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"Two weeks ago, I was preparing the questions for the final semester exams when I was summoned to the president's office. He said: ‘Make sure all the students pass.’ I thought nothing of it although at the back of my mind, I knew what he had in mind.

"A week later, I told my class of 28 that there would be a special revision class before the exam. Attendance was poor. One third of them were absent but nevertheless, I went to on to discuss the eight questions I had prepared. They were only required to answer any four.

"On exam day, only 13 turned up to sit for their paper. Two days later, I sat down to mark the scripts. Only eight passed.

"I was again summoned to president's office where I was told that I had defied instructions. If they don't pass, I was told, they can't go to third year and they will drop out.

"Short of writing the exam for them, I told him, I did my best explaining the special class and the discussion of the questions. He wouldn't have any of it.

"Two weeks later, some of the students came to thank me and one of them remarked: 'The whole class passed and are going into third year.' I was told that there was a ‘special sitting’ where the absentees were given ‘a second opportunity’. I was to learn that the five who failed had their marks "reviewed" and ‘upgraded’.

"I marched to the president's office and demanded answers. He calmly said: ‘This is a business. We need the money from the students and their sponsors who in many cases are on scholarships provided by governments of countries in the African continent and the Middle East.’

"’This how the system works,’ I was told. I packed my bag and left, never to return to lecturing."

With the recent announcement by the Higher Education Ministry of Oman banning four Malaysian universities, the above paraphrased paroxysm, which took place about two years ago, came to mind....

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