Governance of public universities in Malaysia

Asimiran, Soaib (2009) Governance of public universities in Malaysia. PhD thesis, University of Malaya.

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Abstract

Governance plays a crucial role in sustaining the growth and development of universities. It pertains to the politics of policy making and division of power and authority. The main purpose of this study was to establish the patterns of establishment intent, the distribution of powers to stakeholders, and the execution of powers as provided by the university constitution of public universities in Malaysia. The analysis was framed in the nation building process and industrialisation process of Malaysia in the years between 1947 and 2007. The other purpose of this study was to explore the process, dynamics, and issues of governance in Malaysian public universities. In terms of research methodology, the study had two parts: the document analysis part and the interview part. The document analysis was made on facts and evidence found in different university constitutions and statutes, university reports and calendars, government reports, education laws, and others. The interview part involved the elicitation of experiences of 7 honorable interviewees who were the members of the University Boards of Directors from two public universities. Data were analyzed qualitatively utilizing the NVivo software for coding purposes and guided by Carney’s ladder of abstraction stages to explain the results. The findings of the study showed that university development in Malaysia coincided with national development, and university establishment was made according to national needs and requirements. In governance practice, this study found that iv generally there was a consensus on the meaning of university governance as that of policy and decision making activities with regard to the powers and structure within the university framework as provided by the University Constitution. Nevertheless, several laws need to be revised to suit the current demands and challenges. The powers allocated to the Board of Directors were ambiguous, requiring further elaboration and clarification. Competing perspectives, expectations, interpretations and understanding have led to conflicts in the exercise of governance activities. Governance also was influenced by political regulation and has made public universities subservient to political agenda of the government. Irrespective of the current models of university governance, the research reveals that there are three theories that can explain the dynamics of university governance in Malaysia; that is, political theory, structural theory, and system theory. In terms of its contribution to the field of governance, this study suggests a model for shared governance to create a more balanced approach for efficient and effective governance, so as to ensure sustainability, growth, and reputation of the Malaysian public universities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public universities in Malaysia, Governance in Malaysian public universities, Policy making, Power and Authorty
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Depositing User: MS NOOR ZAKIRA ZULRIMI
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2013 04:10
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2013 04:10
URI: http://repository.um.edu.my/id/eprint/656

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