Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Descriptive biodata of Project Leader
Prof. Dr. Saran Kaur Gill
















http://smk.ukm.my/GambarKT/K002285.jpg E-mail: saran@ukm.my

Prof. Dr. Saran Kaur Gill has a varied background of scholarly pursuits, capacity building of human resource, and management of large-scale projects.  She obtained her PhD from the University of London on an Association of Commonwealth Universities Award.  She has been with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for over thirty years.

Academically, she has a passion for research on language and cultural policy and planning.  She has successfully led a two-year government-funded research project “Language Policy and Planning in Higher Education in Malaysia.”  She presently leads a two year research project on “Examining the Quality of Teaching and Learning Science in English in Higher Education.”

She was recipient of the Fulbright Scholars Award for research on "Language policy - Managing Ethnic, National and Global Identities" at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia for the spring term, 2006.  This led to invitations to guest lecture and professionally collaborate at Columbia University, New York, Georgetown University, Washington, University of Texas, San Antonio and University of Arizona, Phoenix.

In 2004, she was appointed member of the UNESCO Scientific Committee for the Asia-Pacific Region for Higher Education, Research and Knowledge.  This was an appointment, which had to be competed for on the international platform on the basis of the quality of scholarship and leadership capabilities. 

She has been invited to present plenary papers at several international conferences and written several articles, in international journals, which include World Englishes, Journal for Asia-Pacific Communication, Asian Englishes, Language Policy, Current Issues in Language Planning. 

From 1990 to 1992, she was appointed Deputy Dean of the then Faculty of Language Studies. In 1999, she was appointed Head of the Academic Training Division of the Centre for Academic Development.  This resulted in the start of a number of training programmes for academic staff and the establishment of a valuable relationship with UNESCO, Bangkok, which resulted in two successful workshops on “Asian Women Leaders in Higher Education.”
In 1999, she received Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) Excellence Award for Enhancing the Image of UKM at the National / International Levels, in the category of Human Resource Development.   This was for one of the highlights of her career as the project leader of the Intercultural Communication Training Programme for 10,000 volunteers of the XVIth Commonwealth Games, 1998.  This resulted in a publication titled, “Capturing the Malaysian Spirit to Communicate Across Cultures.”

In 2007, she became the first Malaysian Sikh to be appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Industry and Community Partnerships) of UKM, by the government of Malaysia.  The responsibility of this portfolio is to develop mutually beneficial partnerships between the university, industry and community.  This is planned for and implemented through the three offices in her portfolio - the Industry-Liaison Office, the Chancellor’s Foundation and the University-Community Partnerships Office.

  • Specialisation

Macro-sociolinguistic issues on language policy and planning in higher education, English language standards, educational goals and international communication, Intercultural communication in the workplace

  • Areas of Research

Language Policy, Planning and Management in Higher Education:  Responding to the Needs of the Knowledge Economy, The Balance between National Identity and Internationalisation in the context of language reform, standards, educational goals and international communication, Language Policy and ethnic, national and global identities

  • Current Projects and Grants :

    Fulbright Scholars Award based at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in the spring of 2006.  Researched on "Language Policy:  Managing Ethnic, National and International Identities - the Malaysian and the American Experience."

IRPA PROJECT - 07-02-02-0028-EA251
Language Policy and Planning in Higher Education:  Responding to the Needs of the Knowledge Economy
October 2003-October 2005
Grant:  RM 188,000
Head of Project:  Prof. Dr. Saran Kaur Gill
Team Members:  Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hazita Azman, Dr. Norizan Razak, Encik Fadhil H.A.Y. Mansor

  • Select Publications :

    2008 Gill, Saran K.  Contrasting Language Policy Changes in Higher Education in Malaysia.  In Language Issues in English-Medium Universities Across Asia.Edited by Nigel Bruce and Chris Davison. Hong Kong:  University of Hong Kong Press. 

2008 Gill, Saran K.  Shift in Language Policy in Malaysia: Unravelling Reasons for Change, Conflict and Compromise in Mother-Tongue Education.  Edited by John Benjamins.  AILA Review

2006 Gill, Saran. K. Change in Language Policy The Reality of Implementation in Public Universities.  Current Issues in Language PlanningSpecial Issue on Language Planning and Academic Communication.  7:1.  pp. 82-94.

2005 Gill, Saran K.  Language Policy and Planning:  Understanding UKM’s Past, Present and Future Concerns and Responses.  Akademika, Vol. 66.  Special Issue in Conjunction with the 35th Anniversary of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.  31-50.

2005 Gill, Saran K.  Language Policy in Malaysia:  Reversing Direction.  Language Policy, 4: 3. 1-20.

2005 Gill, Saran K.  Language Ecology and Policy: Balancing Development and Sustaining Identities. In Papers in Language Studies and Linguistics: A Malaysian Perspective. Eds. Lee Su Kim, Thang Siew Ming, Hafriza Burhanudeen & Lee King Siong. Bangi:  Faculty Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM.  1-16.

2004 Gill, Saran K.  Language Policy And Planning In Higher Education In Malaysia: A Nation In Linguistic Transition.  In Multilingual Approaches in University Education:  Challenges and Practices.  Vol. 11.  Edited by Robert Wilkinson.  Maastricht:  Universiteit Maastricht Press.  109-125.

2004 Gill, Saran K.  English Language Policy Changes in Malaysia: Demystifying the          Diverse Demands of Nationalism and Modernisation.  In Special Issue on The English Language Situation in Malaysia:  Policy, Nativisation and Standards.  Guest edited by Saran Kaur Gill.  Asian Englishes – An International Journal of the Sociolinguistics of English in Asia/Pacific.  6:2.  10-25.   
2004 Medium of Instruction Policy in Higher Education in Malaysia: Nationalism versus   Internationalisation.  In Medium of Instruction Policies:  Which Agenda?  Whose Agenda?     Edited by James Toffleson and Amy B.M. Tsui.  New Jersey:  Lawrence Erlbaum.  135-152.

2002 Gill, Saran K.  International Communication:  English Language Challenges for  Malaysia.  Serdang:  Universiti Putra Malaysia Press

2002 Gill, Saran K.  Language Policy and English Language Standards in Malaysia :  Nationalism versus Pragmatism.  In a special issue on ‘Setting/Maintaining Language Standards – A Dilemma in Language Education in the Asia Pacific Region.’  Edited by A.B.M. Tsui and S. Andrews, Journal of Asia-Pacific Communication (JAPC).  12 :1.  95-115.

  • Contact Information :

Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Industry and Community Partnerships)
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Phone Number  603-89213032
Fax Number 603-89214606
E-mail: saran@ukm.my