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Ministry of Higher Education Awards Autonomy to Putra Business School of UPM

Kuala Lumpur,15th Oct - The Higher Education Ministry has given its approval to Putra Business School (PBS) of UPM (formerly known as the Graduate School of Management) to be a licensed business school with full autonomy in its operation matters.

The announcement was made by Y.B. Dato' Seri Mohamed Khalid Nordin during a press conference and certificate presentation to the Faculty of Economics and Management and Putra Business School (PBS) for being accreditated by AACSB International. PBS will now be governed by the Putra Business School Foundation, and operate as a history-making, first-of-its-kind business school: a private entity within a public university.

When asked by reporters for the difference between the new and previous administrations, Dato' Seri explained, "Being autonomous is the basis for excellence. The Ministry awards antonomous status to public institutions to ensure the universities are also ready to award the same to the institutions under them such as Centres of Excellence, Business Schools, etc."

On the same note, the Vice Chancellor of UPM, Dato' Ir Dr. Radin Umar Radin Sohadi added, "What's important in being autonomous is that it allows PBS to choose its own talents. PBS is using a 'business' business school model, not an 'academic' business school model. The current practice in public institutions is that lecturers are required to have a PhD and need to be supported with the number of publications in journals, etc. However, in PBS, we require talents that have the industry experience in order to bring the real world to the classroom."

When asked to further elaborate on the accreditation, Dato' Seri Khalid explained, "Accreditation is not a ranking. Rankings are conducted by companies whereas accreditation is carried out by professional bodies that are experts in a particular field," the Minister informed the reporters.

"There are thirteen business schools in Malaysia. As UPM has been accreditated, it should be an example and a catalyst to other business schools to follow suit. On behalf of the Ministry, I would like to congratulate UPM for paving the way and proving that our business school is at par with other top business schools such as the London Business School, INSEAD, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, EDHEC Business School, Warwick Business School and University of Toronto," he added.

"What is significant is that not only PBS is accreditated but the faculty too," he added, referring to the Faculty of Economics and Management.

AACSB International or Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which was established in 1916, is the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, masters and doctorate degrees in business and accounting.

Mr. John J. Fernandes, the President and CEO of AACSB International,  said in his speech, “When world business schools acknowledge UPM as one of the best, one of the most advanced in management education, it speaks very highly of UPM as not only being recognised locally but also internationally."

"As the word ‘accreditation’ comes from the Latin word ‘accreditus’, meaning ‘trust’, it means AACSB International trusts UPM to meet its mission and to do what it says it is supposed to do for its community and stakeholders," he explained.

He congratulated UPM for being the first business school in Malaysia to be accreditated and believed UPM could lead, to be an example and coach other business schools in Malaysia that wish to get AACSB accreditation.

Universiti Putra Malaysia is only the sixth university in South East Asia with such accreditation. Other countries with AACSB accreditated schools are Singapore (3), Philippines (1) and Thailand (1). The accreditation process involves rigorous internal review, evaluation, and adjustment and can take several years to fulfill 21 requirements set by AACSB International. All accredited schools must go through a peer review process every five years in order to maintain their accreditation.

YBhg. Datuk Ab. Rahim Md. Noor, the Secretary General for the Ministry of Higher Education; YBhg. Dato’ Prof. Dr. Rujhan Mustafa, the Director General for the Ministry of Higher Education; YBhg. Prof. Dr. Arfah Salleh, the President and CEO of the Putra Business School; YBhg. Prof. Dr. Mohd. Shahwahid Othman, the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management; and Dr. Eileen Peacock, the Senior Vice President and Chief Officer Asia for AACSB International were also at the press conference together with other officials.