Malaysia was not obsessed with the rankings of local universities at the international level as they did not take into consideration the country's attempt to push higher education towards excellence, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.
He said this was because the criteria and the yardstick used to gauge local universities in the world rankings did not meet the country's aspirations.
"The more important thing for the country's interests is to ensure excellence of academics, programmes and the institutions. They must meet the three Rs – namely relevance, referred and respect.
“We have to find a field to strengthen the country and become the world leader in the field and this is a more significant and suitable yardstick for all types of institutions of higher learning in the country," he added.
He said this during a dialogue with key leaders of institutions of higher learning on the preparations for the country's education development plan for higher learning.
He said the 3Rs provided a better yardstick to gauge local universities.
Institutions of higher learning, led by five research universities, had succeeded in producing high-impact journals, hence placing Malaysia in an impressive position.
"Besides this excellence, they should also focus on ensuring the returns from the research are felt by the people and benefited them," he added.
Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said the rapid development in technology should be utilised in the learning and teaching process at institutions of higher learning with lecturers and students having access electronically to materials developed by professors, locally and abroad.
"These facilities can support the transition from curriculum development. In other words, this development should be used to enrich the learning and teaching experience of our graduates."
Earlier, Muhyiddin had opened the campus for Higher Learning Leadership Academy (AKEPT), costing RM105 million, at Bandar Enstek, Nilai. – Bernama, May 9, 2014.