The MQA Rating System for Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia for 2009 (SETARA '09) was implemented by using a rating mechanism to measure the performance of undergraduate teaching and learning in universities and university colleges in Malaysia. Although the SETARA '09 exercise is a continuation of the previous exercise, (SETARA 2007 using 2006 data), there are major differences as to its focus, composition of the universities and university colleges, its domains and measuring indicators.
The SETARA '09 rating exercise was carried out between October 2008 and June 2010. Data collected and used for the rating was based on the year of 2009.
A total of 58 universities and university colleges participated in the exercise. However, 11 universities and university colleges were excluded because they are new institutions without final year students yet and have not produced graduates; do not offer undergraduate programmes; or they are non-conventional institutions for example Open Universities which may require instrument configured upon different criteria set.
SETARA '09 used a total of 25 criteria captured through 82 indicators comprising the generic framework of Input, Process and Output. Benchmark figures were established for the indicators. Data for the final analysis were sourced from the institutions as well as the Academic Performance Audit (APA), the Generic Student Attributes (GSA) test score, the Tracer Study, and the Employer Survey. The Committee used the Expert Choice software, which is a decision support system programme, in making decisions on the weights of the generic dimensions, domains, criteria and indicators.
The resulting rating system uses a six-tier category with Tier 6 identified as Outstanding and Tier 1 as Weak. The position of the universities and university colleges in the respective tiers was based on their scores.
The final results show that out of the 47 universities and university colleges rated, 18 institutions achieved a Tier 5 category representing approximately 38% of total population of universities and university colleges rated; 25 institutions in Tier 4, approximately 53%, and the remaining 4, in Tier 3, that is, about 9%. None of the universities and university colleges are in Tier 6; neither are they in Tiers 1 and 2.