KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — There is no need to question the status of Nihon University, which gave Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine, said the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) today.
In a statement, MQA said that Nihon University was a leading university in Japan and had given the doctorate to Ismail Sabri in recognition of his recent efforts and contributions in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Honorary degrees have their own value when awarded by universities, including leading universities in the world such as in the US, UK, Australia and other developed countries.
“In terms of practice, it is a prestigious award to a chosen figure for a significant contribution in a particular field, such as academics, industry experts, community activists and national leaders, including from Malaysia,” it said.
Ismail Sabri received the honorary doctorate in question on Tuesday.
Yesterday, World of Buzz published an article noting that netizens were questioning whether Ismail Sabri had done enough to qualify for the honour.
MQA, which did not state its reason for publishing its statement, also said that it has a verification process in place to identify the integrity of all foreign qualifications that are not within its system — adding that it had released a circular in 2019 on the matter.
However, MQA did not state if the doctorate Ismail Sabri received from Nihon University is currently in the agency’s system or is undergoing its verification process.
To note, the circular said that the MQA is able to run a verification process on qualifications that are in question and will provide a statement that compares the qualification in question against the Malaysian Qualifications Framework.
The circular also adds other information, such as that the verification process could cost up to RM100 and take up to 60 working days from when MQA receives the necessary documents.
For its 2021 to 2022 rankings, the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) ranked Nihon University as 894th in the world and 32nd in Japan.
CWUR had ranked a total of 124 universities in Japan.
Meanwhile, CWUR ranked University Malaya — Malaysia’s foremost university according to the same ranking system — at 397th place worldwide.
The second and third top-ranking Malaysian universities, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia, were given a worldwide placing of 778th and 805th respectively.