EDUCATION Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Eurasia Universities Union (EURAS) in Istanbul, Turkey.
The MoU was signed by EMGS CEO Prof Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa and EURAS president Dr Mustafa Aydin and witnessed by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idri Jusoh.
“It is not impossible to see a future where a student will have the choice to do a year or even a subject in a different university across different geographical borders.
“Imagine the wealth of knowledge and experience this will bring to a graduate – in understanding and appreciating cultures, people and places – skill sets crucial for the global economy.
“If we can open such opportunities to our students, we will be successful in our aim as educators to develop global talents,” said Idris.
According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Future of Jobs Report, the top 10 skills in demand for the future are about being able to solve complex situations, being creative, thinking critically, having the ability to coordinate and interacting with others.
“To compete in the global workforce, it’s now all about skills, not just degrees.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of student mobility programmes – the significance of cross border and cross cultural learning and experience in learning spaces that is foreign to our own.
“It will equip students with multicultural understanding and experience, interpersonal communication skills, independence and confidence- skills which will provide the competitive advantage to be employable in the global economy,” he said.
EURAS, a union of 90 universities from all across West and Central Europe, Balkans, Caucasus, the Middle East and Asia, is the platform for cooperation, education development and cultural flows.
The MoU will pave way for significant collaboration between Malaysian higher education institutions and universities within the EURAS’ network particularly in student and academic mobility and research.
“We need to bridge quality and standards of higher education across regions for a more seamless collaboration.
“Malaysian institutions have long standing partnerships with many universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and Asia,” he said.
The collaboration with the EURAS partnerships will stretch wider to the Balkans, Central Europe and other countries in the EURAS network.
“Through inter-institution collaboration, we have opened opportunities for students to study in both campuses and earn degrees from both universities. Our institutions too have hosted students from all over the world on shorter mobility programmes,” he added.
“Turkey is an important partner for Malaysia on Waqf (charitable endowment) revival in higher education. We are looking at waqf as the third economic sector. Waqf will ensure the financial sustainability of the higher education industry,” said Idris.
The minister met up with many graduates of the International Islamic University Malaysia from the early 1990s.
“I am happy to see that they are successful in their respective fields. They still speak Bahasa Malaysia and they say they miss our durian, nasi lemak and roti canai, but mostly, our people,” he added.
Idris also met with a group of 50 Malaysian students studying in Turkey and visited several universities in the capital city.
Meanwhile when speaking at the Eurasia Higher Education Summit in Istanbul, Idris said collaboration among Western and Eastern Institutes of Higher Learning (HEIs) is crucial now, more than ever, in developing global graduates with balanced knowledge of the East and West.
Graduates with knowledge and experience of both power blocks will be more employable in the global economy, he said.
Speaking to some 2,500 delegates which consists of educators from the Eurasian region and all parts of the world, Idris said that Malaysia has a comprehensive approach in redesigning higher education for Industry 4.0 and welcomes international collaboration, especially on student mobility, academic mobility and research collaboration. — Bernama