Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) was yesterday chosen for the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (Apex), beating three other universities, including the country's oldest, the University of Malaya (UM).
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin told a press conference that USM was selected based on the university's transformation plan and its preparedness to make changes to its proposal paper.
"The selection for the Apex programme is not only based on past achievements and excellence, but more on the planning for the future and whether the university is able to achieve a world-class status within the stipulated period of five years," he said when announcing USM's selection for the programme.
During the five-year period, USM must be able to put itself in the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) list of world's Top 100 universities and among the Top 50 by 2020, he said.
He was confident that USM would be able to achieve world-class standard.
"Let's see how USM fares and then we will decide whether to choose another for the programme," he added.
Mohamed Khaled said USM's selection for the programme did not mean that other universities were sidelined. On the other hand, this should spur them to further improve their position, he said when asked why UM was not selected.
Nine public universities nationwide had submitted their application for the programme but only four -- USM, UM, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia -- were shortlisted.
USM's winning proposal paper is titled "Transforming Higher Education for a Sustainable Tomorrow". - The Sun