Local varsities can opt to set own MUET target band scores’ — DPM
by Lim How Pim, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on October 28, 2014, Tuesday
KOTA SAMARAHAN: Local universities will be entrusted to set their own target band scores for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET), beginning next year.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this would be the flexibility offered to these institutions under the transition period for them to accommodate the new required minimum English language criteria set for intakes of students.
Adding on, he said the new qualifications were determined following discussions among relevant stakeholders who called for better English proficiency among graduates.
“We need to ensure that our graduates are proficient in the English language. In Cyberjaya, 300 students of local IPTA (public institutions of higher learning) had been called for interviews by multi-national institutions – only seven passed as the rest could not converse well in English.
“This is one of the reasons why we need to raise the band scores. The Employers Association of Malaysia also said something must be done so that graduates of local universities could have a better command of English – not just being able to write, but also able to speak it fluently,” he said in response to a question posed during a dialogue at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas)’s Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra here yesterday.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, stressed that multi-national corporations needed graduates who were proficient in English and as such, the minimum qualification set was not ‘just an issue’ among local universities.
“It is an issue to the whole country, not just at university level. Therefore, we decided to raise the qualification. If you enter the university with Band 2, after a couple of years, we expect you to go up to Band 3.”
He said it would not be sensible for a student to maintain at Band 2 upon graduation.
When tabling Budget 2015 earlier this month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that starting next year, the general condition for student intake to higher learning institutions of at least Band 1 in MUET would be raised so as to increase their self-confidence and skills to communicate in English.
The new minimum qualification for Arts and Social Science studies has been upped to Band 2 (and Band 3 to graduate) while for studies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, it is elevated to Band 3 (Band 4 to graduate) and Band 4 for Law and Medicine (Band 5 to graduate).