Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Academic Bullying

There are many aspects in the world of academia that have encouraged the practice of academic bullying and discourage its reporting and mitigation. The sense of leadership is usually drawn from the ranks of faculty which most of whom has not received the adequate management training that would enable an effective response to such situation. The social ranking of having a higher level of education and protected position plays an important role too in elevating and encouraging academic bullying. Staff and part-time employees even students tend to be bullied as they seem to have a lower education level with unsecured position compared to professors.

There are random but specific cases of academic bullying involving the usage of postgraduate and undergraduate students to subdue to the unrealistic request from the supervisors/academician to perform the task that is totally unrelated to their research areas. Some may consider it as multi-tasking but it is in the matter of fact disturbing the rhythm of research. Research student that are being asked or told to perform these task is usually afraid of disobeying as their supervisor/academician are superior to them. They are afraid if the consequences would affect their research and academic result.

The urge to perform better between researchers has not only resulted in more burdens to others under them but also tend to ignore the true beauty of research. They only focus on achieving what is beneficial to themselves with blanketing it as so called team efforts in achieving his/her personal goals. Post-graduate student commonly experiences journal or publication hijacking whereby authors and co-authors that are john doe miraculously appeared in their journal as per requested/instructed by their researcher/lecturers hence giving credits to those who did not contribute to the research. This totally jeopardises the research nature causing more harm than benefit to the community or university. Researchers that are not experts in that certain field writing in a totally different field seem to be a common thing but it is an unethical way of practice.  

Unethical researchers with the tendency to bully must be deal with to ensure research is free from corruption and miss usage. Funding for academic purposes must be monitored accordingly to ensure cases of misuse of funding does not happen. Universities in Malaysia must monitor the usage of funding as funding is somehow syphoned into other matters not relating to the research. The similar topic of research have been known to be the pitch for funding but however, the fund for the double funding research has not been utilised for that only that one research.  

We should address this issue accordingly and I believe that it is a common practice in most universities in Malaysia. The result in misconduct of this issue would affect Malaysian to opt not to further their studies due to these bullying practices. It must be clear from corruption and abuse of power to truly cultivate the beauty of research. Don’t make it as an achievement for oneself but for the mankind altogether. 

Darren Lai Chai En

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