Putrajaya mulls raising professors’ retirement age after 156 lose jobs

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh says the ministry will consider reviewing the retirement age for professors at public universities, which is set at 60 years. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh says the ministry will consider reviewing the retirement age for professors at public universities, which is set at 60 years. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 ― The Higher Education Ministry said it will consider reviewing the retirement age for professors at public universities, which is set at 60 years, after 156 contract professors did not have their contracts renewed.

“We will look into this,” Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh was quoted saying by local daily The Star.

National Council of Professors (MPN) CEO Professor Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose reportedly said that 156, or 33 per cent of 507 contract professors aged between 61 and 70 years at public universities, did not have their contracts renewed as a result of budget cuts at the tertiary institutions.

“Professors should be placed under a commission, the Higher Education Service Commission, and not the Public Service Commission that sets retirement at the age of 60 years,” Sinar Harian quoted Raduan as saying at a press conference yesterday.

“The ages of 60 years and above are the most ideal age for a professor to be productive in contributing their expertise to the country’s academia,” he added.

Sinar Harian reported Idris as saying that Putrajaya needs to acquiesce to the authority of the relevant universities on the matter of the contract professors not having their contracts renewed.

In Budget 2016 tabled last October, the annual allocation for public universities was reduced by 16.5 per cent, with the cuts affecting 19 out of 20 varsities, some as high as over 20 per cent.

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