MOHE to draw up research priority roadmap for varsities

Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said this was part of the effort to make local universities play a role in seeking solutions to national and international issues. — Picture by Siow Saw Feng
Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said this was part of the effort to make local universities play a role in seeking solutions to national and international issues. — Picture by Siow Saw Feng

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 12 — The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) will draw up a Research Priority Roadmap 2107 which will focus on the Grand Challenge programme of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which will be led by local research universities.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said this was part of the effort to make local universities play a role in seeking solutions to national and international issues.

Announcing 2017 as the Year of Translational Research, Idris said the universities could play a role to benefit industry, academics, government and society in general.

For instance, he said, researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) were successful in increasing padi output and quality.

He added that the use of membrane technology to treat water during floods by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) researchers and the research to detect the Zika virus by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) which was used during the Rio Olympic Games were also proof of the importance of translational research.

Speaking at his 2017 New Year’s Message with the theme “They Shape Higher Education” at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here today, Idris also said teaching and learning methods of higher education must change to become more active, interactive, immersive, challenge-based and include more role-play.

“In this way, we will achieve the apex of educational objectives in ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’ which is not just to remember but also to create,” he said.  Idris said the teaching and learning concept where students study by themselves and are only recipients of knowledge must be changed so that they become co-curators of knowledge in line with rapid technological developments. 

“Besides changing the minds of educators, reviewing the teaching and learning methods in higher education will also be guided by the latest technological developments which are rapidly expanding,” he said. 

At the event, Idris also announced setting up the Re-Imagine and Redesign of the Malaysian Higher Education Award Committee 2017 which would be headed by Professor Datuk Dr Mohamed Amin Embi from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

Idris also said the Ministry would table amendments to the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996 (Act 555) at the Dewan Rakyat sitting in March, which among others would ensure that the private higher education sector remained competitive.

The amendments would tighten monitoring practices, the approval procedure for applications, as well as look into the workforce aspects, he said.  The event was attended by more than 3,000 people comprising students and teaching workforce, as well as his deputy Datuk Dr Mary Yap Kain Ching and Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur. — Bernama