focuses on the ethnicity studies, hopefully to produce more high quality work and the best publications Sarawak could bring to the world.
“We don’t want the papers to be read only by locals or Asians, but also read by people in Harvard and Princeton. We want those academics to come here, meet you and discuss with you.”
Ghauth admitted it would take time and extra efforts because challenges in higher education were plentiful.
“Our problem is not unique. What is happening here is already happening in other countries. In the United States of America 10 to 15 years ago, there were 4,000 universities and colleges. Now, 100 to 200 institutions are closed each year. It is predicted that within the next 10 years, only 2,000 universities and colleges will be left in the US.
“The reason is simply because the cost of education has gone up tremendously. Many states cannot afford to support the way they used to support students and institutions before.”
“The only thing that can ensure survival is if you are among the best. If your are in the middle or bottom you can never be sure of yourself anymore,” he said.