The Higher Education Ministry of Malaysia recently announced that it is now ready to roll out its new grading system, an initiative the ministry has been working on over the last 6 years.Some 300 students from five public universities will take part in the pilot programme for the implementation of the new student assessment system, Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCGPA). Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh stated that between 40 to 60 new students in each programme will take part in this roll out starting from the intake in September 2015.
“The five universities that will take part in the pilot project are Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP)”, he added.
Idris said that iCGPA concept was something the ministry explored since 2009, collaborating with experts from public universities including UKM and UiTM and getting advice from the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), while the Ministry of Higher Education facilitating the entire process. He added, “The efforts have been time consuming in view of the data, research and efforts required to this initiative a success.”
According to Idris, the mission of the iCGPA is to help overcome the discrepancy between the quality of graduates and requirements of employers, with the current system solely measuring academic ability. “We always hear comments wanting graduates who are holistic, have entrepreneurial characteristics and well balanced. This is what we hope to create through iCGPA,” he told reporters.
The new system will offer a more comprehensive and holistic approach covering areas such as academic understanding and skills, critical and scientific thinking, communication and social skills, teamwork, entrepreneurship and leadership. It will also include assessing fields like humanity, ethics, morality, information management and inculcate lifelong learning, all of which will be reported in student scorecards via the “Spider Web” method, listing down students’ performance. In addition, the assessment goes beyond the classroom and also covers activities on campus.
When asked to why only such a small number – 0.0075% of the 40,000 students enrolled in public universities – were included in this pilot programme, Idris mentioned it was due to the fact that only one faculty is chosen per university.
He further added, “We are still in discussion with universities and will look at how ready the faculties are to apply the system before making a decision.”
MQA’s Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Prof Dr Rujhan Mustafa said, “MQA supports the Higher Education Ministry’s intention to implement the iCGPA [as] it allows the employer to have an idea of the true potential of graduates.”
The iCGPA marks one of the plans under Shift 1 of Malaysia’s Education Blueprint 2015-2025, also known as Higher Education Blueprint, which was launched in April 2015.