Curtin Sarawak Malaysia




Upcoming Events




Home > Campus News: Media Releases 2010


Curtin Sarawak earns ‘excellent’ score in higher education rating system

Miri – 16 July, 2010 – Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) is one of 18 higher education institutions that achieved Tier Five or ‘excellent’ status in the 2009 MQA Rating System for Malaysian Higher Education Institutions (SETARA ‘09).


“We are obviously elated at having achieving Tier Five or ‘excellent’ status, which is testimony to the exceptional teaching and learning at Curtin Sarawak. It reaffirms Curtin Sarawak’s reputation as a leading higher education institution in Malaysia,” said its Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Ian Kerr.


He added that it marks another milestone for Curtin Sarawak, the university having just recently been granted self-accreditation status by the Ministry of Higher Education and Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) in recognition of the high quality of its courses.


“To be ranked amongst the top institutions in the country means we have been successful in ensuring the highest quality and excellence in our teaching and learning, academic programmes, research output, staff calibre, and the quality of our graduates and their employability,” Professor Kerr remarked.


The SETARA ’09 rating mechanism used a total of 25 criteria captured through 82 indicators covering the three generic dimensions of input, process and output to access the quality of teaching and learning.


The input dimension addressed talent, resources and governance; the process dimension focused on curriculum; and the output dimension on the quality of graduates. The ratings were classified into six tiers, ranging from Tier One (Weak) to Tier Six (Outstanding).


The ranking exercise was in keeping with the Ministry of Higher Education’s desire to phase out distinctions between IPTA and IPTS in many spheres of activity. It was also to task the entire IPT community to work towards achieving a world-class tertiary education system and contribute to making Malaysia an education and research hub in the region.


Carried out by a committee appointed by the MQA between October 2009 and June 2010, it involved 58 universities and university colleges throughout the country. An independent Verification Committee was set up to verify and endorse the SETARA ’09 processes and instrument as well as verify data submitted by the institutions.


Seven out of the 18 top institutions were public universities and the rest were private universities. Another 25 institutions were classified as Tier Four or ‘Very Good’ while four achieved Tier Three or ‘Good’ status.


Those in Tier Five will receive incentives such as being able to enroll local and foreign government sponsored students, access to government research grants, and the privilege to determine their postgraduate intake.


Tier Five private institutions will also be exempted from certain provisions in the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996 (Act 555). This includes not having to apply for teaching permits for lecturers, and the institutions can determine the salaries of foreign lecturers and set course fees.


“We note that no institution managed to get the highest classification of Tier Six, which certainly gives us something to work towards in the next SETARA exercise,” said Professor Kerr, adding that, apart from giving education providers a clear picture of their standing, the SETARA results can be used as a basis for them to further enhance their standing.


He said Curtin Sarawak’s Tier Five rating showed that the university was on the right track and that it would continue strengthening its quality management system to further enhance its programmes, operations and services, and ultimately produce graduates who are highly sought after.


Professor Kerr added that the added incentives and benefits for Tier Five institutions are a positive development and will definitely help Curtin Sarawak in its continual improvement process.


“It is Curtin’s mission to remain committed to innovation and excellence in teaching and research for the benefit of its students and wider community, and this recognition brings us one step closer to achieving that goal.


Furthermore, greater access to government research grants will help us achieve Curtin’s vision of being an international leader shaping the future through its graduates and research,” he said.


According to Professor Kerr, Curtin University aims to be among the top 20 universities in Asia by 2020.

For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at


Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Kerr.


The Curtin Sarawak campus in Miri, Sarawak.