WOU rated an 'excellent' higher education institution

Wawasan Open University (WOU) is recognised as an ‘excellent’ provider of higher learning by the Ministry of Higher Education under the MQA Rating System for Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia for 2011 (SETARA ’11).

WOU was among 35 institutions of higher learning - 22 private and 13 public – accorded the Tier 5-Excellent rating by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) in its biennial assessment of the quality of undergraduate-level teaching and learning in universities and university colleges in Malaysia.

The official result was announced by the Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, in Kuala Lumpur today.

WOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye thanked theWOU community, both staff and students, for their commitment, dedication and hard work that allowed WOU to achieve this rating.  “Let us all continue to strive in our respective roles to maintain or even to bring WOU to the next higher ranking Tier,” he added.

A total of 54 universities and university colleges participated in the 2011 exercise; however two institutions were excluded because of insufficient data for them to be rated.

According to the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) portal, SETARA ’11 is the third rating exercise carried out at institutional-level for universities and university colleges in Malaysia – the first being SETARA 2007 and SETARA ’09.

Generally, SETARA involves a quantitative survey where data collected from the institution was analysed based on the following areas: Input (Governance); Input (Learning Resources and Support); Input (Quality, Experience and Diversity); Process (Curriculum); and Output (Quality of Graduates).

The SETARA '11 rating exercise was carried out between March 2011 and July 2012, and is based on 2011 data obtained from the institutions, the Employer Survey conducted by MQA, and the Tracer Study by MOHE.

Like SETARA ’09, SETARA '11 measures the performance of teaching and learning at level six of the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (undergraduate level), while SETARA 2007 measures the overall quality.The rating system uses a six-tier categorisation with Tier 6 identified as "Outstanding" and Tier 1 as "Weak".

Out of the 52 universities and university colleges rated, 35 institutions (67% of total institutions rated) achieved a Tier 5 (Excellent) category, 16 institutions (31%) a Tier 4 (Very Good), and the remaining one (2%), a Tier 3 (Good).

In SETARA ’09, WOU was listed under a group of “Institutions That Participated But Not Rated” because WOU is a new institution of higher learning that has yet to produce any graduates from the undergraduate programmes, and no proper instrument was established then to evaluate open universities like WOU.