University Democratization: Liberty or Supression Wave?"
Last Wednesday, Institute for Leadership and Development Studies (LEAD) have organized a forum on university democratization in conjunction with the start of new semester at local universities along with new student enrollment.
Institutions of higher learning are often depicted as the place of intense debate on the affairs of democracy and the policies of the nation. However, it is often smeared with events that seem to contradict democratic values such as discouraging critical discourses.
Changes in governmental administration have a direct impact on university democracy. This is reflected in government and university initiatives such as amending the University and University Colleges Act (UUCA), appointing students as members of the Senate and conducting campus elections by students.
However, there are some event such as academicians unable to express opinions or criticisms towards government policies. Thus, this forum on university democracy discussed about the performance and direction of university democratization in the new government administration.
The list of panelists in the forum are Dr. Lai Suat Yan, Deputy Chairman of Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK), Mr. Tarmizi Anuwar, Research Manager of LEAD, and Mr. Haziq Azfar, Deputy Vice President of Students Union Universiti Malaya. The forum was moderated by Ms. Divya Devi from Merdeka Center.