Vice chancellor denies UiTM would end the services of its part-time lecturers despite previously saying the programme will be affected
by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by BERNAMA
QUESTIONS remain on the future of hundreds of part-time lecturers at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) following the proposed funding cut despite the university’s top management’s assurance that nobody’s services will be terminated.
Vice chancellor Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim (picture) yesterday denied any notion that the university would end the services of its part-time lecturers despite having said previously the programme would be affected.
“For everyone’s information, the hiring of part-time lecturers for each semester is done based on the needs of programmes and subjects at each faculty.
“Hence, the numbers are different in each semester,” Mohd Azraai said in a statement yesterday.
Meanwhile, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad said in a Parliamentary debate yesterday that the actual reduction for UiTM was only RM3 million or 0.18%.
She clarified that the operating budget of RM1.86 billion received by UiTM in 2020 included an allocation for Hospital UiTM, but this has been separated under Budget 2021.
The minister said the shortfall proposed for next year would be filled by internal cost-saving measures.
The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) previously reported Mohd Azraai as saying that the university’s parttime lecturers programme will be affected by this measure.
“Well, obviously, it will (affect the part-time lecturers programme). However, what we are doing now is to focus more on open and distance learning (ODL).
“ODL has allowed more innovative delivery, including interactive lectures to be conducted to a bigger group of students without the constraint of space,” he said.
Mohd Azraai also said the university will have to be “frugal” and revise projects involving physical infrastructure and facility expansions under the UiTM2025 Strategic Plan which was launched in February this year.
UiTM employs between 400 and 600 part-time lecturers, or 5% to 7% of its 8,000 teaching staff nationwide.
The proposed budget cut has drawn negative reactions nationwide including several UiTM employees that have voiced concerns.
Critics argued that the proposed slash of funds would hamper the development of the university and Bumiputera professionals.
Read our earlier report