Stop chasing rankings, boost quality, universities told

Academics have urged local higher education institutions to improve the quality of their programmes and lecturers instead of chasing high university rankings, after Malaysia’s oldest institution of higher learning fell out of the top 10 in a prominent global index, writes Rex Tan for Free Malaysia Today.

Former Malaysian Academic Movement secretary Rosli Mahat said universities had resorted to unethical research practices and spending large resources to boost their positions in global university rankings. He claimed that universities were encouraging “citation padding” and “gifted and forced authorship” to increase their publication scores.

Citation padding is an attempt to legitimise one’s work by adding references to reputable papers. Gifted authorship refers to the crediting of individuals who did not contribute to the research for favour, while forced authorship refers to a situation where a student is coerced by his superior to share the credit even though the student did all the work.
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