TMI - Malaysians failed to gain admission into the world’s most prestigious university for the second year in a row due to a slide in the quality of applicants, said Harvard University’s selection panel chief for Malaysia.
Not only did no Malaysian student receive an offer letter but none apparently was even good enough to make it to the interview rounds.This comes after a controversy erupted over the quality of Malaysian education when Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin pointed to a World Economic Forum report to claim that Malaysians had a higher standard of education compared to that in some advanced countries.
Opposition lawmaker Tony Pua later rubbished Muhyiddin’s claims, pointing to another international study — the PISA 2009+ — that showed Malaysian students lagging far behind western nations in terms of literacy, mathematics and scientific understanding.
Datuk Dr Goh Cheng Teik, who leads the Harvard team that interviews prospective Malaysian students, said he was informed the quality of applicants had deteriorated.
“I called the Harvard College of Admissions Office and was told that although they received applications from Malaysian students, no one was shortlisted for interviews as they are not considered competitive enough,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.
A two-year absence from incoming Harvard freshman classes is enough to raise concerns over the quality trends of Malaysian education given that at least one Malaysian had been admitted to Harvard every year from 1985 to 2010.
A statement from Harvard’s interview panel showed that Malaysia was only fourth among Southeast Asian countries in terms of enrolment in the Ivy League institution.