Miri – 5 February 2013 – Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) is proud to be among the top-rated universities in the new Discipline-Based Rating System (D-Setara) introduced by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to rate the quality of teaching and learning of undergraduates in Malaysian higher learning institutions.
Curtin Sarawak achieved a Tier 5 or “Excellent” rating for Engineering, one of four disciplines covered by the rating system, the others being Tourism and Hospitality; Medical, Dental and Pharmacy; and Health Sciences. The four disciplines were chosen as they underlined the government’s National Key Economic Area education initiatives.
“Naturally, we are very pleased with the result, this coming on the heels of our Tier 5 rating in Setara 2011 (the rating system for institutions as a whole) announced last October. It reaffirms our reputation as a leading higher education provider in Malaysia, particularly in the area of engineering and the sciences,” commented Curtin Sarawak Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Ian Kerr.
He said that as Curtin University’s largest international campus, Curtin Sarawak is committed to Curtin’s vision of being an international leader shaping the future through its graduates and research and positioned among the top 20 universities in Asia by 2020.
Curtin currently ranks among the top one percent of over 30,000 universities globally, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. It also ranks highly within five out of 26 subject areas ranked by the QS Rankings by Subject, including chemical engineering and civil and construction engineering.
He added that Curtin Sarawak’s achievement of a ‘Tier 5’ rating in D-Setara clearly showed that the university was on the right track and that it would continue strengthening its quality management system to further enhance its programmes, operations and services, and ultimately produce graduates who are highly sought after.
Associate Professor Dr. Ir. Lau Hieng Ho, Acting Dean of Curtin Sarawak’s School of Engineering and Science, meanwhile, expressed his pride in Curtin Sarawak being the only university in East Malaysia to be rated “Tier 5”.
“It shows that we are on par with the other leading universities and is a testimony to the quality and excellence of our teaching and learning, as well as our academic programmes, research output, staff calibre, and the quality of our graduates and their employability,” Associate Professor Lau remarked.
He said that in a highly globalised and competitive market, engineering concerns all over the world are hard-pressed to find engineers with the right technological know-how and competencies and Curtin’s engineering courses are geared to meet this demand. In addition, Curtin Sarawak seeks to meet the needs of Malaysian industry, particularly manufacturing and processing industries in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) and the country’s oil and gas and construction industries.
The implementation of the D-Setara rating system is aimed at ensuring continuous improvement to the quality and competitiveness of higher learning institutions. It also sets a benchmark for them to achieve the quality indicators set.
It measures quality of teaching and learning at level six of the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (undergraduate level) in academic disciplines in universities and university colleges in Malaysia. The rating instrument covers three generic domains of input, process and output to assess the quality of teaching and learning.
The input domain addresses talent, resources and governance. The process domain focuses on curriculum matters, and the output domain covers the quality of graduates and graduate satisfaction.
A total of 37 universities and university colleges participated in the D-Setara rating exercise, under which institutions are rated from Tier 1 to Tier 6, with “1” being the weakest, “2” (satisfactory), “3” (good), “4” (very good), “5” (excellent) and “6” (outstanding).
Among those which scored “5” are Curtin Sarawak (Engineering), Universiti Malaya (Medical, Dental and Pharmacy), and Universiti Sains Malaysia (Health Sciences).