Friday, December 02, 2005


18 hours a Week in Malaysia!

I am in Kuala Lumpur right now ("KL" to anyone who knows a little about Malaysia). I was picked up at the airport by a lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Mara, which is organizing the conference that I am speaking at in a few days. UiTM was upgraded from a college to a university in 1999. It is going through the same kinds of transitions that many former teaching colleges in the US have gone through when they were upgraded to universities -- including my own university, Northern Arizona University -- which was a teaching college up until about 1960. To this day, most of the faculty members at former teaching colleges in the US still have heavier teaching loads than do faculty members at universities that have not had this type of a historical past.

However, the situation at Universiti Teknologi Mara is much more extreme. Unlike the other, longer established universities in Malaysia, where the standard teaching load is six to nine hours of in-class lecturing a week (which is similar to the US), at UiTM the standard teaching load is 18 hours a week. On top of that they are expected to publish journal articles and books, and organize conferences, if they ever want to receive a promotion. Even at junior colleges in the US, the maximum teaching load is usually 15 hours a week, and that comes with no research expectations.

In addition to the conference, I am here as an external advisor to the tourism program at UiTM. Hopefully I can help them out. I doubt that I can do anything about their teaching loads!

From Shah Alam - Alan

Hey Alan,
I am Thomas Yap.
I read your blog and I am a keen follower of your podcast.
Is there a time that I can meet up with you in Malaysia?
I am living just 15 minutes away from Shah Alam.. :)

Please reply to me at my e-mail at
my cellphone at
+6012 3088676
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