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Purpose-education philosophy: An approach to produce highly sought after graduates

Publish date: Sun, 25 Feb 2024, 12:02 AM

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 24 — The purpose-driven education philosophy is among the best approaches to produce highly sought-after quality graduates, said Higher Education Deputy Minister Datuk Mustapha Sakmud.

He said with the approach, introduced at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia in 2017, the university’s staff and students started their journey of impact by discovering and articulating their sense of purpose.

“They also use their time to work on initiatives to mobilise their purpose into a positive impact on the world,” he said in his keynote speech at the ‘Driven by Purpose’ Campaign Official Launch and Forum at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia here today.

Mustapha said he was informed that over the years, through initiatives like the EmPOWER crowdfunding project and the Fit-For-Future, the university has played a pivotal role in preparing graduates with vital skills such as critical thinking, entrepreneurial mindset, emotional intelligence and resilience.

Driven by Purpose Campaign’s innovative approach aims to arm students with future-proof skills and a sense of purpose, in line with Malaysia’s aspirations for a thriving inclusive economy.

The campaign is a pioneering initiative set to recalibrate Malaysia’s higher education by fostering resilience and equipping students with skills essential for future success.

Commenting on the campaign, Mustapha said the Higher Education Ministry (MOHE) believed that a comprehensive and holistic educational approach is indispensable in nurturing graduates’ talent pipeline into individuals of substance, transcending mere academic excellence.

To further support the Purpose-Driven Education initiative, he said MOHE is committed to playing a pivotal role in fostering an ecosystem conducive to the holistic development of students.

“This initiative not only equips graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills but trains and fit them for the future.

“I will highlight this (Purpose-Driven Education initiative) to the ministry,” said Mustapha.

Later at a press conference, Mustapha expressed hope that Heriot-Watt University Malaysia would share the implementation modules of the initiative with the ministry to enable its introduction in other higher education institutions in the country.

“I heard the presentation about this initiative and I think it can be applied in other universities. This can train them to become better individuals.

“If there is a module, we can offer it to other universities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Provost and Chief Executive Officer of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration with MOHE to help Malaysia to achieve the nation’s development aspiration.

“We love to work with the ministry and we will see how we can cooperate. We are very happy to share our module,” he said.

In conjunction with the campaign's launching ceremony, the university also organised a panel discussion and an interactive forum centred on Purpose-Driven Education.

Among the panellists were Heriot-Watt University principal and vice-chancellor Prof Richard A. Williams; Malaysian Mental Health Association president Prof Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj;Human Resources Director and Country Site Leader of Experian Malaysia Chua Chai Ping; Head of School for The Alice Smith School Sian May and Maybank Group Chief Human Capital Officer Datuk Dr Nora Abdul Manaf. — Bernama

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