Monday, January 03, 2011

It's Official: Next Sem / New IPT Intake Starts in September 2011

Posted by Chong

You read it first at Malaysia Students blog. And now it has been confirmed by Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. The Star has just published the news today.

Ed: Our emphasis bolded.

BERNAMA 1/1/2011: Varsities Academic Term To Start September
TEMERLOH, Jan 1 (Bernama) -- The academic term of the public and private institutions of higher learning (IPTs) will start in September instead of July, said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said as such, the next intake of public and private IPT students would be extended to September.

This is to align the academic term with that of universities abroad, he told reporters after attending the wedding of a daughter Bernama stringer Harun Mohamed, Norhazwani Nadiah with Mohd Harzamie Rahimi here on Saturday.

Saifuddin said it was also aimed at circumventing public and private IPTs from losing outstanding Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) candidates to foreign universities.

"These bright students hardly have enough time to pick the best local IPT for them after the SPM results, and ultimately they choose private IPT overseas, particularly in Singapore," he said.

In addition, he said local IPTs failed to attract foreign students from pursuing their studies here as the academic term beginning July was not aligned with the summer break semester system abroad.

As the new academic year will mean SPM students will have too much free time on their hands before the intake, he urged resident associations and Rukun Tetangga (Neighbourhood Watch) sectors to organise activities for the school leavers.

The Star Online 3/1/2011: Saifuddin: It’s not new as varsities have been told
PETALING JAYA: The start of the new academic term for public universities in September should not cause any confusion as these institutions of higher learning had been notified about the change, said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

His recent statement that universities would start their new term in September this year instead of July was not “ground-breaking”, he said.

“They should know about this new calendar. The universities have been informed,” he said when questioned why some university students had not been informed of the change.

“It was not a new announcement as the minister (Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin) had mentioned this several times in the past.

“I was just confirming things to reporters who sought clarification,” he said yesterday.

Asked about claims that students in medical faculties would start their semester in July instead of Sep­tember, Saifuddin said the implementation of the new calendar should be across the board.

Speaking in Temerloh on Saturday, Saifuddin had said the move was to align the Malaysian academic term with that of universities abroad and also to circumvent the institutions of higher learning in the country from losing outstanding Sijil Pela­jaran Malaysia candidates to foreign universities.

He had reportedly said bright SPM students hardly had time to pick the best local colleges and ultimately chose to study overseas.

When contacted, Mohamed Khaled, who was overseas, confirmed the new academic calendar.

It was learnt that although various vice-chancellors were not privy to the announcement, such a move had been on the cards for a while.

Khaled first spoke on the matter in December 2009 during a soft launch of the ministry’s nationwide carnival.

He had said then that Malaysia’s customary July intake hampered international student recruitment as many foreign students had yet to receive their high school exam results.

He said the July intake also complicated student mobility programmes.

Khaled had also said then that it was hoped the new academic calendar – which mirrors countries in the northern hemisphere – would further enhance Malaysia’s status as a regional education hub.

The Education and Higher Edu­cation Ministries had agreed in principle on the switch and a joint committee discussed the final de­­tails last year, said former Higher Education secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Zulkefli A. Hassan, a committee member.

According to the Institute of International Education, Malaysia is the 11th most preferred study destination in the world, with around 2% of the global international student market.

The Star Online 3/1/2011: Undergrads caught by surprise over new varsity term
GEORGE TOWN: Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) undergraduates were caught by surprise with the change in the academic term affecting all public and private institutions of higher learning.

Many also worry the new term may result in a later date for their convocation.

The new term is set to begin in September compared to the usual term which starts in July.

Second-year Biology student Peter Soh, 21, was upset with the change. He said he only found out about it when he checked the new academic calendar for the university.

“I had heard about the matter from my friends in UUM (Universiti Utara Malaysia) earlier, but I only discovered it for myself last week,” he said.

He said there was no notice or explanation by the university apart from the announcement by Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah in The Star yesterday.

“I’m worried as there is no information on whether the convocation dates will also be changed from the usual one in August to a later date.

“If there are changes, it will be difficult for us as we will be tied down with jobs after our classes end in July,” he said.

Second-year English Literature student Elizabeth, 21, from Sabah was also upset as she could not spend more time with her family during Christmas.

“Previously we had three weeks of holidays but now it is only one week with the last class on Dec 23,” she said.

Graduate students were also not spared from the change.

Siew Kah Mun, 23, who is doing her Masters in Communications, said she initially thought the change would only affect the undergraduates but confirmed the change with her lecturers.

“Graduate students would be less affected compared to the undergraduates as we can use the time to conduct our research, write our thesis and collect more data,” she said.

The Star Online 3/1/2011: Conflicting reports on commencement date throw universities off guard
PETALING JAYA: Conflicting reports about when the new academic calendar will start this year have thrown some universities into a state of confusion.

However, the university authorities were making adjustments to accommodate the Government’s decision to move the academic term to start in September instead of July as the practice had been.

Although most universities were positive about the move, there were conflicting reports about the commencement date.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) vice-chancellor Tan Sri Prof Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin welcomed the Go­­vernment’s decision to adjust the academic term.

“It is good for local IPTs to synchronise their academic calendar with universities from countries in the northern hemisphere, taking into account the fact that most universities in the world are located in these countries,” she said yesterday.

Prof Sharifah Hapsah said students entering UKM’s medical faculty would start in July instead of September.

However, it was later clarified that only existing medical students would start the term in July while new students entering varsities this year would start in September. However, even this had not been confirmed.

Prof Sharifah Hapsah said the new date for the academic term would not pose an issue to the university, adding that it had been making preparations to adjust to the changes.

Some students may encounter problems as they have already bought their tickets to return to campus in July and the university will look into ways to help them,” she said.

It was reported yesterday that the academic term of public and private institutions of higher learning would start in September and not July to align the term with that of universities abroad.

A Universiti Malaysia Sarawak professor said he was told by his department head that students would start the new university term in July.

“But from July until September, students will have to attend English language courses. They will only start on their faculty studies in September,” said the professor who declined to be named.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah Prof Datuk Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon said he had been informed of the move.

Universiti Utara Malaysia vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Musta­fa Ishak said he received a notice on the change in the academic term about a month ago.

Currently, there are 443,745 students in public universities.

The Star Online 3/1/2011: New academic calendar causes confusion among undergrads
PETALING JAYA: Confusion reigned over the announcement that the new term for universities in the country will start in September instead of July this year.

The announcement by Deputy Higher Edu­cation Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah has caught many undergraduates unawares.

They are unhappy that they were not informed of the change in the academic calendar.

Many are concerned that the later entry will also affect their convocation dates and asked if the extended holidays will not be a “waste of time”.

Although public universities welcomed the move to synchronise their academic calendars with that of foreign universities, many have yet to iron out conflicting details.

The new academic calendar, which was originally proposed back in 2009, is aimed at attracting more foreign students to local universities as well as keeping Malaysia from losing its brightest to overseas universities.


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