I WAS pleased to read recently in the NST that writer Mushtak Parker believes that the United Kingdom “satellite campuses... may be a godsend for Malaysian students” and may “help achieve long-term ambition for Malaysia to become a global education hub” (“UK varsities pull rank with outrageous ranking claims” — NST, June 14).
We believe we offer high-quality education at a price that is much more affordable than the cost of study in the UK and we are assured that is why we were invited to establish in Malaysia by the Higher Education Ministry.
The University of Reading has accepted the opinion from the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) that the “top one per cent” claim cannot be proven according to the ASA’s own strict criteria, and the university has decided not to use the claim in future in relation to any of its UK or global operations.
It is interesting, however, that it is a claim made by the Higher Education Ministry about Malaysian universities on the same basis that Reading and others in the UK made it.
We proudly stand by the factual statement that according to two leading global rankings — The Times Higher Education and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) — that Reading is in their top 200 universities worldwide. QS estimates that there are more than 20,000 “universities” in the world, hence the previous claim.
PROFESSOR TONY DOWNES
Provost and chief executive officer, University of Reading Malaysia