KOTA KINABALU: In order to move forward and ensure its sustainability, higher learning institutions must be adaptable to its environment and changes to be able to impart relevant knowledge to students.
Institutions must be up to date with advancement in terms of technology as well as information, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal at the 21st University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) convocation ceremony yesterday.
If UMS is able to meet these demands, he said it would be able to attract not only students throughout the country, but internationally as well.
“The survival of institutions such as UMS faces many challenges. If we look at longstanding and prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, it would not be sustainable without a high volume of students.
“To ensure UMS is on the right track, the institution must be up to date to remain relevant. We hope to see UMS become a renowned university not only in Malaysia but to other parts of the world as well.
“As it is, UMS is attracting more international students year by year. To keep this up, the university must work to enhance its attractions and blend it well with its advantages,” said Shafie.
He further said that university in general is not just a place to gain knowledge but also a place for students to broaden their horizons, socially.
“This is a place where our children get to know their peers from different places and different walks of life, which could in turn foster understanding and empathy.
“I hope this would put youths on the right track towards unifying our people not only in person but in terms of mentality as well. University is a place for young minds to unite from an early stage, and this is the best place for them to accept each other’s differences,” he said.
Under a new management, Shafie was confident UMS would continue to add value to students’ education so that the university does not only produce graduates who are able to acquire jobs, but who can also create jobs.
He commended the university for its efforts in partnering with industry players to provide students with exposure and experience, to better prepare them for the working world.
A total of 4,159 students are graduating from UMS at the 21st convocation ceremony. During yesterday’s session, 824 graduates from the Faculty of Business, Economy and Accounting received their scrolls.