Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia

1. Management Accreditation Review Results

The UUM strategic plans are laid out in detail and aligned to the educational and national objectives of the country. Specifically this has been translated into following 5 Key Result Areas (KRA):

  • to be ranked as one of the best business schools
  • to expand executive education and training (EDP)
  • to be a leading research and consultancy university
  • to provide services that meet stakeholders’ expectations
  • to create strategic engagement with alumni, industry and society, all at local, regional and global level.

As mentioned by the Vice Chancellor in the interview, several initiatives have been and will be undertaken to achieve these objectives vide their collaborations. Efforts have been made to reach the ranking objective (to be among the top 3 universities in the country), e.g. application for the Ministry of Higher Education Top Business School Award, ABEST21 accreditation (regional) and AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB (world/global) accreditation.

“ABEST21 hereby certifies that the Master of Business Administration, Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia has generally met ABEST21 Management Accreditation Standards and the quality maintenance and improvement of education and research in the Master of Business Administration Degree Programs are assessed as good. The School’s KAIZEN plans are good and quality maintenance and prospects for the improvement of education and research are promising. Accreditation commences April 1, 2015 for a five-year period.”

2. Good Practice in Management Education
“MBA Programs for Transforming Leaders for Sustainable Business and Society”

Apart from the issues to be improved identified in the SER submitted by the OYA Graduate School, there also appear to be some good practices.

Chapter 1: Mission Statement

  • An initiative to reexamine and refine its mission statement, ensuring that OYA stands as an entity which is autonomous and independent from the College of Business (COB). To rank among the best business schools in Asia and among top 100 in the world by 2020.

Chapter 2: Educational Programs

  • The School’s strength lies in the MBA program which is aligned with the university’s mission, i.e. to be the eminent leader in management education and to be recognized as one of the Top Business Schools in Malaysia.
  • The curriculum is supported by homegrown case studies developed for management education.
  • GMAT International provides performance scores for OYA in comparison with other business schools, both local and international.

Chapter 3: Students

  • Through its international affiliation OYA has plans to increase the number of the international students, who currently come mostly from China, Korea, Nigeria and Indonesia. It has also taken the initiative to encourage students to write simple case studies with the faculty members.
  • Close faculty-student interaction to boost relationship between both parties.

Chapter 4: Faculty

  • Strongly motivated and encouraged academic staff to be actively involved in publications and research.
  • The School acknowledges the importance of collaboration with industries as well as other overseas universities.

Chapter 5: Supporting Staff and Infrastructure

  • There is enough supporting staff to oversee the running of the School.
  • The School provides adequate and conducive learning environment for students.

3. Matters to be noted

Chapter 1: Mission Statement

  • Are there any additional funds to be allocated to OYA?
    Financial strategies undertaken by OYA to sustain its operations seem adequate for now, but for the future expansion, the yearly grant (RM1 million) may not be sufficient to finance strategic and developmental plans as outlined.
  • How to create a unique business school?
    Their thrust is on Relevant, Responsive and Responsible Executive Education, and their KPIs have been changed to reflect this.

Chapter 2: Educational Programs

  • What new program developments and methods of delivery have been implemented since the SER?
    OYA has placed an on-line education system with upgraded ICT infrastructure, but this has not been undertaken wholly throughout the system as yet. There is a need to look at how OYA utilizes the feedback from such mechanism to improve the curriculum. The recently established Quality Unit could be utilized to conduct an audit and report on its progress and effectiveness.
  • What initiatives has been undertaken to ensure the achievement of Leaning Outcomes (AOL)?
    OYA has yet to implement a verification system such as Outcome Based Education – Closing the Loop, which is indicative of whether this has been achieved.

Chapter 3: Students

  • What promotional strategies have been undertaken to increase international and full time students’ enrolment?
    OYA has taken initiatives for marketing their programs through participating in educational exhibitions, and overseas international educational fairs. They also have engaged student recruitment agents.
  • What other sources of funds the School will seek to assist students during their academic journey at the University?
    OYA has seriously addressed this matter through various promotional initiatives, such as use of agents for recruitment overseas, partner institutions overseas, subscription to the masterstudies.com portal and through their local centers who are paid royalty for incoming applicants. By the coming semester, the results should be indicative of whether these efforts have paid off.

Chapter 4: Academic Staff

  • How does OYA’s management plan to handle the potential shortage of faculty within 5-10 years as almost half the number (16) will be retiring soon? The University plans to recruit more international faculty members, but this will definitely put a strain on the annual budget of the university.
  • How management distributes academic staff teaching and research hours?
    Each faculty is assigned up to 4 courses per year (2 per semester), and extra money will be paid for any additional hours taught. However this does not encourage more faculty members to engage in research because teaching part-time earns more money than research.

Chapter 5: Supporting Staff and Infrastructure: No issues were found.