Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Malaysia's Space Science University

Malaysia will be on the space science map again after having the first Malaysian astronaut up in space last Oct 2007. This time Malaysia will be ensuring that space science are being taught here to generate more interest in it. This won't be a government project but the proposed Space Science University of Malaysia would be financed privately by a local private company and an overseas partner.

This proposed university will be located in Kota Tinggi, Johore and maybe our two Malaysian astronauts or spaceflight participants (as defined by NASA still, wonder why?) will be there to cut the red ribbon during the opening ceremony of the proposed university.

Faculties that could be found in the proposed univeristy:-
* Space Engineering and Aeronautics
* Mechanical Engineering
* Bioengineering encompassing Biomolecular Engineering and Medicine
* Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
* Computer, Robotic and Software Engineering
* Electrical Engineering and Electronics
* Geological, Atmospheric and Planetary Engineering
* Mathematical Engineering, Physics and Astronomy

Possible laboratories for research purposes:-
* Fusion Reactor or Thermonuclear Reactor
* Linear Collider
* Large Binocular Telescope-Neural Network Telescope
* High Performance Computing
* Supersonic Wind Tunnel
* Three Dimensional Simulation

Personally, we are aiming something too high for a nation that is still considered as a developing nation status. Not that we can't dream of having for which I would envisage it fully but not at this point of time.

Definition of a developed nation:-
A country with a relatively high standard of living, achieved primarily through social, economic, and technological infrastructure. The nations of Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are referred to as developed, or industrialized, nations.

Definition of a developing nation:-
A country with a low standard of living, generally indicated by severe poverty, low income and education levels, high birth rate, and poorly developed social, economic, and technological infrastructure. This term has become favored over "Third World," which gained popularity in the mid-20th century. Many countries of Africa, Asia (except Japan), Latin America, and Oceania (except Australia and New Zealand) are referred to as developing nations.

To spend RM6.1 billion (US$1.84 billion) on just one university in an industry where Malaysia is not even at an infant level is wasteful and not viable. I am sure that all the proposed university's technologies and professors would be externally sourced.

Countries which have huge space exploration programmes like China, India, Japan and Russia do not have such space science university. In comparison, their annual investments in space programmes are as follows:-
* India - US$450 million
* Russia - US$500 million
* China - US$2 billion
* European countries - US$4.5 billion
* USA - US$16.2 billion

The proposed Malaysian university was to emulate the world's only two space science universities, namely Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, United States and International Space University in Strasbourg, France.

By the way, Malaysia has a similar private university by the name of Malaysia University of Science and Technology ("MUST") which has been established since Dec 2000. Why not combined the efforts cohesively which will generate better economies of scale.

Really hope that this proposed Space Science University of Malaysia won't go down the same road as what MUST has gone through where MUST received financial assistance from the government when the plans couldn't 'take-off' as anticipated. I really wonder how well is MUST doing nowadays after reading MUST a flop of "smart partnership" with 10 students after 5 years.

Reading: RM6.1 Billion Space Science University Planned In Kota Tinggi - Bernama
Tags: Space Science University, Space, Space Science Education, Tertiary Education, Space Science University of Malaysia, Kota Tinggi, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, International Space University



Blogger acura said...

They should really stop wasting time & the people's money. Try raising the standards of our existing local uni before even attempting something like this.

Please la we do not want to be laughing stock again

19 June, 2008 01:25  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

good thing this is private funds.

19 June, 2008 14:24  

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