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Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. I am truly honoured to be with all of you today. This is my second visit to UCSI University. I must say that many things have changed since the last time I was here in 2008.
  1. Now, there are more buildings and many more lecturers and students.
  1. I am made to understand that there are currently around 12,000 students pursuing their credentials across the UCSI campuses. And over 30% of the student population is international.
  1. This is impressive. It is a clear testament to the University’s exemplary growth trend over the past decade. I must congratulate UCSI for such a steady growth and consistent progress.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. Today’s launch of UCSI University Bangladesh is the next giant leap in the University’s 37-year history. This milestone is remarkable and exemplary for several reasons.
  1. First, this is a significant move towards greater internationalisation of higher education.
  1. We live in a world where global issues such as pandemics, climate change, climate refugees, digital currencies, social justice, just to name a few - know no borders.
  1. Thus, the need for cross-cultural collaboration and knowledge sharing has never been greater. Geographical barriers should never limit the potential of working together to develop new knowledge and fresh ideas.
  1. Our goal of internationalization at the Ministry is not just about attracting international students as a higher education and talents hub. It also entails promoting cultural exchange, creating new partnerships, and developing global citizens.
  1. To do that, we must expand our horizons and look beyond.
  1. We must be present in other jurisdictions. Our system, our programs, our academics, they must be offered to talents beyond Malaysian borders.
  1. What better way to manifest this than to encourage our higher education institutions to set up international branch campuses?
  1. This move, among others, will propel Malaysia towards becoming a regional and global player recognized for our academic and research excellence.
  1. Second, this transnational initiative is a hallmark of knowledge diplomacy.
  1. Knowledge diplomacy is a crucial tool to build bridges. To exchange ideas. To foster mutual understanding between nations and communities.
  1. From our previous approach as an importer of ideas, structures, and models of higher education, we need a new paradigm. We must be proactive. We must reach out to others.
  1. That is why the ministry strongly supports the push for established private higher education providers to set up more overseas branch campuses.
  1. Third, this milestone increases access and equity for human capital development.
  1. The establishment of this branch campus will provide many more educational and research opportunities for local Bangladeshis and students across the region.
  1. It increases access to high-quality education that can help them reach their full potential and achieve their goals, without having to leave their home country.
  1. In many ways, this is about sowing a seed for a more educated, skilled, talented and diverse workforce that can contribute to the growth and prosperity of communities.
  1. This is certainly an investment in the future. Not just the future of Bangladesh, but the future of the region and the world.
  1. Fourth, this milestone is remarkable as a leading model for other private higher education institutions across Malaysia.
  1. It is my desire to stir up fervour within private higher education institutions to broaden their horizons. To open branch campuses both domestically and abroad, either independently or through a consortium or partnership of like-minded institutions.
  1. I believe that private higher education institutions can seize the advantage they have to venture into uncharted territories. Advantages such as greater adaptability, visionary leadership, astute management, and agile financial systems, among others.
  1. Challenges certainly abound. But with every challenge comes the opportunity to progress and innovate beyond the conventional.
  1. For all these reasons, I applaud UCSI for trailblazing this path for other private higher education institutions.

Esteemed guests,

  1. I take the invite from UCSI for the ministry and I to be here today as a reflection of confidence of this institution, that it will deliver quality education program. That it will succeed in nurturing good talents.
  1. I cannot reinforce it better than to reiterate our commitment at the ministry to striving towards building a healthy relationship and ecosystem for the growth and expansion of private higher education institutions.
  1. As I outlined in my New Year’s Message early this week, this is a concerted effort from each and every agency in the higher education sector.
  1. I will continue spearheading efforts to enhance communication between the accreditation agencies and private higher education institutions.
  1. The internationalization of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) should not occur in isolation from the role of private higher education institutions in their internationalization endeavours.
  1. We need more contemporary accreditation standards. Greater room for private institutions to revise their curriculum. To explore new models, new pedagogy, and new learning approaches. Without being too restricted by regulations.
  1. We must phase out certain archaic practices of 'educational policing’ which might unhealthily inhibit growth.
  1. This does not imply that the higher education sector should be devoid of regulation. Far from it.
  1. Instead, we must nurture a culture of self-regulation that is transparent and holistic.
  1. During my tenure, I also seek to explore how we can provide incentives to successful higher education institutions.
  1. Examples of this include introducing matching grants for doctoral degree training, providing access to various data in the spirit of knowledge sharing. increasing joint research funding and various other innovation incentives.
  1. I certainly welcome recommendations that will propel our higher education sector to the next level.
  1. I believe that this is a team effort. And this is the very reason why I make no difference between public and private higher education institutions. For me, both are parts of Malaysian universities.
  1. You are a Malaysian brand. Your success is our success.
  1. So once again, congratulations to UCSI, and to Dato’ Peter and Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah, on this latest milestone.
  1. I would also like to congratulate Insight Institute of Learning - UCSI’s local partners in Bangladesh. Thank you for the faith you have given to UCSI and the Malaysian brand of higher education. The joint commitment of both parties today is, by any measure, a bold move.
  1. All of us at the Ministry wish you the very best as you embark on this shared endeavour.
  1. To all our friends and counterparts in Bangladesh, here we come!
  1. Thank you!

Muat Turun:

pdf UCSI Bangladesh Launch Speech.pdf (102 KB)

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Kemaskini Terakhir: Khamis 25 Julai 2024, 04:35:17.