1. The Peer Review Result
SThe school’s short, medium and long terms plans indicate that it is on the right track towards becoming an excellent business school which gives priority to quality education. The overall mission statement is considered comprehensive and in line with the direction of the parent institution. The input and feedback from UIAP (industrial leaders) have made the mission statement becomes more comprehensive and realistic in representing the whole of the school and the parent institution. The activities and various initiatives pertaining to teaching and learning, research and innovation, industry linkages are specifically tailored towards realizing the school’s mission.
The academic programs which have been developed at the school lead the students to apply advance knowledge in real life situation, to demonstrate a commitment to diffuse technology, to communicate effectively and to think critically, innovatively and strategically. Meanwhile, The issue in designing the curriculum in combining the theory and practice has been effectively implemented by the school in order to make sure it is in line and consistent with the mission statement as well as following the current trends in management education and research.
The school seemed to maintain adequate supporting staff and other infrastructure needed to achieve its mission statement. The academic staff also have adequate support and facilities to conduct research. However, more information needs to be gathered from the improved SER to carefully verify the claims.
The school provided conducive academic learning environment to the students as well as facilitating them with an appropriate support systems concerning academic guidance, career development and studying abroad. The infrastructure of the university is considerably adequate and conducive to support students’ learning process. The mechanisms are also in place to ensure that the quality of education programmes offered by the school is maintained.
Based on the above information, the school needs to improve its SER further based on the detailed comments above after the onsite visit to ascertain whether it fulfills all of the requirements in ABEST21 standards. However, the PRT is confident that there are no major concerns regarding the way the education programmes is being managed at the school after the rectification of the SER.
Overall, PRT is satisfied with the on-site interview. The only issue is that the PRT was not able to view the documents and evidences to support the claims in the SER. Here are some pointers which might help GSM:
- The top management has given full support to GSM to move forward. The President himself has shown clear interest to see the success of GSM and has reaffirmed his commitment and support for GSM to be a globally recognized business school.
- The sharing of resources between GSM and the Faculty is commendable but needs to be explained clearly in the revised SER including the development of resident faculty and promotion system.
- There are a lot of issues which had been verified and clarified in the interview but they were not reported in the SER. With this feedback, GSM can revise the SER accordingly.
- The PRT’s concern is with the assurance of learning and how GSM achieves the program’s learning objectives. It was written in the SER but the PRT was unable to view the evidences to support it.
Students who were interviewed were “impressive”. They were able to answer all questions fluently and all feedback from them was positive. They were happy with the education system, teaching methods, lecturers, etc. Not even a single setback was mentioned during the interview.
With these reviews combined, we conclude our evaluation as follows.
“The Program’s educational and research activities generally satisfy accreditation standards.
The Program’s Quality Improvement plans are good and quality maintenance and prospects for the improvement of education and research are promising.”
2. The Period of Quality Assurance
Accreditation commences from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021 for a five-year period.
3. Good Practices in Management Education
The MBA programme at the GSM is unique in Malaysia as it includes compulsory innovative teaching in every module, examples of which are; industrial speakers, management games, videos, learning camps, forums, an online forum and outdoor classrooms, research-based learning, online support problem-based learning, presentations, etc.
The MSU has developed a new approach – skills-based learning, with an emphasis on the individual, interpersonal and collective approach. Our experience has confirmed the success of this approach in emphasizing the personal and professional development of individuals, and academically emancipating and empowering each one.
MSU’s MBA Programme will provide core knowledge in all the functional areas of business, develop the technical and interpersonal skills necessary for leadership today, and stimulate and encourage managerial and entrepreneurial initiatives. By integrating management theories and techniques with real life examples from the peers and faculty, students are encouraged to adopt a holistic view of business and to think critically and strategically.
Career networking is essential to a students’ career, whether they are looking for a job, are currently employed, or working for themselves as an entrepreneur. Students are encouraged to network, as building relationships and friendships with others and constantly maintaining the state of their existing network, through nurturing processes, are important aspects. Build business partnerships, and many more…
Leadership Skills: For managers with the ambition to reach the top, business partnering is the way forward.
Management skills: The GSM has teamed up with a number of leading business schools around the world to ensure that every student is given the best opportunities available.
The Soft skills; such as communication, problem solving and leadership are essential to a student considering a future role as CEO or COF. The GSM can add an additional layer of experience and insight to a students’ skills portfolio.
