Unimas needs boost to become a golden university

SIGNED: Abd Rahim (centre) with the plaque he signed when officiating at the handover of key to DeTAR Putra. Also seen are (from left) Hatta, Songan and Khairuddin (right).

KOTA SAMARAHAN: A mechanism must be put in place to push Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) into becoming the ‘golden university’ of Malaysia and the region.

Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra (DeTAR Putra), Higher Education Ministry (KPT) secretary-general Datuk Abd Rahim Md Noor said this at the handover ceremony of Unimas’ new multipurpose hall.

Abd Rahim said for this to be possible, students as well as academic and non-academic staff must have the determination and willpower to improve the university’s ranking.

“To be a great university, we must produce great products. To produce great products we must have the mechanism, namely the academic and non-academic staff to motivate the students to be great,” he said in his speech.

Abd Rahim suggested that Unimas find a strategic focal point or faculty that could be turned into the ‘Twin Tower’ of KPT, in the same way Harvard Business School is known for its business programme.

“Students must also have the wish and determination to make Unimas an iconic university because the products are the students themselves. I hope you students have the determination to be golden students, icons of the golden university.”

He hoped to see Unimas students emerge as youth icons and serve as examples to students from other universities. Lecturers also need to be exemplary, he pointed out.

“KPT will do the best we can to develop the leadership qualities of great lecturers and hope they will be mentors and motivators to the leaders of the future.

Abd Rahim said a university that planned on rising to the top needed a website to fulfil the needs of its visitors.

“A university website might not seem very important overall, but it is the gateway. Those who want to learn about Unimas can visit the website.”

This will be particularly important when courting potential students from overseas to come and study in Sarawak.

“In a university with many ICT experts and an ICT department, there is no reason you can’t be the best at creating a website,” he added.

Meanwhile, Unimas vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Khairuddin Abd Hamid said the university’s next convocation in October will be held in the new DeTAR Putra.

“Before that, we will be welcoming over 4,000 new students for the new semester in this hall,” he said, adding that this was a record intake for the university.

The RM66.85 million building features a main hall with a seating capacity of 4,000 and banquet hall that can seat up to 2,000 people. It is part of a project approved by the government under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP).

Also present were chairman of Unimas’ board of directors, Datu Dr Hatta Solhi; Unimas deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Dr Peter Songan and managing director of Syarikat Usahama Adiqi Engineering Sdn Bhd and NSR Engineering Sdn Bhd, Abang Aditajaya Abang Alwi.

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