Malaysian University Entry 2.0

Year after year, we go through the same drama – that of eligible students being denied entry into the course of their choice. Each time, we are promised by our government that they will look into it and fix the problems. Then, the cycle repeats itself the following year.

I think I can safely say that Malaysians are sick and tired of this incessant whining.

I started writing this blog, blaming everyone involved – from the government, parents, teachers, and even students themselves. But then I realised that each and everyone of us are already far too familiar with the causes of the problem.

So, I decided to write about some solutions instead.

First, let’s start by giving people the reasons for rejecting them. That’s just plain courtesy. It’s bad enough that the kids have to see their futures crushed, it’s worse to have it crushed under some giant uncaring bureaucracy.

Giving people a logical and rational reason for denying them their future, will also serve as good feedback so that they can improve on their weaknesses and reapply again the following year if they choose to do so.

Cold hard rejections won’t cut it.

Second, we need to have better career counsellors in schools. We need to impress upon students that there are plenty of other ways to achieve success besides studying medicine and that medicine is not for everyone.

The job of a career counsellor should include learning about the student’s aptitude, likes and dislikes, and helping them sort out the myriad future career paths they may have. This helps to put the right people in the right places for the future.

We need good, passionate and dedicated people in every field.

Third, we need more transparency in the selection process. It will go a long way to promoting confidence and trust in the fairness of our system. In the age of reality television and live interaction, an opaque process will not do.

I would suggest publishing the details of all the applicants publicly. This allows everyone to see where they stand amongst their peers. Any privacy issues can be side-stepped by removing all identifying information and just publishing the relevant scores.

A little public competition always helps.

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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