Wednesday, 11 April 2007

The Academia is a Meritocracy

From Mankiw’s blog today:


A student emails me from Greece to ask:


I wish to follow an academic career and I would like to teach at famous universities (like Harvard, MIT, Stanford and so forth). Do you think that this is possible?


Yes, absolutely. Academia is very much a meritocracy. Success at getting goods academic jobs is determined by research productivity, measured by such things as publications in top academic journals (such as the AER, JPE, and QJE) and citations by others in academic journals (recorded in the Social Science Citation Index and Google Scholar).


Local universities do not apply?

226 comments:

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Resurrected said...

No it is not meritocratic. Having had the opportunity to spend some time in a local public institution, it is very disheartening to note that quality research was not rewarded with recognition. Lecturers who do good work and who urge others to do the same get scorned upon by their colleagues, and politics, not meritocracy is what gets you ahead in that particular institution. For example, the head of department and the dean were astute at 'networking' but not research. The VC had grandiose visions without looking at the neccesary groundwork of research and development.

This is from a student's perspective and also from conversations with the academic staff there. As a student, I received very little, if any at all, trickle down effect and insights from research done. All we had were notes and textbooks. It was no better than self-study.

Chewxy said...

This is what our academics spend doing in their entire life in academia

Solution?

(btw.. good to read you posting again)

Chewxy said...

o_O... that sentence came out wrong.. I meant to type "This is what our academics spend their entire life in academia doing"

Anonymous said...

Prof.Mankiw is right about the internet influence on research etc.

Slightly off topic, but interesting tho' is the topic on internet learning ( ie e-learning ) and how in order to compete, universities have no choice but to "embrace the future " .. tho there are just too many divided and worried thoughts on how e-learning would drastically transform higher education.

So do we still need good teachers even after millions $ are spent to develop online courses ?

I believe the answer is a yes..

feliz

johnleemk said...

Meritocracy? My father was willing to take a pay cut to lecture at a local university, and the head of department eagerly welcomed him on board - until the appointment was vetoed by higher-ups because they wanted a Bumiputra for the job. That's Malaysian meritocracy for you.

Chewxy said...

An Offtopic question: Are you THE johnleemk from wikipedia?

Anonymous said...

Totally off topic,

Elanor, can you recommend any good Masters In Economics degree in Malaysia?

I've been mulling on taking it to further my interest in Economics but I am undecided.

How is UM, UKM, UPM or any private colleges offering it?

If you have any friends or knowledge on this, I would appreciate your help.

Rgds
AW

Elanor said...

Hi AW,

I do not think I am the most informed person on this matter, but having met some of the lecturers, I would recommend Nottingham University, Malaysian campus. Unfortunately, they do not really offer pure economics.

Then there is Monash University, which do offer Masters in Economics, but I can't really vouch for its quality.

As for local universities, I would have recommended UM previously, but now I wouldn't anymore. Met some lecturers from other local unis... erm, how should I put it - I think you could afford better quality education elsewhere.

And if you do not mind, Singapore is a good option. Really. Check them out, and keep an open mind.

Lastly, if you really want to, you can explore scholarship options for Masters in UK too. For eg. British Council offers Chevening scholarships yearly to ppl who are passionate in their fields and willing to contribute to Malaysia in the future.

I am unsure how else I could assist you - maybe you could try asking for Kian Meng and Tony P to highlight your question on their blog. I personally deem it to be rather interesting and relevant for young undergraduates - perhaps thru the volume of visitors to their blog, we could harness better quality advices.

Elanor

Kian Ming said...

Hey Elanor,

As you requested, a post with some of my thoughts on pursuing a Masters in Economics locally or abroad.

http://educationmalaysia.blogspot.com/2007/04/masters-in-economics-part-1.html

Cheers,

Kian Ming

Anonymous said...

Dear Elanor and Kian Ming,

Thanks so much for the information. I really appreciate your help.

Kind rgds
AW

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