Problem solving: MBA courses teach students to understand people’s behaviour and the different languages people use. This stimulates a students’ thinking about problems and enables them come up with opportunities, and to develop solutions.
Exchanging experiences; sharing ones experiences leads to the sharing of knowledge and skills.
Becoming a well rounded professional: The GSM’s courses provide the business professionals time to reflect on exactly what career path they want to pursue; before they start a course, they complete a skills gap analysis. This proves very valuable, as it helps them to look at options and find out what skills they have to focus on to become a well-rounded professional. When it comes to specific skills, the GSM graduates are provided with a strong focus on developing the ability to influence and negotiate; the GSM provides specific training on both an emotional and tactical level. Moreover, the GSM’s students come into contact with a wide spectrum of viewpoints and develop the ability to see business from a variety of different angles; this gives them a wide range of experiences to help them deal with future challenges. Thereafter, the GSM students use of real life case studies and input from the business community ensures that students are given a clear view of the landscape of leadership; students learn problem solving, how influence works, and negotiating. However, the course also changes a students’ mindset. They develop the skills to think widely and they start to develop the mentality and drive to make things happen.
Entrepreneurial Attitudes and Skills: The GSM’s spirit is entrepreneurial at all levels – active, innovative, and engaging. Our depth of resources gives graduates the means to translate their ideas into action. An MSU-MBA provides resources to develop entrepreneurial skills and start entrepreneurial ventures. The MSU–MBA creates opportunities; students develop an adaptive management style that will lead to successful entrepreneurial careers, whether building businesses, working at high-growth companies, or leading innovation in emerging markets.
The GSM has maintained it’s analytical and problem-solving reputation, and indeed, continues to lead the industry in educational innovations in these areas. The GSM has also consciously remained decidedly small – a strategy that has allowed the school to maintain significant flexibility and speed in developing new programmes in partnership with other Universities.
Research Activities: At MSU, research remains at the centre of our mission. A number of actions have been taken to promote research activities. In line with the University’s’ strategic plan, 10% of our total budget allocation has been allocated to research activity. The allocation will fund the operating costs of the centers of excellence, seed grants, and support for researchers to attend conferences and seminars or publishing of papers in journals. A Research Committee that discusses all research related activities is chaired by the President. One of the major objectives of the committee is to identify the specific areas of research that will support the main focus of study within the University. Approximately 20% of the total academic activities within the campus are involved with research, which are in line with The University’s current policy.
Centers of Excellence have been established in order to stimulate and encourage research:
These centers have been set up to consolidate all research activities identified by the University Management Committee and are related to a disciplines specific area. A case in point is the ‘Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development (LEAD)’, which are linked with research on entrepreneurship, management and leadership. The University also has established two other centers of excellence, which are the Information Technology Innovation Center (ITIC) and Biomedical Research Institute of MSU (BRiM).
The University has provided access to several forms of research grants for staff that requires funding to complete their research work. These grants include an internally funded seed money grant of up to RM5000 to initiate the research work for new applications. Assistance is also provided to obtain national research grants from funding bodies, such as the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage and The Science Fund of MOSTI (Ministry of Science Technology and Industry); and research grants from other local and international organizations such as PNB (Permodalan Nasional Berhad).
It is the policy of the University to encourage collaborative research with local and international partner universities, such as those currently on-going. These include research activities with local Universities such as Airlanggar in Surabaya Indonesia, Colombo University and the Josai International University of Japan. The GSM, which was set up to provide sufficient human resources to carry out the research activities of the University, currently offers nine (9) programmes in Masters and PhD, either in the form of total research, or by coursework. Research activities are also carried out by graduate students at the GSM, which is associated with the Faculty of Business Management and Professional Studies (FBMP).
Staff who have been successful in their application to present their research findings at local and international seminars, as well as staff who wish to publish their research papers in journals, are provided with financial support by The University. In addition, in order to ensure academic and non-academic staff retain their knowledge and awareness of the latest developments within their related subjects, The University provides financial assistance for them to attend training workshops that are related to their research activities.
Contributions from academic staff of the University and other international universities and research organisations are welcomed by The University for publication in its own journal, entitled “Journal of Management & Science.” The journal, now in its 8th year, is published twice a year.
There are two key activities to assist faculty members in developing or improving their teaching skills: (1) A MSU Certificate of Teaching Skills (CTS), and (2) mentoring support provided by the Deputy Dean and Dean.
The Teaching Center at MSU provides invaluable assistance to acquire and enhance teaching skills through workshops, written guidelines and private individual sessions. In addition to these, the Deputy Dean and Dean provide personal guidance and written materials to all new faculty members and those with less than satisfactory ratings. Faculty members who perform poorly in the classroom may be asked by the Deputy Dean to seek personal guidance and help from the CTS trainers.
Feedback acquired from formal Faculty/Course Evaluations, voluntary mid-semester evaluations, meetings with student representatives, and reports requested from selected students are promptly communicated to faculty, together with recommendations on how to make immediate improvements.
International cooperation is further encouraged by MSU through the Shukri Yajid Fellowship programme. This fellowship allows researchers from foreign countries to apply, and if successful, work at MSU in selected research areas. The fellowships cover monthly stipends and air travel for a period of two years, which may be renewed. To promote research activities internationally, the University has worked with a partner in Japan by setting up the Nagai-Shukri research grant programme, offering the opportunity to universities around the world to apply for funding of USD 30,000.
Facilities for research:
As MSU is a technology-driven University, the use of information technology is a prerequisite.
To support the smooth running of the Knowledge and Learning Management System (KLAS), Library Information System, new research centre at the library and application level communication services, such as e-mail and internet access, the campus is equipped with a high speed (7GB/s) FDDI network infrastructure, wireless network and communication protocol TCP/IP. The network is designed with Star and Bus Topology. ITIC is established to support the increasing dependency of ICT systems and services. The primary tasks of the centre are planning and development of information systems, administration of databases, management and maintenance of all common ICT assets, information resources and other ICT related services and research centre at the 7th floor MSU Library.
ICT Infrastructure that supports academic programmes:
MSU provides appropriate IT facilities for teaching, learning and research purposes. A total of 33 IT labs with 805 PCs have been allocated for teaching and learning purposes. Thirteen (13) IT labs are assigned for programming and multimedia purposes, while two IT labs are dedicated for engineering-related courses. The MSU also has one laboratory equipped with Mac computers, to be used in the teaching of multimedia and graphic courses. There is also IT provision for teaching languages, business and management, hospitality (hotel management system) and bio-informatics. Most PCs have the specification of Intel Core 2 Duo Processors, with at least a 2GB memory. Computer operations are supported by forty-six (46) network application and database servers. A total of 361 PCs are provided for the administration uses of all faculties, GSMs, centres and departments.
“Compulsory innovative teaching”
The School has initiatives and strong linkages with industry.
4. Matters to be noted
(a) Report Writing
- The report is well expressed in many ways. Some of the parts were well related and described. However, many parts of the report did not describe what is required by the standards. In other Therefore, PRT experience difficulties in deciding the appropriateness relating to the standards.
- Although the report provided some details, they did not appear in specific standards or retailed standards. PRT had difficulty retrieving the information from other parts of the report.
- The report did not have proper reference to some of the information in the supporting documents. Some tables were different from those required.
- Some parts of the SER were not carefully edited.
- There seemed to be inconsistency regarding Faculty Sufficiency (Standard 13) that require rectification.
- The space formatting of the SER could be improved.
- The SWOT analysis needs to be revisited to ensure accuracy of explanation.
- The school should consider obtaining comprehensive feedback from various stakeholders in more frequent manner so that all strategies and actions taken will contribute significantly in achieving the overall goal of the school as well as parent institution.
- The issue of financial sustainability is becoming crucial and important to be considered as the school requires more funding to grow in the future. Thus, several strategies should be formulated by the school on how to obtain more funding by using the existing resources and strengths.
- The development of the program must lead to the need of the industry and the country as well as preparing the graduate to serve the global market. The graduate must be well equipped by the necessary skill and knowledge so that they will be accepted by the both employers locally and globally.
- The time frame (milestones) for all proposed strategic actions and activities in the short, medium, and long run strategy is not mentioned.
- The school should revise current and future initiatives to engage stakeholders in the decision making process (in the context of humanizing the school’s education management).
- Lack of training and development plans and programs for administrative staff. They might exist but was not reported clearly in the report. The role and support from the administrative wing is imperative in determining the quality of education management.